St Hugh’s welcomes applications from students who wish to study Biomedical Sciences: the College takes two students each year. This course is designed so that students first acquire an integrated understanding of biomedical and physical sciences, combined with relevant mathematics. This allows them to shape their subsequent studies towards those topics that interest them the most.
During the first year, in which students study the foundation material in a broad range of subjects relevant to the course, St. Hugh’s offers a regular schedule of tutorials, which also involve students from St. Anne’s College. In the second year, students start to specialise in areas of interest to them and will continue to work with their College tutors where appropriate. In the advanced Final Honours School options taught in the third year, Biomedical and Medical students share resources. Students ultimately select one of two courses in their third year, Neuroscience or Cells and Systems Biology. St Hugh’s has Tutorial Fellows with expertise in both these areas. For more details, see the University admissions information for Biomedical Sciences.
Clive Wilson and Ed Mann, the two Tutorial Fellows in Biomedical Sciences at St Hugh’s, take overall responsibility for guiding students and see them once a fortnight for tutorial discussions during the first and final year of the biomedical course. Many other tutorials are provided by tutors with expertise in the broad range of subject areas covered by the course, including psychology, in which St. Hugh’s also has a strong tutorial team. Research interests of the staff include the regulation of neural activity, neural control of hormones and movement, neuropathology, control of respiration, biomembranes, genetics, cell growth control, insulin signalling, cell-cell signalling, cell ultrastructure, and linguistic development in infants. Interests of our clinical Fellows include cancer biology and chemotherapy, angiogenesis, primary care paediatrics, childhood infection, neurodegeneration, brain injury and repair. Students with interests in these areas are encouraged to work on research projects with their tutors during the biomedical sciences course. A distinctive feature of the teaching structure at St Hugh’s is that some of the most talented students who have been trained at the College remain in Oxford and choose to join the College teaching team, tutoring our biomedical scientists as well as our medics.
Funding and Awards
Undergraduate students in Biomedical Sciences frequently need to stay in Oxford over the vacation to undertake parts of their Final Honours School research project, and College will consider applications for funding to help to cover some of the costs involved.
In recent years, a significant proportion of our biomedical scientists have performed exceptionally well academically, and several have gone on to continue to take advanced degrees. An important factor in this consistently high level of academic performance is the strong sense of community in St Hugh’s, which encourages students both from the same year and from different years to work with each other outside the tutorial system. That sense of community extends beyond the cohort of Biomedical Science students to students from Medicine and other disciplines.
As mentioned above, the College has a tradition of involving some of its most exceptional clinical students and graduates in tutorial teaching, and in helping new students find their feet when they first arrive. There are also numerous social events organised by St Hugh’s Biomedical Scientists and Medics in addition to other College-based activities.