Back story: Here
March 12th: Time to chart the course of my third year and hand in my project selection form. Here's how I saw it:
Project Skills pros
- No labs!!!!
- Shorter dissertation - 4000 words
- Sounds generally quite straightforward and easy
- I'm quite good at writing articles, especially when it involves "de-complicating" things, I've written quite a bit for the university newspaper, etc
Project Skills cons
- Will probably be quite tedious, I hate scientific journals
- Won't look impressive on the CV
- No bonus points when it comes to the Foundation School application, should I ever drag my sorry arse through medical school.
Research Project pros
- Could be interesting
- Would look damned good on the CV
- I'm good at public speaking so the seminar would go well
- Remote chance I could get published
Research Project cons
- Very strong possibility that I will mess it up...practicals are not my forte
- Lots of lab work required, either during the summer or third year
- Will take many months to complete
- 10,000 word dissertation
- All the third years I know are dying under the stress of it
- Could end up with a rubbish project and a rubbish supervisor
In the end I went with Project Skills. Am I a wuss? Perhaps, though I am a wuss who wants to stay on the safe side. Since this module is worth 30 credits, i.e. a quarter of third year, i.e. 15% of my entire degree, I'd rather stick to something I'm less likely to screw up. Signing up for an intense lab-based project given my track record with practicals is really tempting fate.
I think I made my mind up last week when I spoke to Dr P (who taught us Techniques in Biomedical Sciences last semester)...he was very nice about it all, and even mentioned that he had got the feeling that I didn't really enjoy labs. I told him that this was true. He advised me to look more closely at Project Skills, and said that it had been specifically designed with people like me in mind. So I did, and the more I look at it, the more suited to me it seems. It's not as presitigious as the Research Project, though I'd rather have a non-prestigious 2:1 than a prestigious 2:2!