Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy

Ellie White

Ellie White

  • Fourth-year undergraduate, Biochemistry


Hi, I’m Ellie and I’m currently in my fourth year, studying Biochemistry. I come from Devon and attended a non-selective sixth form college before coming to Oxford. I never believed I could ever get in here but coming to an open day with my school helped it to seem a bit more realistic! It was here where I discovered Lincoln and was instantly attracted (not just by the beautiful library) but by how small and cosy it seemed. The open day helpers giving the tour were so lovely and made me feel like I could fit in here. Lincoln also has a reputation for being the friendly college, which I can definitely back up.

In terms of Biochemistry, the subject is fab because you’re given the opportunity to learn in so many ways, from tutorials, which are more personal, to lectures and labs. The content is also super varied, from cell biology, to enzyme kinetics, meaning that no week is ever the same. My favourite elements of the course have been first-year organic chemistry, especially the tutorials, as well as the more genetics-based content as I find this so interesting.

The advice I’d give to anyone who is thinking of applying to Biochemistry is to definitely read more into the course specifics, and if possible, attend some departmental open day talks. I think there’s such a big misconception that Biochemistry is just part Biology and part Chemistry, which is absolutely not the case (we do a fair bit of Physics and Maths too). If this sounds like your cup of tea then definitely have a read of some popular science books, or even better, contact a local university or lab and see if you can do some shadowing to get a bit more of a feel of the subject (and some personal statement worthy content!).

The best part of being a student at Lincoln is the strong sense of community associated with being at a smaller college, meaning that you get to know most people in your year very quickly. It’s a super friendly atmosphere and everyone is so supportive of each other, which is so lovely.

Oxford isn’t all labs and essays and you can get involved in so many amazing opportunities in your spare time. This year I’m involved in a lot of access work; I’m currently working as a tutor for Schools Plus, a project which aims to tackle educational equality. I’m also the Social Background Rep for the Junior Common Room (JCR) and a Lincoln Ambassador (as part of the College’s outreach programme). I’m super busy but it’s very rewarding!