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    So, I would some advice on which of these courses would give me more options for work etc after I finish uni.
    • Pharmaceutical Science / Pharmaceutical Chemistry
    • Chemistry


    Also, I have a grade C in GCSE Maths - Would the maths involved in the course overwhelm me or is it not that hardcore?

    One last thing, I am studying a btec extended diploma in science - we cover bits from the as/a2 level chem courses but I was wondering would a foundation year be good so I can learn bits that we didn't cover or would I be fine without?

    Thanks x
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    (Original post by Ronhaar)
    So, I would some advice on which of these courses would give me more options for work etc after I finish uni.
    • Pharmaceutical Science / Pharmaceutical Chemistry
    • Chemistry


    Also, I have a grade C in GCSE Maths - Would the maths involved in the course overwhelm me or is it not that hardcore?
    It depends on which uni you studied it at. I will be studying chemistry at university next year, and I know all the lecturers and students say it gets quite mathematical, I know one of the reasons I got my offers was because of my further maths A-level.
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    Physics chemistry is horrendous for maths, and everything else is fine. If you don;t have a maths A-level then most universities now seem to offer a year-long module in your first year to cover the aspects you need. You don't have to fully understand all the maths behind phys chem, but you need to be able to calculate a lot of things on your own (i.e. be mathematically proficient and use that with your chemical understanding) mainly for lab work more than anything. Know how to use equations if you're given them, calculate moles and calculate concentrations - probably 90% of it. Make an effort in first year with it and you'll be okay. Lots of universities have central services for maths help anyway, so the support is there. They may be concerned by only having a C grade at GCSE however.

    Regarding foundation years - it could be a good idea. How many places will actually take you with just a science BTEC, have you checked? I imagine you'll be somewhat restricted so a foundation year would open more doors for you, and help you do better in the long term. It's probably a better option with your maths background (or lack thereof).

    Pharm vs. chemistry - up to you, really. You can go into the pharma industry as a medicinal chemist with a pure chemistry degree. Pharma courses will give you some more biological modules, and far less of the physical chemistry ones. By that, you'll still need mathematical proficiency but you're unlikely to face the ridiculous derivations that come up in straight phys chem. Undergraduate chemistry is very broad so it sort of covers you into any area of the chemical industry. If you definitely want to go into the pharmaceutical industry then a slightly more specialised background probably helps, but if you're not really that sure and think you might want to keep your options open then chemistry is a safer bet.
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    Physics chemistry is horrendous for maths, and everything else is fine. If you don;t have a maths A-level then most universities now seem to offer a year-long module in your first year to cover the aspects you need. You don't have to fully understand all the maths behind phys chem, but you need to be able to calculate a lot of things on your own (i.e. be mathematically proficient and use that with your chemical understanding) mainly for lab work more than anything. Know how to use equations if you're given them, calculate moles and calculate concentrations - probably 90% of it. Make an effort in first year with it and you'll be okay. Lots of universities have central services for maths help anyway, so the support is there. They may be concerned by only having a C grade at GCSE however.

    Regarding foundation years - it could be a good idea. How many places will actually take you with just a science BTEC, have you checked? I imagine you'll be somewhat restricted so a foundation year would open more doors for you, and help you do better in the long term. It's probably a better option with your maths background (or lack thereof).

    Pharm vs. chemistry - up to you, really. You can go into the pharma industry as a medicinal chemist with a pure chemistry degree. Pharma courses will give you some more biological modules, and far less of the physical chemistry ones. By that, you'll still need mathematical proficiency but you're unlikely to face the ridiculous derivations that come up in straight phys chem. Undergraduate chemistry is very broad so it sort of covers you into any area of the chemical industry. If you definitely want to go into the pharmaceutical industry then a slightly more specialised background probably helps, but if you're not really that sure and think you might want to keep your options open then chemistry is a safer bet.
    Thanks for the great response

    I contacted a few uni's asking if they accepted the btec science on its own and they said they did - but that was for a pharmaceutical science course.
    I've looked on UCAS very quickly and some uni's do accept the btec for the chemistry degree - I'll just have to look into it in more detail and then contact the uni's.

    We have learned how to calculate moles and concentrations. What is this year-long module that you mentioned?
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    (Original post by Ronhaar)
    Thanks for the great response

    I contacted a few uni's asking if they accepted the btec science on its own and they said they did - but that was for a pharmaceutical science course.
    I've looked on UCAS very quickly and some uni's do accept the btec for the chemistry degree - I'll just have to look into it in more detail and then contact the uni's.

    We have learned how to calculate moles and concentrations. What is this year-long module that you mentioned?
    The module varies between universities. My university (Sheffield) offers three types of maths modules - a full year covering everything you need if you don't have a-level, a one semester refresher if you do have a-level, or basically a year long engineering maths module if you're super keen. I know a few other places I looked at mentioned similar offerings so you'll just have to check out the module listings and course setup for wherever you apply.

    I had to do a physics module covering some AS/A2 content (like some mechanics, waves) because I didn't do it at a-level so first year usually contains a few non-chemistry modules to make sure you have some grounding in everything. There's sometimes fun stuff, like Sheffield offers a 'chemistry and the world around us' module, which goes through the chemistry behind paint, cosmetics, detergents, chocolate, ice cream etc. but again this varies by university. You can sometimes take modules outside of the department too (I did a German module).

    Stuff I vaguely remember being useful from a-level:
    organic chemistry - stuff like how to convert alcohols to aldehydes, ketones, esters etc. and the mechanisms; naming compounds correctly; general understanding of nucleophiles and electrophiles (identifying them); substitution, elimination, addition reactions; polarity of molecules and hydrogen bonding; NMR / IR / MS spectra analysis
    inorganic - trends mostly so ionisation energies, reactivity, atomic sizes and why
    physical - calculating rates of reaction (is it first order etc.), pH/acidity understanding, equilibria (calculating where it is and equilibrium constants, Le Chatelier principle), gibbs energy, enthalpy and entropy; energy reaction diagrams (activation energy, what catalysis does)

    That's everything off the top of my head for now, how much of it sounds familiar? if it's most of it then you could be alright without the foundation year
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    The module varies between universities. My university (Sheffield) offers three types of maths modules - a full year covering everything you need if you don't have a-level, a one semester refresher if you do have a-level, or basically a year long engineering maths module if you're super keen. I know a few other places I looked at mentioned similar offerings so you'll just have to check out the module listings and course setup for wherever you apply.

    I had to do a physics module covering some AS/A2 content (like some mechanics, waves) because I didn't do it at a-level so first year usually contains a few non-chemistry modules to make sure you have some grounding in everything. There's sometimes fun stuff, like Sheffield offers a 'chemistry and the world around us' module, which goes through the chemistry behind paint, cosmetics, detergents, chocolate, ice cream etc. but again this varies by university. You can sometimes take modules outside of the department too (I did a German module).

    Stuff I vaguely remember being useful from a-level:
    organic chemistry - stuff like how to convert alcohols to aldehydes, ketones, esters etc. and the mechanisms; naming compounds correctly; general understanding of nucleophiles and electrophiles (identifying them); substitution, elimination, addition reactions; polarity of molecules and hydrogen bonding; NMR / IR / MS spectra analysis
    inorganic - trends mostly so ionisation energies, reactivity, atomic sizes and why
    physical - calculating rates of reaction (is it first order etc.), pH/acidity understanding, equilibria (calculating where it is and equilibrium constants, Le Chatelier principle), gibbs energy, enthalpy and entropy; energy reaction diagrams (activation energy, what catalysis does)

    That's everything off the top of my head for now, how much of it sounds familiar? if it's most of it then you could be alright without the foundation year
    Most of it is sounding familiar but I have another year left on this course so I'm sure we will go through more of them. I'm going to do some self study of the as/a2 chem alongside my college course to refresh my memory of the things we are doing and then also learn the parts we haven't/won't touched upon. So, hopefully this should help me out.
    What do you think?
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    (Original post by Ronhaar)
    Most of it is sounding familiar but I have another year left on this course so I'm sure we will go through more of them. I'm going to do some self study of the as/a2 chem alongside my college course to refresh my memory of the things we are doing and then also learn the parts we haven't/won't touched upon. So, hopefully this should help me out.
    What do you think?
    I think you'll probably be alright then, you sound like you're willing to do the work to bridge any gaps so go for it.

    I'd try and look over some maths (differentiation, integration and logarithms) so you don't face too much of a shock later. I follow maths well enough, but physical chemistry is still by far my worst. My old housemate used to do best in physical chemistry though, and he didn't take a-level maths too so anything could happen
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    (Original post by Nymthae)
    I think you'll probably be alright then, you sound like you're willing to do the work to bridge any gaps so go for it.

    I'd try and look over some maths (differentiation, integration and logarithms) so you don't face too much of a shock later. I follow maths well enough, but physical chemistry is still by far my worst. My old housemate used to do best in physical chemistry though, and he didn't take a-level maths too so anything could happen
    Oh ok! Thanks for the help
 
 
 
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