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Date of Review Sep 28, 2011 Go Back
Year of Study 1st
Student Type Traditional
From Galway Ireland
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Why did you choose your course?

It's the only Science course in the country that offers a year long Erasmus in 3rd year. I wanted to challenge myself by studying subjects I hadn't even touched on since my Junior Certificate.

Are you happy with your choice of course?

Yes

On reflection, what made it the right or wrong choice for you?

It has given me the opportunity to learn about subjects I had minimal knowledge of prior to September last. To this day, I don't know what field I want to work in or even what degree course I wish to take. This course allows me two years from entry to decide what degree I want, while giving me the opportunity to build a very broad knowledge base over a number of subjects. I'm a big fan of the American education system with regard to the broad level of study they must undertake up to a relatively late stage of their education. The opportunity of taking broad curriculum subjects in 3rd year (if I don't go on Erasmus) is a major positive for this course in my eyes.

How many hours of organised classes do you have per week? (labs,tutorials,lectures,etc)

30+hrs

Are your lectures/labs mainly based on or off the main campus?

On

Is your course weighted more on

End of year exams

Is there an option to study abroad on your course?

Yes

What are your favourite aspects of your course?

Tutorials run by certain professors and post-grad students are the highlight of this course. They can be extremely informative and helpful. I have a great many interests so the enthusiasm of a small number of lecturers and post-grad students with regard to their respective subjects has really worn off on me and has helped me focus on particular aspects of the course. I'm convinced this will be the trigger to me being able to decide what I'll study in my sophister years. Some of the practical (laboratory) sessions in biology and chemistry were very interesting and allowed us to apply knowledge from the lectures to a real life situation.

What are your least favourite aspects of your course?

I understand that about 350 students are in Junior Freshman Science and that a great many other from other courses such as Radiation Therapy and Human Genetics also take modules that Science students have making the logistics of running such a course quite difficult, but I've found the overall organisation of the course and the sheer incompetence of some lecturers/post-grad tutors to be highly frustrating. Some of my complaints include: (i) Vital exam information not being given to students in advance of exams which put certain students at a great advantage to others; (ii) Lecture notes sent to students erratically i.e. sending lecture notes well in advance of one lecture and students not receiving notes for the following lecture until days after it. We had one lecturer who preferred us not to have the lecture slides in front of us during lectures but she had compiled a comprehensive study aid which detailed main points from lectures which she sent to us well in advance of lectures because even though she preferred students not to have slides in front of them, she realized that sending her notes to students in advance of the lectures would facilitate learning for a certain amount of them. When combined with my own lecture notes (I chose not to print out her revision aid before lectures) and the recommended reading, preparation for her part of the exam has been exceptionally straightforward. The fact that many lecturers would send out notes after a lecture really frustrated me for certain topics, e.g. organic chemistry, which require a lot of conceptual thinking, something I find impossible to do while frantically trying to take down notes from the slides. I was also greatly disappointed with all four modules I took in mathematics. Not a single lecturer gave us access to notes in advance of their lectures. The only plausible reason I can think of for this was to keep attendance levels high but it just isn't acceptable as regular sign in sheets would be an extremely simple solution to that particular problem. I spent my whole year transcribing numbers and letters from overhead projectors during Maths lectures and in spite of efforts to listen to the lecturers and to try to understand exactly what was going on in lectures (I got an A1 in leaving certificate Maths and really enjoy the subject so I had a genuine interest in the lectures unlike many of my fellow students whose major complaint is that "Maths is impossible" or something nice and illogical along those lines) I found myself incapable of doing so because I had to focus on writing. I've spoken to three friends studying Mathematics at three different universities around the country and none of them could believe that we didn't get our lecture notes sent to us before our lectures. There was one lecturer who put up his notes online. Unfortunately, he did so only after lectures, which for me was completely pointless as I had nothing to follow during the lecture itself. Some demonstrators in the chemistry practical (laboratory) sessions were not helpful and even pressured students into leaving the lab before they understood what exactly they had been doing. I particularly dislike this because it meant students with good demonstrators (of which there were many) were at a far greater advantage to students with poor demonstrators. Trinity doesn't have Christmas exams. Continuous assessment for nearly all modules lacked any noteworthy feedback. The opportunity to speak to tutors and lecturers about where you could improve is the single greatest benefit from continuous assessment in my eyes - it was a real pity that didn't happen in this course.

Was your course what you expected?

No

What do you wish you had known before choosing this course?

That Erasmus isn't nearly as accessible as I had thought and as the college website had portrayed. It's only through certain degree courses that I'll be able to go on Erasmus and even then it can be very difficult to obtain a place abroad. The number of countries with Erasmus links to most schools is a lot lower than I thought too. Math’s lecture notes aren't sent out in advance of lectures - I see this as a very negative aspect to the course and in hindsight, I probably wouldn't have chosen to do as much Math’s as I did had I known the modules would be run as they were.

Why?

The library doesn't open on Sundays and it closes far too early on Saturdays.

Rate your course in terms of difficulty

Difficult

Please rate your course in terms of workload

Much more than other courses

Are you an active member of any societies?

Yes

If yes, please name the societies

Trinity VDP, The Comedy Soc, The Hist, The Phil.

Why do you enjoy being a member of this society? why should a prospective student think of joining this society?

The Trinity VDP was the society that helped me the most in my first few weeks in college. I found it extremely easy to meet people at their meetings and events. Some of my closest friendships in college were formed through this society - a great reason for prospective students to join. I haven't necessarily been an active member in the three other societies I mentioned (in the sense that I don't help them to run any events) but I've attended many of the comedy gigs, famous speakers, debates, etc. that these societies excel at preparing for the college community - joining these societies for me was a great way to see a lot of interesting famous figures speak and perform for little or no money.

Are you a member of any sports clubs?

Yes

Please choose your sport(s) club

AFC (Soccer)

Are your training facilities easily accessible?

No

If no, why not?

I joined the soccer club but after one short trial (which was the first time I had played soccer in 16 months due to injury) I was told I wouldn't have a second opportunity to display my talent and attempt to make it onto the squad. I do know that training for the soccer team is usually off campus in Santry so it wouldn't be easily accessible for me if I was playing.

Are your training facilities at a good standard?

No

If no, please give reason.

I don't know. I've never been. The on-campus facilities aren't nearly as good as those in DCU.

What would be helpful to know before joining your sports club?

The Trinity Soccer Club aren't nearly as accessible as soccer clubs in NUIG or DCU (I have friends playing for both colleges, I can't compare Trinity to any others). I would always encourage people to join sports clubs and to try out for teams but I'd advise people not to be too hopeful about making a team. A major failing in Trinity's soccer club is the fact that I was never given a real opportunity to show what I could do (a forty minute, 7-a-side trial is not a real opportunity) and that there aren't nearly enough competitive teams for the number of players wishing to play. I believe about 120 players tried out for just 22 places on the Freshers' squad this year. To have only one competitive team for so many hopeful players is not acceptable and is also to the detriment of the team as there is no real opportunity to promote players from one team to another if they're playing well.

Would you recommend getting involved in college sport?

Yes

Why?

I have friends who play on the hockey team and who take part in rock climbing. Everyone I talk to who is a part of a college sports club absolutely loves it. It can be a great way to make friends and exercise is also very important for health reasons.

How much do you spend on living every week (going out, food, transport etc.), excluding rent and bills?

€80-100

Do you or have you lived away from home during college?

Yes

How much does your rent cost per month?

€350-450

As a first year did you live in college halls?

No

Would you recommend living in college halls?

Yes

If yes, where and why?

On the northside of Dublin. This may be seen as stereotyping but from my personal experience in college there are a lot more students going to Trinity who live on the south side of the city than the north side. A major negative of this for me was that I didn't know anyone living anywhere near me (in Glasnevin) so I couldn't split the cost of a taxi home after nights out.

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