Changing course: KCL Biomedical Science VS Biochemistry VS Chemistry with Biomedicine

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Rumschpringe
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I'm currently applying for medical school.

For my fifth backup choice, I applied to study Biomedical Sciences at KCL, which I got an offer for.

I'm waiting for the results of two interviews for medicine, and if they're unsuccessful I'll be going to Kings.

As it's highly possible that I'll be doing my backup, I've just been thinking about the differences between courses.

I know that Kings let you transfer between different life science degrees in first year, as first year is the same for all courses.

I was wondering what the main differences between studying Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences were, and whether it makes a difference concerning job prospects etc

As my favourite subject is Chemistry at the moment, I was thinking that I might enjoy doing Chemistry with Biomedicine at Kings more than doing the other two. Is there anyone here on that course who can tell me about it? I know it's fairly new, so I'm not too sure if it's a good idea or not.

Also, do KCL allow someone with an offer for Biomedical science to transfer to Chemistry?

Should I bother contacting them now or should I leave it until I actually go there in September?

Thanks in advance!
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King’s College London
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Hi Rumschpringe,
Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I've talked to some academics in Biomedical Sciences to get you a thorough reply to your question and this is what Professor Roger Morris, Acting Head of Chemistry department has written for you:

KCL allows someone with an offer for Biomedical Sciences to transfer to Chemistry as long as they comply with the entry requirements for Chem with Biomed (AAB with A in Chem and Maths, or A Chem, A Physics and B in Maths) and if there is space in the course.

All the courses you mention are excellent, with strong employment prospects including high entry to medical school if that is what you want when you have finished your first degree. You should do what suits you best – you will enjoy it most, and do best in it.

Biomedical Science has a strong biological underpinning, There is no theoretical reason why GCAT is the genetic code – that is the result of evolution. Biological subjects including biochemistry study the consequences of evolution. Biochemistry is at the molecular end of this spectrum, studying how proteins, DNA and lipids interact, but not at the molecular level. If you like biology, and if you find the detailed understanding of chemistry, and its mathematical underpinning, too detailed for you, please do one of these courses.

Chemistry has the same theoretic underpinning as Physics – fundamental laws of matter from which the reactions of molecules, at the level of bond making and breaking, can be understood and predicted. These laws apply in all material worlds, living and dead. Chemistry differs from Physics in being primarily interested in matter – in making things, or understanding how things (like proteins in Alzheimer’s Disease) unmake themselves. If you like the molecular level of analysis of chemistry, are comfortable with Maths, and possibly have a practical bent (not all chemists enjoy making things, but many do), then you should do Chemistry.

And if Chemistry, why Chemistry with Biomedicine at King’s? In restarting a totally new course, we decided to keep the full rigour of a UK Chemistry degree. We meet the accreditation standards of the Royal Society of Chemistry, with strong inorganic (particularly metallo-organic) chemistry, strong quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, and complex organic reaction mechanisms and synthesis. We differ from ‘normal’ chemistry courses only in that we teach these increasingly in a biomedical context, culminating in the long project in the final MSci year which, with its supporting taught modules, applies chemistry to the biomedical areas in which King’s research is world-leading – medical imaging, pharmaceutical sciences, analytical and forensic science, chemical biology and biomaterials science. Our aim is to produce graduates who not only know chemistry, but can apply it in the myriad of biomedical applications. Our graduates will be not only eminently employable, but also very flexible in their career choices since they will have encountered so many different possible applications.

And at the immediate level, since the course started in 2012, all the laboratory equipment is new, and as the course is still building up its numbers, you will enjoy a degree of personal attention that is simply not possible on the well established courses.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Thanks!
Sabi
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Rumschpringe
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(Original post by King’s College London)
Chemistry has the same theoretic underpinning as Physics – fundamental laws of matter from which the reactions of molecules, at the level of bond making and breaking, can be understood and predicted. These laws apply in all material worlds, living and dead. Chemistry differs from Physics in being primarily interested in matter – in making things, or understanding how things (like proteins in Alzheimer’s Disease) unmake themselves. If you like the molecular level of analysis of chemistry, are comfortable with Maths, and possibly have a practical bent (not all chemists enjoy making things, but many do), then you should do Chemistry.

And if Chemistry, why Chemistry with Biomedicine at King’s? In restarting a totally new course, we decided to keep the full rigour of a UK Chemistry degree. We meet the accreditation standards of the Royal Society of Chemistry, with strong inorganic (particularly metallo-organic) chemistry, strong quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, and complex organic reaction mechanisms and synthesis. We differ from ‘normal’ chemistry courses only in that we teach these increasingly in a biomedical context, culminating in the long project in the final MSci year which, with its supporting taught modules, applies chemistry to the biomedical areas in which King’s research is world-leading – medical imaging, pharmaceutical sciences, analytical and forensic science, chemical biology and biomaterials science. Our aim is to produce graduates who not only know chemistry, but can apply it in the myriad of biomedical applications. Our graduates will be not only eminently employable, but also very flexible in their career choices since they will have encountered so many different possible applications.

And at the immediate level, since the course started in 2012, all the laboratory equipment is new, and as the course is still building up its numbers, you will enjoy a degree of personal attention that is simply not possible on the well established courses.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Thanks!
Sabi
Hi Sabi
Thank you very much for your reply.
I know I'm very late with my response (sorry!) but that helped a lot, especially in my current situation which is different from when I first posted these questions.

As I am originally a medicine applicant, both my firm and insurance choices are for medicine- I had to reject the offer from Kings. However if I do end up in clearing this August, I would very much like to look for any vacancies that KCL might have for the above subjects, particularly Chemistry. I understand that it is a new course with a fairly small number of students per year group; is there any possibility of the course being in clearing this August?
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