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Skipping Science Preliminary Year

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    I'm a mature student who has recently been accepted onto the BSc Biochemistry with Preliminary Year course at Cardiff. I've heard that at some other Unis there is a chance to sit a test once term starts allowing you to skip straight to the first year of the BSc if you obviously know enough, so you don't have to bother with the preliminary year.
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    I don't think there's anything. I did the prelim year and certainly they never mentioned anything like this.

    Some of the prelim will be stuff you will already know, but because it's not the same as A-levels there will also be plenty you don't know. We definitely went into a little more depth because in lectures this year (now in first year) there's stufff that's new to a lot of the A-level students while those of us who have done prelim are pretty familiar with it. Getting to do lab work is good practise for first year as well.

    You also get to choose an extra two modules from outside of biosciences; they recommend a few particular ones that complement it well but there's a wide range to choose from (physics, languages, etc) as long as it fits into your timetable.

    I did feel it was a little bit of a waste of time occasionally throughout the year, especially the maths, but it was harder than I thought it was going to be and at the end of the day it's been really good preparation for first year. I would look at it as a chance to get ahead a bit.
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    (Original post by heidigirl)
    I don't think there's anything. I did the prelim year and certainly they never mentioned anything like this.

    Some of the prelim will be stuff you will already know, but because it's not the same as A-levels there will also be plenty you don't know. We definitely went into a little more depth because in lectures this year (now in first year) there's stufff that's new to a lot of the A-level students while those of us who have done prelim are pretty familiar with it. Getting to do lab work is good practise for first year as well.

    You also get to choose an extra two modules from outside of biosciences; they recommend a few particular ones that complement it well but there's a wide range to choose from (physics, languages, etc) as long as it fits into your timetable.

    I did feel it was a little bit of a waste of time occasionally throughout the year, especially the maths, but it was harder than I thought it was going to be and at the end of the day it's been really good preparation for first year. I would look at it as a chance to get ahead a bit.

    Thanks, that's really helpful. I'm really looking forward to it but have found Cardiff to be quite vague about the preliminary year modules, they say they don't even have a preliminary year brochure or fact sheet to send me (although I have spoken with the staff there). I don't suppose you have any old info like that? Hopefully I'll go on to do Biochemistry afterwards, so I'm keen to find out how many core subjects/hours there are in the year. Anything you have would be greatly appreciated. Mind if I ask what subject you are studying now?
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    (Original post by Ice-9)
    Thanks, that's really helpful. I'm really looking forward to it but have found Cardiff to be quite vague about the preliminary year modules, they say they don't even have a preliminary year brochure or fact sheet to send me (although I have spoken with the staff there). I don't suppose you have any old info like that? Hopefully I'll go on to do Biochemistry afterwards, so I'm keen to find out how many core subjects/hours there are in the year. Anything you have would be greatly appreciated. Mind if I ask what subject you are studying now?
    I'm on the molecular biology degree but I'm actually changing-in part due to finding out what subjects I enjoyed more in prelim year-to plain biology so I get to do a wider range of modules.

    I can easily tell you what modules you have for prelim; you do four biology modules, four chemistry ones and two maths modules (and then two free ones to choose). So it's two biology, two chemistry, a maths and a free module in a semester.

    The biology ones are:
    Cells and the chemistry of life
    Nutrition, transport and signalling
    The way the body works
    Genetics, evolution and diversity

    The chemistry ones are:
    Fundamental aspects of chemistry
    Thermodynamics, kinetics and equillibria
    Chemistry of organic compounds
    Inorganic and redox chemistry

    It totals about 20 hours a week and lots of 9am starts.
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    That's really helpful, thanks. At the risk of testing your patience can I ask a couple of more questions?

    Are the free sessions compulsory, or an optional extra? If they are compulsory do you have to pass them to progress as with core subjects (Chemistry, Maths, etc)?

    Did you have lessons everyday, as I was hoping there might be a free day or two so I could get a part-time job?

    Thanks.
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    Hi Heidi

    You're the 1st person i have seen online who has done the prelim course so i rushed to register that that i might also add some questions to Ice's. You seem nice enough so i hope this is not too troublesom for you

    I will be emailing the admissions tutor soon to get an idea of whether i might be able to get onto the course. I never finished my a-levels in the distant past but have been working health informatics for a long time, though only to the extent of reporting and analysing data. Did you get the impression of people coming from varied backgrounds on the course i.e. not formal education?

    Last year when you did it was the course at full capacity? I may try and submit a "late" application for admission this sept, if not it will be 2013. Just wondering how popular it is and whether it would be worth me trying this year since it is so late.

    That's it!

    Cheers

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