I plan on doing a phd in biochemistry but I need advice on where to start. I live in woodbridge and have 2 children here so my only options are Essex and East Anglia for undergrad. Essex has a 3 year BSc and EA has a 4 year MSc. I would love to finish a phd at Cambridge but as all 3 schools have a phd in biochemistry what advice can any students who've gone to any of these schools give me on the best route?
Thanks in advance!
University of Essex vs East Anglia for Biochemistry
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- 27-08-2016 22:12
- 28-08-2016 13:25
I was an Essex Biological Sciences student (had many cross over modules with Biochem) and I would say in terms of the University itself, they are both very similar. Built around the same time and offer similar course content. One thing to consider is that UEA is ranked higher than Essex but they are both decent universities. If I was you, I would visit both campuses on an open day and see which one you have a feel for.
When it comes to wanting to pursue a PhD at Cambridge, its comes more down to you as a person and your achievements. Wherever you go, I would recommend getting as much experience as you can and obtaining a solid 1st class degree to increase your chances. There are stats floating around somewhere which shows that Cambridge do offer postgraduate place to people that have gone to both Essex and UEA, so it's not impossible at either institution. I do however remember recalling that they offer slightly more places to UEA students.
I will be starting an MPhil at Cambridge this year, after obtaining a 1st at Essex, so it is by no means impossible. I think really it should come down to which University you prefer. League tables only say so much.
- 28-08-2016 21:55
Thank you very much for all the advice and congrats on getting into cambridge! Will be a dream come true for me. What will you be researching? Will you stay for a phd as well?
I want to go into abiogenesis research and it appears that biochemistry will be the most helpful degree program to support that. Are you going into that field, or know someone in that field and can give me some advice on how to approach it? Would biochemistry be the best answer? Thanks!
- 28-08-2016 23:38
No problem at all and thank you very much. I will be undertaking a taught course, a mixture of Business and Biology/Biotechnology as my interests have changed from when I first started University. I now no longer enjoy the process of research as much as I used to, but I may just change my mind again and do a PhD next year .
I haven't actually heard of anyone going into that field I'm afraid, but we were definitely taught about it in both a Genetics and Biochemistry module, so I would suggest you choosing those sorts of optional modules, along with some Microbiology modules. As far as I'm aware, abiogenesis is more Astrobiology which is a rare course to find in the UK but looking at the modules, the Biochemisty course or Genetics course should meet your needs.
- 29-08-2016 22:29
Thanks again. I just discovered that Cambridge has a team of people working on abiogenesis. Check it out if you're interested. http://phys.org/news/2015-03-chemist...gan-earth.html
That's exactly the research I want to be in the middle of. Can you give me advice on how to approach the application to cambridge and to be as successful as I can be? Thank you very much.
Also, would you suggest I get a bsc through essex then apply at cambridge like you did, or take a 4year msc course at UEA? I don't see a separate MSc course there and I don't know if there always is one. I mean, does having a 4 year MSc degree imply that you can also take the 3 year BSc and move to another school or that if you have a 3 year BSc you can then go to UEA for a 1 year MSc? I'm a little confused.Last edited by PJNolen; 29-08-2016 at 22:34.
- 29-08-2016 23:06
That's great you have identified the research group. The paper looks super interesting and something that looks enjoyable to research. I have looked at the laboratories website, and I think it may be useful for you to familiarise yourself with the application process. I have also seen that they do undergraduate summer studentships which would definitely be beneficial to your application. http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/students/
When it comes to Cambridge, you would been to obtain a solid 1st class degree (or at least above 67%) and have relevant work experience under your belt. They are looking for people who are passionate about their chosen subject so as long as you show this, you should be on the right track. It may also help your application if you have done thorough research on the MRC laboratory's research papers and acquaint yourself with the researchers expertise.
Usually when it comes to integrated masters, you will have to spend 4 years at UEA to get the full qualification. There may be some restrictions if you don't meet grades, you may get demoted to a B.Sc. I think it would be more beneficial for you to the the 4 year degree at UEA as it *should* be covered by student finance. This will hold you in better stead to apply for the PhD. However, I have known people with 1st class 3 year BSc's, and still manage to get places on PhD courses. If I was you I would go for UEA course.
Feel free to PM me any more questions.
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- 29-08-2016 23:09
Do EA. you'll basically be getting a free masters, whereas otherwise you'd have to fund for it yourself