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    Hello!
    I'm a high school student interested in studying Biology at university level in a few years. I was wondering if anybody would be able to give me a run down of the different kinds of Biology courses available to applicants. I would also be grateful for any insight into careers after university.

    I know about a few types of courses already such as Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Animal Biology, Cell Biology etc. However, It would be great if I could get some info from actual biology students as well. I think I'd be less interested in Biochemistry as I don't currently study chemistry.

    Basically any info on Biology courses at university would be much appreciated as well as success stories from current students.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Purple_Skittle)
    Hello!
    I'm a high school student interested in studying Biology at university level in a few years. I was wondering if anybody would be able to give me a run down of the different kinds of Biology courses available to applicants. I would also be grateful for any insight into careers after university.

    I know about a few types of courses already such as Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Animal Biology, Cell Biology etc. However, It would be great if I could get some info from actual biology students as well. I think I'd be less interested in Biochemistry as I don't currently study chemistry.

    Basically any info on Biology courses at university would be much appreciated as well as success stories from current students.

    Thanks
    Hi, I don't study any of those courses, so others may have a different opinion to me, but I have done bits of them as part of my course, and they are interesting if you're interested in biology, but just take into account that things like cell biology/microbiology/biochemistry etc involve a lot of lab work, which can be very tedious, especially when you spend a lot of your course writing about variables and methods and analysing data using statistics etc rather than actual theoretical biology. This might be a rather misguided view of these courses though haha, but I know some people doing them and they often complain about how they have long days doing computer labs, and practicals that they have to write long lab reports about. But at the end of the day, if you're interested in biology, what choice do you have, you're not exactly going to go and study English or something :P
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    I study zoology (final year now) and I can tell you that even within zoology there's tonnes of different course. My course at St Andrews is very research based, which is wonderful if you want to work with top scientists. However if you want to do work in a zoo or do more animal care based things you want to look at zoology courses that cover that because it's very very difficult to get experience in the animal care field unless you're on a programme that requires it. Any questions just shoot!
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    [QUOTE=AortaStudyMore;68566874, what choice do you have, you're not exactly going to go and study English or something :P[/QUOTE]

    Funny you should say that actually as I'm sort of torn between science (Biology) and English!
    Thanks for the info though as I think the amount of lab work might vary depending on the university. It would definitely be something to take into consideration though!
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    (Original post by mb293)
    I study zoology (final year now) and I can tell you that even within zoology there's tonnes of different course. My course at St Andrews is very research based, which is wonderful if you want to work with top scientists. However if you want to do work in a zoo or do more animal care based things you want to look at zoology courses that cover that because it's very very difficult to get experience in the animal care field unless you're on a programme that requires it. Any questions just shoot!
    Thank you so much!
    Would you be able to tell me what the different career paths are after a Zoology degree as this option is sitting in the back of my mind.
    Also, Is that degree an MA or a Bachelor's?
    St Andrews is really cool too!
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    (Original post by Purple_Skittle)
    Thank you so much!
    Would you be able to tell me what the different career paths are after a Zoology degree as this option is sitting in the back of my mind.
    Also, Is that degree an MA or a Bachelor's?
    St Andrews is really cool too!
    Well zoology for us is very limited to be honest. Almost every zoology student in my year group (only 20 i think) are planning on masters/PhDs in research of a variety of forms e.g. conservation. This will involve mostly sitting at a desk doing computer research, and a lucky few will get to spend maybe a month or two doing data collection.
    However one girl is applying to do a wildlife film making masters, another is hoping to go into law for writing policy, a couple of others are hoping to go into science journalism and I think one guy is going to work directly for RSPB (but he's had the money to volunteer every summer with them for about 6 years!). I'd say those branching out into more non conformational routes are wealthier and have been able to get volunteer experience in their chosen careers. Unfortunately volunteer opportunities are few and therefore very competitive in zoology related fields. There are other options, for example a lot of what we do is statistical analysis and the skills you learn doing statistics and if you manage to do a PhD could later earn you a lucrative career in a analysis company. Also there are graduate science schemes in the NHS, although these are much more aimed at biomolecular science students and physics/chemistry graduates. Similarly job in the food industry (with the exception of things like researching pest control etc) are mainly aimed at molecular biologists. But its not impossible and at St Andrews there is plenty of module choice even within zoology that means you can take subjects on the side to help you open up your career choices, which is much better than most universities. Hence St Andrews has such a low drop out rate compared to most! I'm actually planning on changing my degree title to BSc Biology because although im not changing any modules, I think zoology related postgraduate things are not for me and I want to open up my options.

    However if you pick a zoology degree which is subtitled "animal science" you will likely be more involved in the care and conservation of animals directly. Therefore you are much more likely to be accepted by volunteer programmes with directly involve working with animals. Therefore you are also much more likely to get a job in the zoo industry which if that is what you want is great!

    Pre warning though, with the exception of law, almost no job related to biology will earn you any money!
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    That's quite interesting actually because I've always thought that scientists must earn a lot since they need a lot of funding for research projects but maybe this funding comes from bursaries or postgraduate schemes.

    What are the science facilities like at St Andrews? I've always thought of it as a good university for arts degrees as you can get an MA instead of a Bsc but I'm not sure about the science side of things.


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    (Original post by Purple_Skittle)
    That's quite interesting actually because I've always thought that scientists must earn a lot since they need a lot of funding for research projects but maybe this funding comes from bursaries or postgraduate schemes.

    What are the science facilities like at St Andrews? I've always thought of it as a good university for arts degrees as you can get an MA instead of a Bsc but I'm not sure about the science side of things.


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    Not at all, I know a few mid-thirty year olds who are still living on the same amount of money as I do in my undergraduate student loan. A few lucky ones will get more and this just depends on your sponsors, but all the money from grants goes into the research etc. Some of them do extra work on the side like some teaching so earn some extra money, but its not enough for them to live in St Andrews and live on their own. My supervisors however are now in their forties and fifties and do own their own home and have a car, I'm not sure how much money they have but I wouldn't say they're extravagant, they don't have children either so I suppose that has probably saved them some money!

    The science facilities are fantastic, we have a real mix of beautiful old buildings that have been home to some really famous people and key experiments that have been turning points in the scientific community. We also have two large modern buildings that house bimolecular sciences and medicine and we get taught in both and have labs in both too. The modern buildings are actually really cool with lovely views over the sea and really comfortable work spaces.

    If anything more space and money in St andrews is directed at science I would say. Furthermore the research going on in St Andrews is top of the pile, for example looking at innovate alzheimer's treatments, the latest in cognitive research in animals and humans alike. I would very much recommend it here.
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    Thank you for all of your lovely and detailed responses! 😊


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