ss77
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Hello,
I would just like to ask about whether I could switch from pharmacy to chemistry, considering I have an offer for pharmacy at UCL. Also, which is the better degree to take? I felt like pharmacy would give me better job prospects (even if it is getting more competitive) but I absolutely love chemistry at A level and feel it is by far my strongest subject. Thanks!
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alow
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The only people who can tell you that is UCL. Email the admissions people.
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Kvothe the Arcane
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(Original post by ss77)
Hello,
I would just like to ask about whether I could switch from pharmacy to chemistry, considering I have an offer for pharmacy at UCL. Also, which is the better degree to take? I felt like pharmacy would give me better job prospects (even if it is getting more competitive) but I absolutely love chemistry at A level and feel it is by far my strongest subject. Thanks!
A pharmacy degree is more akin to a degree in the biological sciences. You'll get a grounding in biochemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology and pharmacology as well training on the skills required to become a pharmacist. It's the only degree which will allow you to become a pharmacist despite sharing material from other life science courses.

Unless you want you become a pharmacist, pharmacy will likely offer you no advantages over Chemistry but with it you can apply for generic grad roles and it will open most of the doors that those who do bio-med type degrees will have. Although you might find that you require further post-graduate study. Chemistry is a solid degree programme and on the organic side of things, you will have the opportunity to do biological chemistry and if your interests change, there are parts of chemistry that are much like physics. Infact, I've seen Physics PhDs and Masters that allow applications from those with Chemistry degrees.

Consider the programmes and just think about what you'll enjoy studying. But unless you're sure about becoming a pharmacist, it may be worth further consideration.
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_NMcC_
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(Original post by ss77)
Hello,
I would just like to ask about whether I could switch from pharmacy to chemistry, considering I have an offer for pharmacy at UCL. Also, which is the better degree to take? I felt like pharmacy would give me better job prospects (even if it is getting more competitive) but I absolutely love chemistry at A level and feel it is by far my strongest subject. Thanks!
I can speak for Chemistry as a degree - doing it at QUB, loving every minute of it.

Chemistry is obviously a hard-science and is one that involves many different types of problem solving which is why It is a very well respected subject by employers from many different areas, not just scientific. Accountancy firms have been known to take Physics and Chemistry graduates, although I think you'll agree that dealing with money isn't as much fun as solving scientific problems!

If you are good at it, the options in Chemistry are endless.

-) Synthetic Organic/Organometallic Chemists are the backbone of Modern-day Medicine, there'll always be Jobs for them as the demand usually is much higher than the supply because more people tend to choose Medicine, Engineering and other more high paying subjects at A level over Pure Science subjects.

You can do a Ph.D then go to somewhere like the 'Golden Triangle', a University or one of the many Pharmaceutical Companies. There are a lot of Biomedical Scientists/Biochemists but not as many Synthetic Chemists around, so you would be very valuable. They are analogous to pure mathematicians. Mathematicians find proofs to conjectures, Chemists find synthetic routes to target molecules. It's probably one of the hardest areas of science but also one of the most enjoyable and rewarding. You could devise a cure to an aggressive form of cancer and potentially save millions of lives.

Look what a quick search on indeed brought up: https://www.indeed.co.uk/jobs?q=Synthetic+Chemist&l=

-) Analytical Chemists are in particular demand at the moment. NMR, GC-MS and IR spectroscopy are techniques that usually only Pure Chemistry students learn (alongside some biochemists). They are a particularly specialised set of skills that not so many people have and so you can be employed anywhere from Police Forensics to Toxicology, Water and Food safety. It's more a tricky game of deduction based on evidence presented in the form of spectra and mass data. Pretty good fun and you can often earn a decent salary from it.

here's one of many examples: https://zoek.uk/job/8df01af2b6a04493...&rx_medium=cpc

-) Inorganic chemistry at a Job level is split into Organometallic Chemistry which is like Applied Organic Chemistry, 'Pure' Inorganic which deals with synthesising and theorising about ligands and the dark-art of Catalysis which deals with the theory behind catalysts. You'll likely end up either in academia, alongside Organic Chemists or in the Chemical Industry, looking for catalysts that could save a Chemical Plant Millions in running costs by shortening processes.

Here's a job I found within 30 seconds:
https://www.srg.co.uk/jobs/j20849-ph...ampaign=Indeed

-) Materials Science, Nanotechnology and Physical Chemistry. These areas are more mathematical and often academic. You could end up making a material that ends up in e.g A fighter Jet. Nanotechnology is particularly interesting field at the moment as the recent Nobel Prize winners managed to create basic Machines that work on a Molecular level. This could open doors to new types of Medical research and computing, I think it will be huge in years to come.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molecular_machine

-) Teaching. As you may have noticed, the UK has currently has a chronic shortage of teachers that are specialised in particular Science subjects. Chemistry is high up on that list as many teachers tend to have to teach multiple subjects but don't have deep knowledge of one. The Government is offering good Scholarships for STEM subjects and Chemistry is one of them, see here:

https://getintoteaching.education.go...alary/overview

-) A lot of Climate Science Jobs take Chemists since it's often Chemistry that is of interest in the Atmosphere, your mathematical skills can also be put to good use. You can also be employed in crossover Biotech, Life Science and Medical research projects that are open usually to Biomed, Biochem and Chem graduates.

So to summarise with Chemistry you can go into:

. Academia
. Pharma
. Forensics
. Toxicology
. Climate Science/Global Warming research
. Biotechnology
. Medical crossover projects.
. Nanotechnology
. Catalysis
. Teaching

-) Wanna become a Medical Doctor afterwards? There are accelerated postgrad Medical programs across the UK open to STEM graduates. You generally need a 1st or a 2:1 in any science subject and a general interest in biology. http://www.medschools.ac.uk/Students.../Graduate.aspx


Pharmacy is more of a vocational subject designed to train people to dispense drugs for patients. They do learn basic Chemistry (they take 1st semester Orgo with us). I think at the higher levels it gets a bit more scientific but I can't guarantee it. I can't see them learning NMR or a Sigmatropic Organic Rearrangement for example! More to do with how drugs effect the body and pharmacology based stuff. I'll be slightly biased but I think you would be more limited with a Pharmacy Degree due to it's vocational nature i.e It's designed around a specific job-type. You learn more to do with dealing with patients in a clinical-sense rather than solving scientific problems. You would have a more direct route into a job in a community or NHS pharmacy. I have heard that it's very competitive and as a result, many universities inflate the grade requirements.

Here is a recent thread with a similar question: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...rimary_content

Best thing would be to speak to a Pharmacy Student or someone at UCl and see what they offer.

At the end of the day you usually only get one shot at a degree so choose it wisely, I can say that Chemistry is both an enjoyable, respected subject and one that offers you good job prospects. The only reason that more people don't do it is because science isn't centered around earning bucket loads of money. It's the epic quest for empirical knowledge about nature, both in the best interests of the Earth and Humanity.

This website is leading the Scientific rebellion against Trump and his cuts to Global Warming research:
https://www.marchforscience.com/
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HateChemistry
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Being a pharmacist is not an exciting job, you basically are working in a shop. The money is good but you are pretty much capped at 40k a year, also its a longer degree if you decided not to do a combined masters in chemistry.

You can of course go into other work I know pharmacists that work for pharmaceutical companies doing the lab stuff. But in that case chemistry will give you more options and freedom in career choice, you could work in science based industries or even get into finace if you want the big money.

The the potential problem with chemistry, there is a lot of maths and a lot of physics, that might be a good thing though if you like those topics. Alsothe more you learn, the less sense things begin to make, but thats quantum mechanics for you, accept it and move on.

It isn't until the second year until you start getting into the proper stuff and things start to come together.

Organic synthesis is not for everyone, its a bit like cooking you'll spend a long time watching solvents boil, and then there are those times you end up with a horrific mess that just doesn't want to dissolve in any type or amount of solvent. But there is the challenge of it that people enjoy.

Lab based work in industy however, wont make you the straight out of uni money a pharmcist would get as a pharmacist, not even a Phd in chemistry will get you the starting wage of a pharmacist unless you persue non science based careers, which is of course an option.
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