Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

Developmental Biology vs Molecular Biology; Help!

Announcements Posted on
TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    For the longest time I've always wanted to be a genetic engineer, working on gene expression and how to change the genome to benefit us. So it never really crossed my mind that Genetics wasn't the course for me, it seemed obvious, however at a recent Open Day I got to talk to some students and a professor doing what I want to do and they pointed me away from Genetics and towards Developmental or Molecular Biology.

    I'd be incredibly grateful if someone could help me sort out the differences between the two and which would be more appropriate for someone looking to move into a career working splicing beneficial genes into animals and if I ever see the day humans.

    A further point is that it seems Developmental Biology is a niche course only offered by 3 Uni's, 2 of which are a world away in Scotland and the third being a very high target grade for me to aspire to. So I'm really stuck between the concept of a dream career vs the viability of the process of getting there

    You need to make a list of courses that you may be interested in and go through them to work out which ones actually interest you by looking at modules and course structures, There is no fixed course to do. I did biochem and do some genetic work now. Most courses will cover the basics and broader courses will allow you to explore your interests.

    I would strongly recommend NOT choosing a very specialist degree like developmental biology, but go for a more general biological sciences degree or similar.

    During most degrees you will specialise as you go towards your final year, so that you end up studying something specific (e.g. genetics or developmental biology or whatever). But you will be able to take your time to learn lots of different areas and discover what you want to focus on. You can't really know that at 17 or 18. I began my biology degree thinking I wanted to do genetics, but realised zoology was actually my passion. I am so glad I didn't start a genetics degree from the off.

    If you want a career doing research as you describe, you are most likely going to need a PhD, which will give you the actual training to do that work. So what you do before is not that important as long as it is relevant enough for a PhD. Your undergraduate degree is not going to give you special skills that others bio grads don't have.

    TLDR: You don't need to specialise now. Choose a general biology course.
Write a reply…


Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: October 11, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Do you like sleeping in a cold room?
Useful resources

Quick Link:

Unanswered Life Sciences Threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.