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Natural Sciences or Biological Sciences?

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    Guys, which do you think is better? I'm very interested in molecular cell biology, so, and I wish to become a researcher in the future. Can any of the current students or alumni give me info about the career prospects of both degrees? I'm interested in Organic Chemistry as well, hope to integrate my knowledge of chemistry into biology. Thanks!
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    (Original post by Jyouie)
    Guys, which do you think is better? I'm very interested in molecular cell biology, so, and I wish to become a researcher in the future. Can any of the current students or alumni give me info about the career prospects of both degrees? I'm interested in Organic Chemistry as well, hope to integrate my knowledge of chemistry into biology. Thanks!
    Why not Biochemistry then?
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    Natural sciences because if you take biological you'll get people coming up to you saying "zomg bro I got rejected from medicine too! dun worri man, apply for postgrade after i gt ma 2.2 innit. we be making mad paper bruv once we doctors, iiiii."
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    Natural sciences because if you take biological you'll get people coming up to you saying "zomg bro I got rejected from medicine too! dun worri man, apply for postgrade after i gt ma 2.2 innit. we be making mad paper bruv once we doctors, iiiii."
    Gosh, that's really scary >.<.....so, in UK those who applied for biological sciences are intended to go for post-med studies?
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    (Original post by Jyouie)
    Gosh, that's really scary >.<.....so, in UK those who applied for biological sciences are intended to go for post-med studies?
    Nah I doubt it, biomedical sciences yes, but it's probably not like that for biological. I'd still recommend natural sciences over biological though, the course at UCL just seems more flexible and it's one of the courses I'll be applying to (along with Durham, Cambridge, Bath etc.)
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    (Original post by JohnnytheFox)
    Why not Biochemistry then?
    Actually I'm aiming to take a MSci programme, which can push me straight to masters', I need to find job before going to PhD (no money for that, if I were to go for PhD directly)
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    Nah I doubt it, biomedical sciences yes, but it's probably not like that for biological. I'd still recommend natural sciences over biological though, the course at UCL just seems more flexible and it's one of the courses I'll be applying to (along with Durham, Cambridge, Bath etc.)
    Hmm, but we're limited to take only 4.0 CU of courses, isn't it, will it mean that we will not be able to get as specialized as those who did single degree?
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    (Original post by Jyouie)
    Hmm, but we're limited to take only 4.0 CU of courses, isn't it, will it mean that we will not be able to get as specialized as those who did single degree?
    Well you narrow down your subjects year by year and specialise in one in the final year I think, but no I don't think we'll be as specialized as someone who takes a single degree. I'm choosing natural sciences because I want to study different subjects as I like studying a range of things, and don't feel as if I'm committed to taking straight mathematics or whatever. Besides, if you do a degree at a top university like UCL then it's not going to matter too much.
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    Well you narrow down your subjects year by year and specialise in one in the final year I think, but no I don't think we'll be as specialized as someone who takes a single degree. I'm choosing natural sciences because I want to study different subjects as I like studying a range of things, and don't feel as if I'm committed to taking straight mathematics or whatever. Besides, if you do a degree at a top university like UCL then it's not going to matter too much.
    Thanks for giving me the advice!!!!.....I think I'll probably go for natural sciences, I mean for wider options, and I can learn more skills in both subjects as well!!!...Hope you get into Cam by the way
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    (Original post by Jyouie)
    Thanks for giving me the advice!!!!.....I think I'll probably go for natural sciences, I mean for wider options, and I can learn more skills in both subjects as well!!!...Hope you get into Cam by the way
    Good luck to you too just make sure to research both courses thoroughly though and even email the universities if you want, I've done it loads and they don't mind
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    (Original post by A level Az)
    Good luck to you too just make sure to research both courses thoroughly though and even email the universities if you want, I've done it loads and they don't mind
    The info of Natural Sciences in the UCL website is just too vague >.<
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    Bumps. Still need to hear more advice!!!!! Thanks!!!
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    Natural sciences or joint hons would probably be good, though I know my Uni have recently dropped these and not many Uni's offer it anymore so it does limit choice somewhat.
    I studied biochemistry at Newcastle last year and I hated it- cause there was absolutely no organic chemistry! Be very careful of this! If medical sciences/biology are leading a biochemistry programme it will probably be void of all organics. The head of biochemistry encouraged my transfer for this reason and said back in his day (he's not even that old) organics was taught alongside it but increasing hatred for maths and chemistry meant more and more courses have moved away from this.
    I swapped to Chem with Med Chem here and I'm really enjoying it. I recommend looking into Medicinal Chem- there's lots of potential of research and it's great for organic & biochem

    http://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/c...inal_Chemistry is my course and there is option to do industrial placements or study abroad for a year.

    http://www.whatuni.com/degrees/cours...9307/page.html might also help

    If you're good at Organic this is deffo something to look into
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    (Original post by Jyouie)
    Actually I'm aiming to take a MSci programme, which can push me straight to masters', I need to find job before going to PhD (no money for that, if I were to go for PhD directly)
    You could take a BSc, then go onto MSc (or even straight to PhD). If you are currently intending on taking a MSc, I wouldn't bother taking a year to obtain the MSci.

    And you can also apply for a PhD with funding directly after your BSc.
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    Guys! Thanks for all of your advice, but I'm still a little bit confused, how about the career prospects of these two degrees? Which graduate will stand out if they graduated with the same grade....(hmm of course from UCL) I'm an international student so maybe I'll not be allowed to work in UK upon graduation...wish to hear from your opinion! Thanks btw guys!
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    I did biochemistry at York and we had quite a bit of organic chemistry in our first year followed by some more optional organic chemistry. The course was quite flexible though it was more geared towards a career in biology research.

    If you're interested in pure chemistry then a natural sciences course would be better suited to you.

    In terms of career prospects, it depends on what kind of career you're interested in. If you want to stay in science you need at least a masters degree if not a PhD so what you do at the undergrad level doesn't really matter except for in terms of what you will enjoy studying. Immigration advice is a different issue altogether and to be honest, no one on here may be able to give you accurate advice.
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    You definitely sound like you should look into studying biochemistry.

    I am currently a biosciences fresher at UCL. In first year all biosciences students take the same core modules. In second year you can then choose to either specialise or remain a generalist. I will be specialising in genetics.

    You get some flexibility in your course: in first year (and i believe 2nd and 3rd year too, but dont quote me on that) you can pick a full module or 2 half modules for yourself. I chose to do full module chemistry for biologists, but there are a bunch of other options open (one of my friends who wants to specialise in ecology took a geography module, another friend took an arabic module, lots of my friends took a half module in mammalian physiology and did half the chem module with me).

    for the most part i have really enjoyed my course this year, although the chem module was widely regarded as a bit of a let down (uneven lecture quality, not specific enough to biology given that the course title was "chemistry for biologists". the university is aware of these issues and appears to be taking steps to fix them, who knows what difference it will make).

    in conclusion, i imagine you would get on well with biology here, especially as there is some flexibility and the option to specialise. biochemistry also sounds excellent for you. there is a lot of course overlap anyway though, and i shared about 3/4 of my lectures with the biochemists this year.

    as to career prospects, it will make very little difference as to whether you get a bio degree or a nat sci degree, if they are from the same university with the same grade. pick the best course for you.
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    (Original post by tmcd)
    You definitely sound like you should look into studying biochemistry.

    I am currently a biosciences fresher at UCL. In first year all biosciences students take the same core modules. In second year you can then choose to either specialise or remain a generalist. I will be specialising in genetics.

    You get some flexibility in your course: in first year (and i believe 2nd and 3rd year too, but dont quote me on that) you can pick a full module or 2 half modules for yourself. I chose to do full module chemistry for biologists, but there are a bunch of other options open (one of my friends who wants to specialise in ecology took a geography module, another friend took an arabic module, lots of my friends took a half module in mammalian physiology and did half the chem module with me).

    for the most part i have really enjoyed my course this year, although the chem module was widely regarded as a bit of a let down (uneven lecture quality, not specific enough to biology given that the course title was "chemistry for biologists". the university is aware of these issues and appears to be taking steps to fix them, who knows what difference it will make).

    in conclusion, i imagine you would get on well with biology here, especially as there is some flexibility and the option to specialise. biochemistry also sounds excellent for you. there is a lot of course overlap anyway though, and i shared about 3/4 of my lectures with the biochemists this year.

    as to career prospects, it will make very little difference as to whether you get a bio degree or a nat sci degree, if they are from the same university with the same grade. pick the best course for you.
    Sorry to hijak! I am thinking of firming UCL for biological sciences starting this year. Can you tell me a little bit more about the number of contact hours you have? Like number of lectures/practicals/tutorials you might have in a week.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by tmcd)
    You definitely sound like you should look into studying biochemistry.

    I am currently a biosciences fresher at UCL. In first year all biosciences students take the same core modules. In second year you can then choose to either specialise or remain a generalist. I will be specialising in genetics.

    You get some flexibility in your course: in first year (and i believe 2nd and 3rd year too, but dont quote me on that) you can pick a full module or 2 half modules for yourself. I chose to do full module chemistry for biologists, but there are a bunch of other options open (one of my friends who wants to specialise in ecology took a geography module, another friend took an arabic module, lots of my friends took a half module in mammalian physiology and did half the chem module with me).

    for the most part i have really enjoyed my course this year, although the chem module was widely regarded as a bit of a let down (uneven lecture quality, not specific enough to biology given that the course title was "chemistry for biologists". the university is aware of these issues and appears to be taking steps to fix them, who knows what difference it will make).

    in conclusion, i imagine you would get on well with biology here, especially as there is some flexibility and the option to specialise. biochemistry also sounds excellent for you. there is a lot of course overlap anyway though, and i shared about 3/4 of my lectures with the biochemists this year.

    as to career prospects, it will make very little difference as to whether you get a bio degree or a nat sci degree, if they are from the same university with the same grade. pick the best course for you.
    Thanks!!! Actually I applied for MSci Biological Sciences but I asked if I was able to transfer to MSci Natural Sciences and the admission tutor approved it!! I am a really indecisive person, because I will need to spend a huge amount of money to study at the UK, means that I should make the right decision. So, the chemistry course in the first is not that good right? I hope there will be a natsci degree fresher telling about the foundation courses of first year. That is the most attractive part of the natsci degree as I'm not actually sure of what I want to do in the future, whether it's genetics or biomed, I just don't know too much about it. How's the microbio course for the biosci 1st year? Is it intensive and deep enough?
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    The microbio module was really good, but it was only a half module (1/8th of the year). The lectures were of a high quality and the labs were interesting and relevent. we also had a compulsory full module in biochem, which was very cellular, and an excellent half module in genetics, both of which would be of interest to an aspiring microbiologist. My year was rounded off with full module chem, half module life on earth (basically a phylogenetics unit), and half module quantitative biology (statistics for biologists. boring but vitally important, I thought the module was well organised).

    This term I had 10 hours of lectures a week. I probably averaged 2 to 4 hours of labs a week this terms, but I averaged more last term (even though I took full module chemistry, all of the chem labs were in first term. The chem labs were fun and the best part of the module by far).

    Contact hours are... hmm it's weird. we get some face to face tutorials, but most of our tutorials are "e-tutorials", which don't involve face time. That sounds bad but its actually ok. first of all the lecturers are pretty good at giving office hours so you can go see them if you have problems. Second of all, the course makes very strong use of "moodle", an online teaching resource. Through moodle there are lecturer moderated forums to ask questions.

    In other words, we don't get much face time, but thats due to the 21st century set up of the course.

    The work load has been pretty high but tolerable. With good time-management i imagine you will feel like you are doing a healthy amount of learning, without being swamped. The first couple of weeks of each term have been a bit of a doss, the final couple a frantic rush for most people, but most of us are bad at time management :P

    I imagine you will do just fine on a natsci course.

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