Welcome to the School of Biological Sciences Representation page.
Here you will find useful information about your School’s student representation system.
First of all, let us introduce you to your School Representatives. Each School has two School Reps whose role is to listen to you and bring any issues you raise to the relevant staff and committee meetings, such as the Student-Staff Liaison Committee or your School Council. In Biological Sciences, the Undergraduate School Representative is Julia Auer and the Postgraduate School Representative is Cathal O'Reilly. Feel free to get in touch with Julia or Cathal if you feel that you have something important to say to the School! Your School also contains Class Representatives who work very closely with the School Convenor, EUSA and the staff to ensure you make the most out of your courses. Potential areas Class Reps may engage with are issues with feedback, course content, and suitability of assessment.
The Biological Sciences School Council is a democratic structure and forum that enables you to take a proactive approach to your student life. It is a way for you and your coursemates to voice your opinions about what is going on in your School, and you are entitled to bring up issues and ideas that you consider relevant to the student experience in these meetings. You can ask your School and Class Representatives to talk on behalf of you, or you can speak for yourself and count on their help to bring these issues forward and support you. They take place at least once a semester, so keep an eye out for updates from your Reps and don’t forget to attend – the more students that show up, the better! Last year, the Biological Sciences Convenor and Vice Convenor were very active, organising School Councils on a regular basis and engaging in a discussion with the School to enable lecture podcasting – if this is an issue that you think should be picked up by the new Reps, let them know!
The School of Biological Sciences also has BioPALS, a Peer-Assisted Learning Scheme where more experienced students facilitate study sessions for newer students. This is a shared scheme between the Schools of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. It therefore offers a chance for both cross-year and cross-school interaction and support. BioPALS runs group meetings based around specific themes relevant to the courses on offer in the Schools; for example, preparing for labs, overcoming fear of presentations, and getting ready for your first University exams. These sessions are run by trained Student Leaders and are a great chance to improve academic performance, get support and create lasting friendships.
You can find out more on their webpage at https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/support_and_advice/peer_learning_and_support/get_peer_support/find_a_project/organisation/bioPALS/.
In addition to Peer Support opportunities, you can also make use of a number of Academic Societies implemented in your School. Whether you are looking for support in your studies, meeting like-minded students, networking, or keeping up-to-date with your field of study’s latest news, they are the place to be! In the School of Biological Sciences you can find 8 different academic societies! The Biology Society (BioSoc) is the academic society for all Biological Sciences students – they organise socials, talks, and other exciting events, including the annual BioBall. The School of Biological Sciences also contains the Biochemistry Society - they organise talks and lectures with scientists and offer peer support, so don’t forget to attend their meetings! Meanwhile the SynBio Society is on offer for those with an interest in Synthetic Biology. You can also find the Zoological Society for all those students and non-students of Edinburgh with a passion for animals. The Ecology Society (EcoSoc) runs a great variety of events including pub nights, workshops, field trips, identification courses, and a variety of other ecology-related events. There is also the Society for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (SIID), the Plant Science Society and the AstroBiology Society. All of these societies are perfect ways for you to meet new friends and talk about issues that you share with fellow students
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