Help!!! Biology Degree or Chemistry Degree? Watch

Bleeding Magenta
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Ok, so here's the sitch:

So i'm applying for university this coming school year and i'm actually really stuck when it comes to choosing between a Biology Degree and a Chemistry Degree. I'm doing exceptionally well i both the subjects and i expect to ace both in A2. I'm also equally fascinated in both subjects, which further makes the situation difficult.

Also, I am not interested in doing a joint degree as i'm looking to doing a straight pure degree in either one of these subjects. (Oh and Biochemistry is also a big no-no for me lool)

I really don't know which one to choose, does anyone, more so to those who have done these two subjects at A-Level, have any suggestions that might shift me towards either one of these degrees?

Much Obliged, Partners, Much Obliged
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Jam'
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Biochemistry is one degree not a joint honours.

You could maybe consider medicine though?
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Bleeding Magenta
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Hahaha yeah i know, just wanted to point out that i'm ruling out Biochem as a choice, but thanks.

I've been told that i should try out medicine previously, and i don't think it's the right course for me. I know that i'll definitely be picking either Chem or Bio, but it's just down to the question of which one.
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laurenmckay
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if you're equally strong/interested in both subjects, I would maybe be tempted to have a think about job prospects, and what degree would serve you best career-wise! just out of interest, why do you not want to do a joint honours? if you dont mind me asking! it seems like the ideal solution.
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Bleeding Magenta
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Joint degrees.....mmmm i really don't know, its just that i'd like to focus on just one of the two. I know that two degrees may or may not overlap in content but i would rather that than doing a joint honors where there's larger chunks of both subjects.

Also I've Never really thought of it that way, thanks! Come to think of it, i don't really know what doors either degree will open for me, which further adds to my discomfort lool.
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laurenmckay
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nah, that's fair enough! I hate when subjects contradict each other, so if it was me, I wouldn't want to risk that happen but doing a joint honers! it would put me right off.

but yeah, I think the best steps for you would be to think about it career wise! the only thing is, I know that for the course I've applied for (straight chemistry) you do chemistry/maths/physics or biology for the first two years. is this the same for you?
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Bleeding Magenta
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Yeah exactly, i'm just the kind of person that prefers a straight course.

From what I've heard (family and friends that do chemistry) yes Chemistry does have elements of the subjects packed into it. I've also had feedback from those doing biology courses. All I really need is a point that would really make me move towards one of the courses.
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laurenmckay
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well, all I could suggest would be to see what degree would be most helpful job wise. sorry I've not been of much help!
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Holby_fanatic
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There are courses in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry that are worth thinking about.
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DL-6
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(Original post by Bleeding Magenta)
Yeah exactly, i'm just the kind of person that prefers a straight course.

From what I've heard (family and friends that do chemistry) yes Chemistry does have elements of the subjects packed into it. I've also had feedback from those doing biology courses. All I really need is a point that would really make me move towards one of the courses.
To be honest, maybe you should pick Chemistry, the prospects are slightly better and you're less likely to have to do further study should you want continue in that field.

With Biology degrees having to specialize is more common. in addition should you not want to continue in either of those areas after the degree then with Chemistry you are more likely to be able to do something like working in a bank because Chemistry is more mathematical.


Also I think with Chemistry you would be able to get into more Biological fields than vise-versa.

By the way I did both Biology and Chemistry at A-Level.
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Little_Red_clock
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You should look into a natural science degree. You can try both subjects for the first year (plus one more subject) then in the second year some uni's will let you go into the single honours

I've applied to do natural science in september and this is basically what some lecturers have been telling me.
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pheonix254
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Do you want to do a continuation of A-Level physics or A-Level Chemistry? If you want to do physics, then study chemistry at university. If you want to do chemistry, your best bet is to study biology. And if you signed up to study physics, congratulations; you just enrolled yourself on a maths degree. In order then - Maths->Physics->Chemistry->Biology.

University - it messes with your mind, but anyone who is there will tell you I'm right, and that I'm not joking.

The job prospects are more towards the maths end, if my experience is anything to go by.

If all that doesn't help, put them both in a hat and pick one. If you're not immediately happy with the choice, you're telling yourself that you really wanted the other one, so do that. Then don't look back. It makes a fantastic story at interview for "So why did you choose X to study at university?"
I couldn't choose between systems engineering, nanotechnology and electronic engineering. The hat chose the latter, and now I'm employed in aerospace and shipping having used that story successfully at interview. Funny the way things turn out in the end, isn't it?

I mean, seriously, which 19 year old knows what they want to do for the rest of their life? I sure as hell didn't, and neither did the vast majority of people I knew. Unless they were studying medicine.

Stu Haynes, MEng MIET MIEEE.
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Bleeding Magenta
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(Original post by pheonix254)
Do you want to do a continuation of A-Level physics or A-Level Chemistry? If you want to do physics, then study chemistry at university. If you want to do chemistry, your best bet is to study biology. And if you signed up to study physics, congratulations; you just enrolled yourself on a maths degree. In order then - Maths->Physics->Chemistry->Biology.

University - it messes with your mind, but anyone who is there will tell you I'm right, and that I'm not joking.

The job prospects are more towards the maths end, if my experience is anything to go by.

If all that doesn't help, put them both in a hat and pick one. If you're not immediately happy with the choice, you're telling yourself that you really wanted the other one, so do that. Then don't look back. It makes a fantastic story at interview for "So why did you choose X to study at university?"
I couldn't choose between systems engineering, nanotechnology and electronic engineering. The hat chose the latter, and now I'm employed in aerospace and shipping having used that story successfully at interview. Funny the way things turn out in the end, isn't it?

I mean, seriously, which 19 year old knows what they want to do for the rest of their life? I sure as hell didn't, and neither did the vast majority of people I knew. Unless they were studying medicine.

Stu Haynes, MEng MIET MIEEE.
Yeah Thanks mate, that was really helpful.
I now see myself leaning slightly more towards the Chemistry degree. Following my initial post, I've asked people i know and others that work in science industry (those that took either biology or chemistry at Uni)...... and surprisingly they all had responses which were similar to yours.

Btw i'm carrying on Chem Bio Maths to A2 and leaving Physics as an AS.

Once again, thanks
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crazy_heva
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Have you considered a molecular biology or neuroscience degree. I just finished BSc biological sciences at leeds and thats a mix of microbiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. I didnt really like biochem til final year but i picked a few topics this year. My course allowed a lot of choice and i leaned toward microbiology and immunology wheras my boyfriend picked more biochemistry topics.

Maybe this is something to consider, a broad course. I originally applied for biomedical sciences and missing my offer was the best thing that happened to me. I much prefer the fine details rather than symptoms and whole organisms.

In either event consider a placement year. It helps focus you for final year and also job prospects. Mine was an office job but im 95% sure i would not have a phd without it. The 6 people of my course who did a placement 3 got 2:1, 3 a first, 5 doing a phd(2of those at oxford) and the other a job with her placement company.

Good luck in any case
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Germany
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I second what pheonix254 said. The mixed subjects are often less mixed than just started specialization which is needed, switching is still well possible in a later career.

An Egyptian girl who did her PhD in ruled out biochemistry here, she studied in Leeds before, sent me a marriage greeting card from Egypt where she wanted to become a biologist for cells and feeding plants, I have not really understood it or was not attentive enough. On the greeting card she sat in a Maybach Mercedes. I think it was just an accident that she ended up in bio engineering, she could as well have made it in other nano studies as chemical electronics. She was a muslim but really sexy with very cool sun glasses, her eye color was kind of everything, and loooooooooooooooong legs. Dina was her name.

She could almost sit down on the tallest skyscrapers all over the place, very tall but a nano type of girl. The solid state chemistry between us was biological but we met via informatics.

Biology is not always but often fundamental science or applied pseudo science without too much industrial demand. Every second common or garden university is offering it meanwhile, biotechnology and such. Most young students over-estimate their chances with such degree.

Chemistry is also not as easy as it seems, many have good marks, much more than in mechanical engineering. There are very many different "kinds" of chemistry. But generally I see better chances than in biology ! Chemistry is needed everywhere.

Of course you must know much better yourself and decide yourself, just what I see in the clique connections, it can be regionally different naturally.
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Arya06
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Hi, sorry, I know you posted this ages ago and may not even reply. I'm currently in exactly the same position you were in then! I was just wondering what helped you to make up your mine as it's tearing me up. Thanks a mile
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JDickerson
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If you are doing exceptionally and are interested in both then apply for NatSci at Cambridge.

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