In common with all other students in Biochemistry, St Hilda’s Biochemists are taught through a combination of departmental lectures, practicals and classes, where they join with the other members of their University cohort, and college-organised tutorials. A specialist group of tutors in a wide range of areas are available for the St Hilda’s students and, traditionally, the students have very attentive tutoring. This is one of the factors which contributes to St Hilda’s having such a high-achieving school of Biochemistry.
St Hilda’s Biochemists tend to be a sociable group. Members of the school share a good social life, with a Christmas dinner organised by the students, drinks parties organised by their tutor, and annual seminars to allow the fourth-year biochemists to share their research projects. Biochemists in all years at the College interact and often they are able to help one another both in academic and in pastoral matters. We also have a network of ex-St Hilda's postgraduate students within the University who attend our biochemistry social events. This gives us a robust support network, where more experienced undergraduates can assist newcomers. Regular tutorials also give students close access to their College tutors and they can benefit from first-hand accounts of research in stem cell metabolism and control of gene expression by non-coding RNA molecules.
Combined with the delightful setting of the College by the river with punting in the summer, St. Hilda’s Biochemists tend to have a very positive experience of their College careers. All of these factors probably contribute to the fact that, as a college, we have an unusually high proportion of Biochemistry students continuing to read for higher degrees.