suzylemonade
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What is Chemistry at uni like? Is there a lot of practical work or it mostly just theory based?
I'm asking because I absolutely adore Chemistry but I don't know whether I'll enjoy it at uni. My mum's trying to gently push me towards medicine and although I'm not too enthusiastic about that, would that be a better option? Or should I go for economics/maths because I'd like to go into finance later on in life?
Sorry, this started as 'what is chemistry like' and ended as question vomit
Any replies to any of the above questions will be greatly appreciated, thanks
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.snowflake.
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(Original post by suzylemonade)
What is Chemistry at uni like? Is there a lot of practical work or it mostly just theory based?
I'm asking because I absolutely adore Chemistry but I don't know whether I'll enjoy it at uni. My mum's trying to gently push me towards medicine and although I'm not too enthusiastic about that, would that be a better option? Or should I go for economics/maths because I'd like to go into finance later on in life?
Sorry, this started as 'what is chemistry like' and ended as question vomit
Any replies to any of the above questions will be greatly appreciated, thanks
There is a lot of time in labs. If you hate the practicals at A level, do not pick to do it at uni, you will HATE it. There's also a lot of theoretical stuff, Kinetics comes back, there'll be quantum mechanics and Heisenbergs uncertainty principle... lots of d- block transition metal loveliness... and so many hexagons that you'll be uncertain as to whether you applied for Chemistry or an art degree...
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suzylemonade
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(Original post by .snowflake.)
There is a lot of time in labs. If you hate the practicals at A level, do not pick to do it at uni, you will HATE it. There's also a lot of theoretical stuff, Kinetics comes back, there'll be quantum mechanics and Heisenbergs uncertainty principle... lots of d- block transition metal loveliness... and so many hexagons that you'll be uncertain as to whether you applied for Chemistry or an art degree...
Art? D: My artistic talents are severely lacking- will that be a problem?
Also, regarding essays- are there a lot?
But I guess the main question is whether it's fun or not
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.snowflake.
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(Original post by suzylemonade)
Art? D: My artistic talents are severely lacking- will that be a problem?
Also, regarding essays- are there a lot?
But I guess the main question is whether it's fun or not
haha. Literally, can you draw a hexagon. If yes, you'll be fne. The closest thing to an essay you'll get is a writing a formal laboratory report.

It's hard work (I'm not going to lie), but it's so enjoyable.
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ScottishShortiex
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(Original post by suzylemonade)
What is Chemistry at uni like? Is there a lot of practical work or it mostly just theory based?
I'm asking because I absolutely adore Chemistry but I don't know whether I'll enjoy it at uni. My mum's trying to gently push me towards medicine and although I'm not too enthusiastic about that, would that be a better option? Or should I go for economics/maths because I'd like to go into finance later on in life?
Sorry, this started as 'what is chemistry like' and ended as question vomit
Any replies to any of the above questions will be greatly appreciated, thanks
I'm currently in my second year of a chemistry degree and overall quite enjoy it, even though the volume of work has increased quite a bit from first year and feeling like my life revolves around lab reports. :p: Going from 1 lab per week in first year (we only had 10 weeks of labs/10 lab reports to do) to now 4 labs each week with a lab report for each one is hard going. However, I do like most of the concepts we learn, although have realised how much I hate physical chemistry and organic mechanisms/synthesis. Damn those curly arrows!

When I was in school, I was just weeks away from applying to medicine but changed my mind last minute. I do not regret this in anyway and know that chemistry is something I definitely want to study and have a career in! Don't let anyone else push you towards a uni course/career path you're not enthusiastic about...you need to do what you want.

From what I've gathered, you develop so many useful skills during a chemistry degree that finance related careers are very popular with chemistry graduates who don't wish to pursue a chemistry career as these skills are also suitable for that industry.

I hope this helps! :p:
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newstudent4
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At Manchester we did 20 experiments a year. In the first year an experiment typically takes up a full day (10-4pm). In the second year an experiment takes up one and a half days. You complete a lab report and it gets marked the next week. On top of that you have lectures in various subjects, plus tutorials and pass sessions etc. All in all it's a difficult course, but I really enjoyed synthesis labs in particular. I found organic chemistry to be difficult, but then I didn't put enough work in.

If you're unsure about medicine then that's definitely a no go, since it's a life long vocation and it's crazy to go into it if you're not sure. I imagine doing maths every day would be horrendously boring (in my opinion), so that leaves chemistry. There's a decent amount of maths in chemistry, but not as much as something like physics. If you really enjoy maths, but you like science too, then go for physics. If you want something different and you love practical work, do chemistry.

If you want to go into finance I think chemistry or physics would be a good fit as they have a fair amount of maths involved and they are well respected (difficult) subjects.
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PhoenixSeeker
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(Original post by suzylemonade)
What is Chemistry at uni like? Is there a lot of practical work or it mostly just theory based?
I'm asking because I absolutely adore Chemistry but I don't know whether I'll enjoy it at uni. My mum's trying to gently push me towards medicine and although I'm not too enthusiastic about that, would that be a better option? Or should I go for economics/maths because I'd like to go into finance later on in life?
Sorry, this started as 'what is chemistry like' and ended as question vomit
Any replies to any of the above questions will be greatly appreciated, thanks
Not going to lie, its tough. I'm just into my first year and absolutely loving it! I considered medicine too but decided to go with Chemistry as its core and I can specialise later as I'm really not sure what I want to do. Go with what you'll enjoy, then you will want to work hard

My course has lectures 9-11 every day and 2 lab days (6 hours each) each week. I also have tutorials and classes dotted throughout. There is a lot of theory but usually courses have a year in industry/research so you get half/full year of practical work, great for future jobs! (even if you don't want to continue with science)

There is a fair bit of maths involved so you won't miss out, plenty of differential equations! Also crystal structures and mechanisms ... etc... Have a look into courses at different unis and see exactly what is on the syllabus.
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xsindy
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Wow, please don't do a Medicine degree if you're not absolutely passionate about it! It will be absolute hell for you otherwise!
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BJack
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(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
Going from 1 lab per week in first year (we only had 10 weeks of labs/10 lab reports to do) to now 4 labs each week with a lab report for each one is hard going.
Four labs a week on top of lectures is ludicrous. How on earth are you meant to keep on top of it all? :lolwut:
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.snowflake.
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(Original post by BJack)
Four labs a week on top of lectures is ludicrous. How on earth are you meant to keep on top of it all? :lolwut:
You don't. Unless you're pulling all nighters every couple of weeks. I have managed to do... none of my organic chem lecture reading during semester, very little of my changes of state stuff. I came home with 4 phys chem lectures still to write up (equivalent to half a topic), 2 inorganic lectures, for which I need to re-watch the videos for, because I couldnt follow that lecturer. and about 3 lectures worth of organic notes need re-writing/ and theres like a few bits that need finishing off.

It's first semester thats always a nightmare, keeping up after semester 1 exams seems easier, because easter appears like 6 weeks in.
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suzylemonade
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(Original post by xsindy)
Wow, please don't do a Medicine degree if you're not absolutely passionate about it! It will be absolute hell for you otherwise!
Yeah, I've been told. My mum just keeps trying to push me towards it though, it's extremely frustrating

(Original post by PhoenixSeeker)
Not going to lie, its tough. I'm just into my first year and absolutely loving it! I considered medicine too but decided to go with Chemistry as its core and I can specialise later as I'm really not sure what I want to do. Go with what you'll enjoy, then you will want to work hard

My course has lectures 9-11 every day and 2 lab days (6 hours each) each week. I also have tutorials and classes dotted throughout. There is a lot of theory but usually courses have a year in industry/research so you get half/full year of practical work, great for future jobs! (even if you don't want to continue with science)

There is a fair bit of maths involved so you won't miss out, plenty of differential equations! Also crystal structures and mechanisms ... etc... Have a look into courses at different unis and see exactly what is on the syllabus.
Awesome, that sound really good So you had 9-11 lectures? What did you do the rest of the day? xD

(Original post by newstudent4)
At Manchester we did 20 experiments a year. In the first year an experiment typically takes up a full day (10-4pm). In the second year an experiment takes up one and a half days. You complete a lab report and it gets marked the next week. On top of that you have lectures in various subjects, plus tutorials and pass sessions etc. All in all it's a difficult course, but I really enjoyed synthesis labs in particular. I found organic chemistry to be difficult, but then I didn't put enough work in.

If you're unsure about medicine then that's definitely a no go, since it's a life long vocation and it's crazy to go into it if you're not sure. I imagine doing maths every day would be horrendously boring (in my opinion), so that leaves chemistry. There's a decent amount of maths in chemistry, but not as much as something like physics. If you really enjoy maths, but you like science too, then go for physics. If you want something different and you love practical work, do chemistry.

If you want to go into finance I think chemistry or physics would be a good fit as they have a fair amount of maths involved and they are well respected (difficult) subjects.
What sort of things are in the lab reports? Is it basically a report on what you did in the practical?
Also yeah, you're like the 10th person to say that about medicine It's just that my mum is so darn pushy about medicine, almost as if she thinks that there's no other useful degrees out there. She's always saying 'Oh, well you're clever and good at science- so why not go for medicine?'. My dad is almost as bad- he's forbidden me from doing a single subject in uni (not that I'm going to listen to him), because he thinks it's pointless.

Hmm, yeah, I do enjoy physics, but I think I like Chemistry a lot more. Is there still a bit of maths in Chemistry, or not at all? And I agree, a whole day of maths sounds rather dull, as much as I enjoy it

Oh, really? That's awesome! I've always been under the impression that I needed to do something directly related to finance in uni to go into finance. Which is why Economics was a consideration. I guess I no longer have to consider Economics Woo


(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
I'm currently in my second year of a chemistry degree and overall quite enjoy it, even though the volume of work has increased quite a bit from first year and feeling like my life revolves around lab reports. :p: Going from 1 lab per week in first year (we only had 10 weeks of labs/10 lab reports to do) to now 4 labs each week with a lab report for each one is hard going. However, I do like most of the concepts we learn, although have realised how much I hate physical chemistry and organic mechanisms/synthesis. Damn those curly arrows!

When I was in school, I was just weeks away from applying to medicine but changed my mind last minute. I do not regret this in anyway and know that chemistry is something I definitely want to study and have a career in! Don't let anyone else push you towards a uni course/career path you're not enthusiastic about...you need to do what you want.

From what I've gathered, you develop so many useful skills during a chemistry degree that finance related careers are very popular with chemistry graduates who don't wish to pursue a chemistry career as these skills are also suitable for that industry.

I hope this helps! :p:
Curly arrows? :rofl:

Oh, okay. What made you change your mind?
And yeah, I should really stop my mum keep guilt tripping me into doing medicine. She makes me feel guilty for not wanting to do it
Out of curiosity, what kind of jobs are directly linked to chemistry? I've always wondered and I really have no idea XD

Oh, awesome So if I did Chemistry, I'd still be able to apply for a finance related job, even though it's not directly related?

Thanks, that helped a lot!
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suzylemonade
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(Original post by .snowflake.)
haha. Literally, can you draw a hexagon. If yes, you'll be fne. The closest thing to an essay you'll get is a writing a formal laboratory report.

It's hard work (I'm not going to lie), but it's so enjoyable.
I think I can draw a hexagon, so hopefully that should be okay xD
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ScottishShortiex
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(Original post by BJack)
Four labs a week on top of lectures is ludicrous. How on earth are you meant to keep on top of it all? :lolwut:
Well as snowflake says, you don't/can't. Pretty much all my time after uni was spent doing lab reports that writing up and reading over lecture notes was abandoned. I need to try and be more organised and get it done.
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ScottishShortiex
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(Original post by suzylemonade)

Curly arrows? :rofl:

Oh, okay. What made you change your mind?
And yeah, I should really stop my mum keep guilt tripping me into doing medicine. She makes me feel guilty for not wanting to do it
Out of curiosity, what kind of jobs are directly linked to chemistry? I've always wondered and I really have no idea XD

Oh, awesome So if I did Chemistry, I'd still be able to apply for a finance related job, even though it's not directly related?

Thanks, that helped a lot!
Yeah, we call the mechanism arrows in organic chemistry "curly arrows". Does no one else call them that? :p:

To be honest, I think my initial choice to do medicine was a decision I'd made with my head as opposed to my heart (but hadn't realised this at the time). Had thought about medicine a few years previous but thought I'd never get the grades, but I did. Realised I could realistically apply for medicine (was swaying between that and forensic chemistry) so started voluntary work and took a gap year after school to get more work experience, more voluntary work and more extracurricular activities. Spent a good year still determined to do medicine. It was after I'd applied to sit the UKCAT exam that the doubts resurfaced. Couldn't be bothered doing as much studying/practice as I should have and did badly in it. As I knew my result was too low for Glasgow (my local uni and preferred choice) and didn't want to move away from home I realised that I probably didn't want to do medicine as much as I thought and changed my mind back to chemistry. The funny thing is, my mum is the opposite of yours. She always supported my decision but told me she didn't see me as a doctor in a hospital, she pictured me in a white coat doing lab work!

I guess the main career path is to go into industry (pharmaceutical, food, oil and gas, etc) and work as a chemist in a lab. As far as I know, you can apply for finance related jobs and it's apparently a common career path for chemistry graduates.
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newstudent4
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Yeah the lab reports are based on the experiment you did that week. It's basically a formal summary. You usually need to do some background reading, so for a synthesis lab that could be working out the mechanisms involved. Manchester is a good place to do chemistry, it's a large department with modern facilities.
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.snowflake.
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(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
Well as snowflake says, you don't/can't. Pretty much all my time after uni was spent doing lab reports that writing up and reading over lecture notes was abandoned. I need to try and be more organised and get it done.
I have managed to keep up with re-writing the majority of my lecture notes. But it was the fact I'd gone from one tutorial a week, to 2 one week, one the next and hence, twice as many tutorial problem sheets to do.

Edit: I think this is why employers love Chem graduates.
We know how to pull an all nighter, and then not crash the next day (sugar free red bull and coffee at the same time - godsend); know how to juggle a shedload of stuff, and still have clean underwear, count, spell, know how to make excel on a Mac work and not cry, multitask like a boss, get on with people,who you could quite happily slip some arsenic into their drink... how to prioritise. i.e as long as I get my lab reports, pre-lab stuff and these 2 tutorial problem sheets in on time, IT'S FINE. i'LL PANIC ABOUT HAVING LEGIBLE LECTURE NOTES ANOTHER DAY.
And we know that whatever the problem is, chocolate is the answer.
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BJack
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(Original post by ScottishShortiex)
Well as snowflake says, you don't/can't. Pretty much all my time after uni was spent doing lab reports that writing up and reading over lecture notes was abandoned. I need to try and be more organised and get it done.
I only had to do one lab a week for second and third year. Four a week seems really excessive!
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We have a hour maths class every week, which we get set work for in lectures. We have about 3 X 1 hour physics classes each term, again the work is set in lectures.

We have one tutorial a week (for a physical week we have 2), which is between 1 and 2.5 hours long (alternating, organic /inorganic /physical). We are set about 20 hour of work for each tutorial, it usually involves reading about 1/2 chapters of a massive doorstop book and making notes, then answering a problem sheet (harder than it sounds).

We also have to write up lap reports each week.
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