Scientists of tomorrow descend on Aberdeen

Scientists of tomorrow descend on Aberdeen

Almost 400 potential science students are today (March 1) converging on the University of Aberdeen to see for themselves the impressive teaching facilities and other amenities available at both campuses.

The visitors have all been offered places at the University to study a wide range of Bachelor of Science courses. It is hoped today's Science Applicant Day – showcasing Old Aberdeen and Foresterhill - will convince them that the University is a great place for them to study.

Students were covering hundreds of miles to visit the University, travelling to the North-east from all over Britain. Two were even flying in from as far as Portugal and America.

Specially laid on buses are transporting the students between both campuses where they will be given information packed sessions and the chance to chat to or hear from a number of Aberdeen’s leading academics.

At the Institute of Medical Sciences at Foresterhill, visitors keen to enter Medical Sciences will hear short presentations and meet a number of scientists before being taken on tours of three state-of-the-art labs carrying out research into microbiology, bone and fungal diseases.

Materials from volcanic eruptions from around the world, currently used for teaching within the department of Geology and Petroleum Geology, will be on show to applicants who are interested in these areas of study at Old Aberdeen. They will also see rare Fossils rocks, gems and minerals which are permanently on display.

Geography and Environment will have a number of interactive displays integrating teaching and research with the physical spectrum of the discipline. These will include analysis of urban river water samples and the chance to look at peat cores, fossil seeds and mammoth hairs, as well as opportunities to reconstruct glaciers and climate that existed in the UK some 11,000 years ago, when the thermohaline circulation last switched off.

Those wishing to study Biological Sciences will get the chance to see the newly acquired sabre toothed tiger skeleton and many other exhibits within the Zoology Museum. Those with an interest in Plant and Soil Science will see displays of tropical vegetation including one showing the genetics of rice.

Visitors interested in Computing Science will see little robotic vehicles, which are programmed by students, in action. They will also experience student life by attending a real lecture and practicals on artificial intelligence and usability.

Those interested in Mathematical Studies can chat to staff within the department and learn of the possible job opportunities a degree can bring. It is a similar picture for potential Chemistry students who will be able to speak to the adviser of studies, discuss career opportunities, and visit the teaching and research labs.

Visitors to Physics – which is also hosting lab sessions for Advanced Higher Physics pupils from North and North-east schools this week and next – will hear a presentation, get a tour of the labs and see and get the opportunity to join in with practical experiments.

Psychology will be offering talks on course structure and careers, as well as tours of five labs involved in a wide range of research areas, including vision science, face processing and health psychology.

Applicants will also be able to find out more about Health Sciences which can lead to careers in nutrition, particularly around health and sports science, as well as posts in local government, health promotions and within academia.

Today’s event also sees the launch of the updated programme of Marine and Coastal Resources Management which is a great launch pad for careers in marine management, fisheries, conservation, tourism and leisure and bodies like Scottish Natural Heritage and English Nature.

Wide-ranging advice on finance and student support services life will be available. Around 30 Student Ambassadors – the majority of them BSc students - will also give insights into student life as well as tours of the campuses.

Science Applicant Day takes place just days after new figures revealed that applications for undergraduate places at the University have risen by 5.3% with over 13,000 received for 2006 entry – the highest number ever recorded.

Professor Mary Cotter is Director of Teaching and Learning at the University’s College of Life Sciences and Medicine. She said: “The weather may be a little on the chilly side but we will be giving a very warm welcome to our visitors who we sincerely hope will go on to become students of the University of Aberdeen.

“Most of our guests will be accompanied by parents and guardians so there should be a real buzz about both campuses with more than 700 visitors.

“All of our departments are geared up to give plenty of information and advice to prospective students about their preferred science degree.

“We hope our guests have an informative and fun experience at our Science Applicant Day and we look forward to them accepting our offers of places on our many Bachelor of Science degrees.”

Professor Gordon Walkden, Director of Teaching and Learning at the University’s College of Physical Sciences, added: “Our degree programmes are focused on the professional world – we train the professional and scientific leaders and managers of tomorrow – and those coming to our Science Applicant Day will have the opportunity to be part of this.”

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