patrickinator
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Alright, I have been predicted A*AAA at A-level and I was wondering whether anyone could advise me what are the best courses/universities to study biochemistry at. Looking through all the prospectuses it seems that there are so many on offer with little significant differences between the courses. It would be great if people currently studying biochemistry could tell me why they chose their current course. Cheers!
This isn't a thread to show off or whatever I am just really unsure what the best options are.
1
reply
patrickinator
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#2
anyone?
0
reply
zcrac86
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#3
Report 8 years ago
#3
Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL
0
reply
patrickinator
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#4
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#4
(Original post by zcrac86)
Oxbridge, Imperial, UCL
?

Oxbridge would be great but I dont think I am going to take that root. Everyone mentions the London universities but Imperial has a very low satisfied with course rate, actually an abismal 78% and I don't really know that much about UCl
0
reply
zcrac86
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5
Report 8 years ago
#5
Pay little regard to student satisfaction rates. The method they use to calculate it is laughable - a tick box 1-5 criteria - and it is very vulnerable to a small number of final year students bothering to fill out the form and universities putting pressure on students to give positive feedback (because it is an easy way to pick up league table points: look through some of the tables, a university with better research, entry standards, employment rates, staff-student ratio can be ranked lower due to student satisfaction, which is frankly absurd.) Imperial is an outstanding institution, as are Oxbridge and UCL. 78% course satisfaction is not awful either.

If you are interested in biochem it is quite likely you will do postgraduate study and/or industry work. As regards research, it's that golden triangle of London and Oxbridge, you can't argue with the resources and expertise available. Clearly career wise London has an obvious edge. As far as multi-faculty institutions go (unlike Imperial or the LSE which are very specialist ), UCL is undoubtedly the best university outside Oxbridge - look at global rankings in particular.

The thing you must do is visit a few places and get a feel for them. It is all very well looking at London, for instance, but if you don't like cities 4 years in London won't be very enjoyable. There are plenty of good courses around, it depends where you will feel most comfortable. Certainly, academically speaking Oxbridge and London would be wise choices, but there are good departments all over the place. Try and get a sense of what you want to get out of the experience as a whole and take a view.
1
reply
RSP18
Badges: 5
Rep:
?
#6
Report 8 years ago
#6
(Original post by patrickinator)
Alright, I have been predicted A*AAA at A-level and I was wondering whether anyone could advise me what are the best courses/universities to study biochemistry at. Looking through all the prospectuses it seems that there are so many on offer with little significant differences between the courses. It would be great if people currently studying biochemistry could tell me why they chose their current course. Cheers!
This isn't a thread to show off or whatever I am just really unsure what the best options are.
with those predicted grades y dont u apply to a GOOD degree like medicine or dentistry.

Biochemistry is a **** degree (i no people who graduated 4 years ago and still cant get jobs....they graduated from imperial)

think about it

in medicine or dentistry u still get to study some biochemistry stuff, but u also have job security at the end of the day

good luck with wat ever u choose though
12
reply
patrickinator
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#7
(Original post by RSP18)
with those predicted grades y dont u apply to a GOOD degree like medicine or dentistry.

Biochemistry is a **** degree (i no people who graduated 4 years ago and still cant get jobs....they graduated from imperial)

think about it

in medicine or dentistry u still get to study some biochemistry stuff, but u also have job security at the end of the day

good luck with wat ever u choose though
Really? I am not sure I give you much credibility for your terrible spelling but is it that bad a degree? I dont want to do a degree like medicine because i feel that would give me a comfortable life but would be rather dull having the same job for your whole life and no alternatives.
anyway, thanks for your reply.
6
reply
zcrac86
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#8
Report 8 years ago
#8
(Original post by RSP18)
with those predicted grades y dont u apply to a GOOD degree like medicine or dentistry.

Biochemistry is a **** degree (i no people who graduated 4 years ago and still cant get jobs....they graduated from imperial)

think about it

in medicine or dentistry u still get to study some biochemistry stuff, but u also have job security at the end of the day

good luck with wat ever u choose though
If they graduated 4 years ago (2008-2009) that might go some way to explaining things. 2008-2009 were the worst years for graduate recruitment on record so they may well have just been unlucky: once you miss out on the graduate cycle it can be difficult to find something. They might also have had no work experience and (being scientists) little personality or people skills!

It might be easier to get onto a Biochem course compared to medicine, but it is still a very good degree - especially if you come out with a 1st! Do what you want to do over the next 4+ years.

I know several people who graduated with natural sciences/ biochem degrees from 2009-2010 (from UCL and Imperial). Three are on funded PhDs, one is a manager looking after multi million pound contracts at a third sector institution and one is a pub landlord and brewer (by choice). So not all doom and gloom!
5
reply
patrickinator
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#9
(Original post by zcrac86)
If they graduated 4 years ago (2008-2009) that might go some way to explaining things. 2008-2009 were the worst years for graduate recruitment on record so they may well have just been unlucky: once you miss out on the graduate cycle it can be difficult to find something. They might also have had no work experience and (being scientists) little personality or people skills!

It might be easier to get onto a Biochem course compared to medicine, but it is still a very good degree - especially if you come out with a 1st! Do what you want to do over the next 4+ years.

I know several people who graduated with natural sciences/ biochem degrees from 2009-2010 (from UCL and Imperial). Three are on funded PhDs, one is a manager looking after multi million pound contracts at a third sector institution and one is a pub landlord and brewer (by choice). So not all doom and gloom!
From your friends what do they think of Imperial and UCL for biochem.

cheers
1
reply
zcrac86
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#10
Report 8 years ago
#10
They are all positive about the experience - access to lots of facilities, expertise, and opportunities (not just academic - being in London gives you a lot of social and employment opportunities on and after your degree). Lots of lab time. Opportunities to be lab assistants to your teachers and lots of PhD opportunities. They all liked living in London etc. The Imperial lot seem to have found the atmosphere a little heavier, but that's the kind of thing that the cohort determines.

The best advice I can give you is to visit these places and get a feel for them. UCL (possible Imperial) will interview you anyway as part of their admissions process which will allow you to meet some staff and students. Look around the courses and look at what appeals. But be warned, your interests are likely to change when you get on the course: university is quite a different kettle of fish to A-Level. But you will know your own mind and what you are looking for. It might just come down to a gut feeling about a place.

With the flexibility and independence of university, the institution you go to only matters to a point. With those predicted grades, you will only be considering outstanding institutions; thus whichever you end up at, it will be up to you to make the most of the opportunity. So I can only repeat, visit the places, get a feeling, go with your instinct.
0
reply
timeofflight
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#11
Report 8 years ago
#11
(Original post by patrickinator)
Alright, I have been predicted A*AAA at A-level and I was wondering whether anyone could advise me what are the best courses/universities to study biochemistry at. Looking through all the prospectuses it seems that there are so many on offer with little significant differences between the courses. It would be great if people currently studying biochemistry could tell me why they chose their current course. Cheers!
This isn't a thread to show off or whatever I am just really unsure what the best options are.
I have just finished my second year of biochem at Leeds. From your predicted grades you could defiantly aim higher than this (AAB) but I wanted to tell you about my experiences. Lots of biochemistry specific employers target Leeds (as well as TONS of more general ones which are still applicable). A lot of people I know got a paid year industry (everyone who wanted one). The third years that I know (4) all have somewhere to go, one to industry, two to masters and one to a completely unrelated job in management (they could have had a "biochemistry" related progression but this is what they wanted). Basically, I am saying there is not a lack of opportunity in this sector at the moment if that's what you want (especially from the types of places you want to go).

Cambridge and Oxford will not offer biochemistry but NatSci. Go for it, if it's what you want... but I THINK you have to do other, less "biochemistryey" modules too so research carefully on that one.

If you have any more questions then let me know. Either about Leeds or other places. I can do my best to answer them, I have friends at other unis doing Biochem.
1
reply
LearningMath
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#12
Report 8 years ago
#12
Cambridge do NatSci but Oxford have a straight biochemistry course, although the official title is 'Molecular and cellular biochemsitry' :P . It's a compulsory four years in which the topics for years one to three are set in stone (although the way the exams are set out its impossible to know the whole syllabus and so everyone unofficially choses which areas to focus on), and then you do a research project in your fourth year and chose a couple of modules to study for the remainder of your time. May be worth looking into it more as it's a really good course, even if it can be tough at times. You graduate with a masters and people go on to do a variety of things including phd programmes, working in the city, teaching etc. I chose the course as you get a masters, it covers a decent amount of biochemistry and is structured for you in the first three years (imo choosing modules early on in your degree can mean you dont end up with a thorough grounding in everything and perhaps more importantly you cant really know for sure what topics you'll like until late in your degree and so forcing you down certain routes early on didnt appeal to me), and I liked the city!

Downside is perhaps the lack of year in industry, which I think is actually pretty useful... although the fourth year project compensates for this a bit. Good luck
0
reply
rose-t1nted
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#13
Report 2 years ago
#13
(Original post by RSP18)
with those predicted grades y dont u apply to a GOOD degree like medicine or dentistry.

Biochemistry is a **** degree (i no people who graduated 4 years ago and still cant get jobs....they graduated from imperial)

think about it

in medicine or dentistry u still get to study some biochemistry stuff, but u also have job security at the end of the day

good luck with wat ever u choose though
With your appalling spelling, I hardly doubt you're a credible source on degrees.
2
reply
uka_qwer
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#14
Report 2 years ago
#14
do you guys think kings college is a good place to studt biochemistry
0
reply
manicmedic
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#15
Report 2 years ago
#15
(Original post by zcrac86)
Pay little regard to student satisfaction rates. The method they use to calculate it is laughable - a tick box 1-5 criteria - and it is very vulnerable to a small number of final year students bothering to fill out the form and universities putting pressure on students to give positive feedback (because it is an easy way to pick up league table points: look through some of the tables, a university with better research, entry standards, employment rates, staff-student ratio can be ranked lower due to student satisfaction, which is frankly absurd.) Imperial is an outstanding institution, as are Oxbridge and UCL. 78% course satisfaction is not awful either.
This is completely untrue, coming from a current student studying biochemistry. I wish I had paid more attention to the satisfaction rates. In particular choose unis which have high satisfaction with regards to student feedback. This is something I missed when selecting unis and ended up with a uni with abysmal student feedback. Without good feedback there is no way you can improve as a student.

The only feedback for my exams and coursework are 3/4 illegible words which in no way tell me what I did wrong and don't help me improve. I feel as if I am making the same mistakes again and again because I don't know whats wrong.

League tables are a joke. Who gave a sh*t about research, imo universities which are research intensive employ good scientist, this doesn't necessarily mean they are good lecturers. Research is only important if you're doing a master or PhD, its unecessay for undergrad.

Student staff ratio is also a joke because at most unis you're going to have lectures with 200 or so people, teaching is very impersonal. Its important to check how often different unis use small group tutorials. Places like oxbridge have constant small group teaching. The student staff ratio just tells you how many people the unis employs, this includes security, cleaners and researches who don't even tech anyone. Its a very deceptive stat.

Idk about employment rates tbh most only vary by a percent or 2 and it seems illogical to have such a large impact on ratings. Also remember employment percent in the league includes even retail, it doesn't tell you about how many people who are actually doing useful things after their degrees.

Although I am not completely ****ging off league tables. The only one worth looking at imo is the guardian league table as it places a lot of emphasis on satisfaction.

Hopefully I've busted some myths!
0
reply
manicmedic
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#16
Report 2 years ago
#16
(Original post by uka_qwer)
do you guys think kings college is a good place to studt biochemistry
Hi! I have just finished my second year of Biochemistry at King's and its been an interesting ride to say the least!

First year is really fun and organised. Content wise I think it really is a perfect balance, I never felt overwhelmed but at the same time I was always stretched and it made me improve my time management skills. Tbh the first three months we didn't really learn much, it felt like a repetition of a-levels, but they say this is to get everyone up to speed and to the same level.There are lots of labs and tutorials and a great community feel, as you get to interact with so many people.
P.s heads up, in first year all your lectures will have 500+ people, it takes a while to get used to! Quiet overwhelming!

First year exams are mostly multiple choice 50% MCQ, and 50%short anwser questions. So its very easy to get a first, quiet a few people managed to get 80+!

You're going to fall in love with Alison Snape who's the head of Biochem. She's a great lecturer and a genuinely lovely person.

Second year is a whole different story. The level expected is very, very high! First year you could cruise by with just studying lecture content but from second year you really need to start with textbooks and even research papers. There are no tutorials which is a shame, as I really thrived of interacting with academics and discussing topics. Also in the assessments there are no more MCQ as it is mostly essay based. Which was a very hard transition for me, especially because there is no proper feedback so Idon't really know how to improve.

I ended up getting more than 10% lower overall in comparison to first year, dropping down to a 2.1 which was a shame. All the academics say you go down in year 2 but go back up gain in year 3 because of the research project, so fingers crossed for me!

Also at the end of second year there are manyyy studentships for you to apply for, I don't know much about this as I have not applied. But their very good CV wise and you do get paid, but not very much :P

You also have the opportunity to study abroad in second year. Most popular destinations are the US and Australia. When you study abroad they even reduce your tuition fee to £3000, so you're saving money and travelling! Also lots of opportunities to do a summer abroad at a partner uni, free of cost!
Bad parts:
King's admin and IT is abysmal, they can never seem to do anything on time. For a whole month king's IT just shutdown and we literally had no acess to uni computers, printers.
Coursework results/feedback is often not released on time, which is annoying since students have to stick to deadlines but the uni doesn't.
Imo bioscience students are kind of ignored in the uni. There is sooo much emphasis and preferential treatment given to the medics and dentists. Its quite frustrating.
Very bad mental health service, you literally have to wait 6 weeks+ to be seen by a counselor.

Good Parts:
Obviously london, the campus is v beautiful, best london uni campus esp because we're at Guy's
Kings has lots of campuses has 3 campuses scattered around london this may seem annoying but they are quiet close that you can walk to all, albeit it would be a long walk. It means you know lots of different areas of london very well. Also there is lots of friendly rivalry between the different campuses which is always fun! Also rivalry between other london unis, I would say LSE is the biggest rival.

Hope this helps!
1
reply
Pantego
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#17
Report 2 years ago
#17
Exeter
0
reply
Tomiwaxoxo
Badges: 1
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 year ago
#18
(Original post by RSP18)
with those predicted grades y dont u apply to a GOOD degree like medicine or dentistry.

Biochemistry is a **** degree (i no people who graduated 4 years ago and still cant get jobs....they graduated from imperial)

think about it

in medicine or dentistry u still get to study some biochemistry stuff, but u also have job security at the end of the day

good luck with wat ever u choose though
Since when is a degree that can earn you £30,000 and up a year a bad degree just because you do science A levels does not mean you have to do courses like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, engineering etc and there's no such thing as bad or good degrees only the degrees that you think are suited for you or the ones you think are not suited for you
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How are you finding researching unis for 2021 entry?

I have been able to get all the information I need from online research (71)
18.83%
I have tried virtual events and found them useful (78)
20.69%
I have tried virtual events and did not find them useful (69)
18.3%
I would be interested in trying socially distanced or scaled down in person events (79)
20.95%
I want to but don't know where to start with researching unis for 2021 entry (39)
10.34%
I haven't started researching yet (41)
10.88%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed