Biochemistry or biomedical science? Help! Watch

chloee_x
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I am debating between these 2 degrees. I want to do the degree which gives you more jobs that are labatory based. Which degree gives more job opportunities? Can you become specialised with biomed degree and does it give you more opportunities to get a higher pay?

Looking on the NHS biochemists get a higher pay. What is the actual difference in the work biochemists and biomedical scientists do in the nhs?

Thanks!
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23klm12
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so a biomedical science degree enables you to do the entire degree then when you do your portfolio you can go into a specific area say microbiology, biochemistry, virology etc.

biochemistry i assume you can only do biochemistry.

i arent too sure wether your biochemistry degree would be acredited by the ibms? if nto then you would need to do top ups, then omplete a portfolio until you could be employed as a biomedical scientist in biochemistry.

try speaking to your local labs, i work in a biochem lab, and tbh even with my accredited degree, and a years lab experience i can only get a band 2 job until my portfolio is complete, and even then i wont get a pay rise until another job comes up i apply and am succesful.

if you choose to do biomed i would strongly recommend choosing a 4 year programme which includes a placement year and completion of your portfolio
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chloee_x
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(Original post by 23klm12)
so a biomedical science degree enables you to do the entire degree then when you do your portfolio you can go into a specific area say microbiology, biochemistry, virology etc.

biochemistry i assume you can only do biochemistry.

i arent too sure wether your biochemistry degree would be acredited by the ibms? if nto then you would need to do top ups, then omplete a portfolio until you could be employed as a biomedical scientist in biochemistry.

try speaking to your local labs, i work in a biochem lab, and tbh even with my accredited degree, and a years lab experience i can only get a band 2 job until my portfolio is complete, and even then i wont get a pay rise until another job comes up i apply and am succesful.

if you choose to do biomed i would strongly recommend choosing a 4 year programme which includes a placement year and completion of your portfolio
I was looking at an accredited biomedical science degree, does biochemistry have to be accredited also?

Which would give more opportunity to work up bands? I am aware biochemists start on a higher salary, but is there a big difference between a work a biochemist and a biomed scientist does would you say?

If you wanted to become specialised like with virology etc, do you have to do extra studying after your degree?

Thanks
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23klm12
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if you wanted to do your portfolio then yes it would have to be accredited.

so basically to work up the bands if you do a 4 year degree with placement then you come out of uni with an accredited degree and REGISTERED . if you come out of a 3 year with an accredited degree you need to do your portfolio to become registered (its all quite confusing at first) you cant work as a band 5/6 biomed until you are registered.

to work up the bands its all a case of luck tbh unless you get onto the STP programme (very competetive) in which case portfolio is irrelevant. you have to have the right experience, job has to come up then apply. in theory it seems quite easy, but i had been an employee for a long time and missed out on moving up the next band to something REALLY stupid. theres a lot of unrest in the labs im in as people working at lower bands (i.e band 2 and 3) do the same a lot of the 4's and 5's do, just they have you over a barrel if there arent the jobs you cant apply! the general feeling is this is the same throughout the NHS.

Also when i started my degree it was almost a dead certain of employment after graduation, yet now, its not as so many people did biomed in the past few years theres definately more grads then jobs.

Also people who do get the jobs (even entry level) are often mor equalified than the position would generally require.

Ive just been offered another band 2 for example (which theoretically you can get straight from GSCE's) and I only narrowly got it due to having a years work experience in the labs.

Bichem is much more of a niche market, so if you know thats what you deff want to do than i would do it as its mroe focussed as such what appeals to you about the careers if you dont mind me asking?


sorry the specialised bit, again it depends where youve done your portfolio and the experience you have as to which bit you work in. ie virology histo

also have you looked at the actual individual modules of the degrees in question? I hated my biochem modules, but i actually dont mind the biochem lab work xx
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C=N-R
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I would say biomedical science because you can specialise in biochemistry, but in order for you to earn a decent wage then you will most definitely need to undertake a Ph.D in your chosen area, and even at that, the pay isn't great. If you are worried about high pay then I'm afraid none of those will give you that. (At least 7-8 years of studying + lab experience to secure a post-doctoral type job)
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chloee_x
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Thanks so much for your information ^

So does doing a years placement mean you can be registered? And i see what you mean theres more grads than jobs, so im not sure whether its worth it. I think im more interested in Biochemistry thinking about it as i really enjoy chemistry and science at molecular level.

Im interested in those careers because i really like science and the work sounds really interesting. Would you say you enjoy your work is interesting? (I dont know anyone who does this type of work to ask haha!)
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chloee_x
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(Original post by C-Rooney)
I would say biomedical science because you can specialise in biochemistry, but in order for you to earn a decent wage then you will most definitely need to undertake a Ph.D in your chosen area, and even at that, the pay isn't great. If you are worried about high pay then I'm afraid none of those will give you that. (At least 7-8 years of studying + lab experience to secure a post-doctoral type job)
I see what your saying, ive thought about a chemistry degree would you say i could use more with that? Im torn between biochem/biomed or chemistry
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23klm12
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(Original post by chloee_x)
I see what your saying, ive thought about a chemistry degree would you say i could use more with that? Im torn between biochem/biomed or chemistry
far from interesting, majority of things are really boring and mundane in all honesty, a lots automated so not great. Really NOT what i expected, histopathology labs are really interesting, but biochem the majority of stuff just goes on the analyser then that pulls it off or flags it up then the higher banded biomeds need to look at the results and report. I suppose its more interesting the higher you are, but I agree with the other gent who wrote ^^ about not been able to earn a lot without all of what he stated, and even then theres no guarantee

Ive just been offered a job in the thetres which i intend to take and hopefully train in perfusion as i cannot bear the thought of been in there forever lol.

and yes most of the courses with a placement year enable you to complete your portfolio during that time and hence become registered, the four eyar one is also funded by the NHS. (well @ hull it is anyway haaha )
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C=N-R
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(Original post by chloee_x)
I see what your saying, ive thought about a chemistry degree would you say i could use more with that? Im torn between biochem/biomed or chemistry
All of those degrees will have similar outcomes, but if you're passionate enough about them then I'm sure you will have no problem studying at the highest level. As said above, STP is highly competitive, but you're guaranteed a job. If you study for a degree in biomedical science, chemistry or biochem, then all you need is a minimum of 2.2 in order to be eligible to apply. (I'm sure that you're paid whilst undertaking your three years STP training towards an accredited masters degree) you can also study for a masters at uni, and then apply to (HSST) which is a doctoral training programme, and you can progress even higher from there.

http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore...-and-training/

You will find loads of information about careers there.

I'm still an undergraduate Neuroscience student so I have also looked into (STP/HSST)

I hope all of that helps!
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chloee_x
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Wow! I thought it would be very interesting. Thats good to know. So is the pay worth what work you have to do? Do biomedical scientists deal with blood samples etc?

And yeah, thing is with the STP masters degree etc is that it takes time and im not sure whether its worth it if you get what i mean. Thanks for the link, i really appreciate all the help you both have given me!
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23klm12
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(Original post by chloee_x)
Wow! I thought it would be very interesting. Thats good to know. So is the pay worth what work you have to do? Do biomedical scientists deal with blood samples etc?

And yeah, thing is with the STP masters degree etc is that it takes time and im not sure whether its worth it if you get what i mean. Thanks for the link, i really appreciate all the help you both have given me!

trust me STP and masters is much quicker than working your way up in labs hence why its so competetive. and yep biomed area in which i work is dealing with the blood samples
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C=N-R
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(Original post by 23klm12)
trust me STP and masters is much quicker than working your way up in labs hence why its so competetive. and yep biomed area in which i work is dealing with the blood samples
I totally agree! I would say that 3/4 years at uni (depending on what country you're in) and an extra year for a Masters then apply to the HSST would be the most rewarding pathway. Or, 3/4 years at uni and then apply to the STP. Some of those who pursue a Ph.d in chemistry/biochemistry tend to spend all of their lives passionately researching and exploring possibilities of something unknown or lecture at top universities.
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chloee_x
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(Original post by C-Rooney)
I totally agree! I would say that 3/4 years at uni (depending on what country you're in) and an extra year for a Masters then apply to the HSST would be the most rewarding pathway. Or, 3/4 years at uni and then apply to the STP. Some of those who pursue a Ph.d in chemistry/biochemistry tend to spend all of their lives passionately researching and exploring possibilities of something unknown or lecture at top universities.
Ah i see, so can you do STP at any university after completing a 4 year degree? Would it also be best to get an accredited degree??

Also would you say theres other jobs outside the NHS such as pharmaceutical companies with a biomed or biochem degree or do you have to have biochem to work in pharmaceutical?
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C=N-R
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(Original post by chloee_x)
Ah i see, so can you do STP at any university after completing a 4 year degree? Would it also be best to get an accredited degree??

Also would you say theres other jobs outside the NHS such as pharmaceutical companies with a biomed or biochem degree or do you have to have biochem to work in pharmaceutical?
An accredited degree would be one that is relative to pure science. (Biochemistry would be perfect) upon completion of your degree, you would apply through the NHS. There are a list of universities that offer these specialised degrees that run in conjunction with the STP. (STP is a work-based training programme, you will also attend university) training salary is 25k I think.

There are jobs out-with the NHS, but as said above, years of study + lab experience is essential. If you want to go into pharmaceutical research then chemistry would be the most relevant degree - Undergraduate/postgraduate.

The problem with these types of jobs is that sometimes a degree isn't enough, they want you to have a qualification beyond a BSc and lab experience. 23klm12 would be able to elaborate more as he/she works in a lab.
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23klm12
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Sorry, didnt get chance to pop on last night!

http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore...ogramme-(stp)/

thats the stp link - not sure wether c-rooney allready provided you with it! its a really good programme but i think you also have to be willing to move anywhere as the places arent always near you!

ive had interviews for a pharma company, at a medical sales place and Reckitts. Even for the plain "assistant" jobs i was competing against applicants with Phds and masters!

You will notice when you get to uni, the reason is most probably because although a biomed degree is rather specialised, compared to say a degree in education, the actual modules are quite "vast" there is so much to know about these specialised things that most modules end up been a whistle stop tour.
So to have the skills and knowledge specific to certain jobs in enough detail, a masters or phd is usually required.

I hope that makes some sense...it did in my head - not too sure on screen!

Personally ive found a chemistry based degree to be much mroe desirable when i have been applying for jobs, biomed they like, but most companies specify a chemistry based degree (well wat ive applied to) they seem to prefer the in depth knowledge it supplies.

Have you considered pharmaceuticals or pharmaceutical science? That has a lot of lab options, both in the NHS and private, with excellent earning potential!
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chloee_x
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Thanks for the link!

So Basically even the assistant jobs have people with PHDs applying? Wow haha.

If i did chemistry are there any jobs in the NHS that require chemistry? And i see what youre saying about biomed, basically i just wondered out of chemistry, biomed and biochem which would give you the most opportunity to work in a lab and that. Ive considered research but ive been told theres not that many jobs which i completely agree with. Im better at chemistry than biology, so i dont even know if id get to do biomed haha. (And yep it does make sense what youre saying!)

I just dont know out of the 3 ive said would give me the better opportunity to work in lab/research kind of background, and which would be the most useful to me as like you said some jobs that they lead to you have to move away for!
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C=N-R
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(Original post by chloee_x)
Thanks for the link!

So Basically even the assistant jobs have people with PHDs applying? Wow haha.

If i did chemistry are there any jobs in the NHS that require chemistry? And i see what youre saying about biomed, basically i just wondered out of chemistry, biomed and biochem which would give you the most opportunity to work in a lab and that. Ive considered research but ive been told theres not that many jobs which i completely agree with. Im better at chemistry than biology, so i dont even know if id get to do biomed haha. (And yep it does make sense what youre saying!)

I just dont know out of the 3 ive said would give me the better opportunity to work in lab/research kind of background, and which would be the most useful to me as like you said some jobs that they lead to you have to move away for!
That would really depend on which type of work you enjoy most? I think chemistry would open more doors than biochemistry. (Not 100% sure on that though.) chemistry/biochemistry are both desirable in lab work.
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chloee_x
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(Original post by C-Rooney)
That would really depend on which type of work you enjoy most? I think chemistry would open more doors than biochemistry. (Not 100% sure on that though.) chemistry/biochemistry are both desirable in lab work.
I think i would enjoy work like biochemists do in the NHS and working for pharmaceutical companies, i just dont know which degree would give me better pay. Is biochemistry better than biomedical science?
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C=N-R
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(Original post by chloee_x)
I think i would enjoy work like biochemists do in the NHS and working for pharmaceutical companies, i just dont know which degree would give me better pay. Is biochemistry better than biomedical science?
Biomedical scientists tend to work in hospitals so I would go as far as saying that they're the higher paid people, but again, it's really down to experience and who you're employed by and what position you apply for.

A Phd biochemist can work in research and earn 30k a year whilst another biochemist can lecture at a university + tutor students and earn 60k a year, or a biochemist can enter a training programme within the NHS and work their way up the ladder to earn 80k+ a year. All in all, it really depends on what you do with your qualification as opposed to what qualification would be best or most relevant in this case.
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chloee_x
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(Original post by C-Rooney)
Biomedical scientists tend to work in hospitals so I would go as far as saying that they're the higher paid people, but again, it's really down to experience and who you're employed by and what position you apply for.

A Phd biochemist can work in research and earn 30k a year whilst another biochemist can lecture at a university + tutor students and earn 60k a year, or a biochemist can enter a training programme within the NHS and work their way up the ladder to earn 80k+ a year. All in all, it really depends on what you do with your qualification as opposed to what qualification would be best or most relevant in this case.
I had a look at a clinical biochemist in the NHS and they seemed to earn more (unless ive looked at it wrong)
And i see what you mean, if i did biochemistry would i have a better chance of going into pharmaceuticals /science based industries? I think its bettwenn biochemistry and chemistry i think
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