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    Hi, I was wondering if anyone has previously done or is doing combined/joint honour and whether they found the course to be beneficial e.g. when applying for higher education or finding a job.

    I'm thinking of taking a BA degree in biology and computer science as the field I later want to get into is highly interdisciplinary but can't decide if I should just stick with a more traditional biochemistry degree or take the joint honours.

    Will the joint honours degree open up more doors or will it just be considered to lack enough depth?

    Would appreciate any advice/experience thanks.
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    (Original post by Valantina.R)
    Hi, I was wondering if anyone has previously done or is doing combined/joint honour and whether they found the course to be beneficial e.g. when applying for higher education or finding a job.

    I'm thinking of taking a BA degree in biology and computer science as the field I later want to get into is highly interdisciplinary but can't decide if I should just stick with a more traditional biochemistry degree or take the joint honours.

    Will the joint honours degree open up more doors or will it just be considered to lack enough depth?

    Would appreciate any advice/experience thanks.
    If you wanted to go into e.g. bioinformatics or similar, then it probably wouldn't be better or worse (it may be slightly better for specific projects where the supervisor wants a candidate with more of a programming background, but usually posts expect to either train computer scientists in basic molecular biology or biologists in basic programming). For applying to any other PhD programme in either of the two areas, you may well find yourself limited for some other projects.

    In terms of industry, they don't really care. You'll have biological laboratory experience, which is usually the main thing bioscience related industry roles are looking for, with the benefit of programming experience which may be a nice touch. For the CS/development side, it may limit some options but you'll probably still have a fair selection. You might find actually working in a development role a bit more challenging initially compared to a CS grad.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    If you wanted to go into e.g. bioinformatics or similar, then it probably wouldn't be better or worse (it may be slightly better for specific projects where the supervisor wants a candidate with more of a programming background, but usually posts expect to either train computer scientists in basic molecular biology or biologists in basic programming). For applying to any other PhD programme in either of the two areas, you may well find yourself limited for some other projects.

    In terms of industry, they don't really care. You'll have biological laboratory experience, which is usually the main thing bioscience related industry roles are looking for, with the benefit of programming experience which may be a nice touch. For the CS/development side, it may limit some options but you'll probably still have a fair selection. You might find actually working in a development role a bit more challenging initially compared to a CS grad.
    Thanks for the reply. I'm acctually interested in synthetic bio and bioengenering which require knowledge in a few different areas. would taking joint honours be a good idea when wanting to go into a fairly new, research intense area
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    (Original post by Valantina.R)
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    Thanks for the reply. I'm acctually interested in synthetic bio and bioengenering which require knowledge in a few different areas. would taking joint honours be a good idea when wanting to go into a fairly new, research intense area
    Assuming you're going to pursue a PhD (which, you may not be thinking of now, but may well do so down the line if this area is your specific interest) I doubt it'll make much difference. Doing a "pure" bioscience course (probably something more fundamental i.e. Biochemistry/Molecular Biology side) and just doing programming projects on your own outside, and doing computational work in any independent study/project modules (such as your dissertation) would be more than sufficient.

    As above, such PhD training programmes do often have "routes" for engineers or physical/computer scientists anyway, so having a background in this may be suitable as well. As such, the joint honours doesn't add anything, but unless you change direction then it shouldn't detract either.

    If you're interested in both areas, and believe you can sustain academic study of both, rather than doing one and subspecialising in that in later years and/or doing additional work extracurricularly (either as teaching yourself programming and doing self driven programming projects or going to programming events/competitions, and/or doing summer projects with faculty, funded or unfunded - there are usually funded opportunities by the EPSRC, and sometimes by the BBSRC), then go for it. If you would be just as happy with the latter and don't want to fully commit to the middle path (which cuts you off from some of the side paths on either individual subject) then doing a single honours may worth considering.

    Essentially, there isn't a wrong answer - just what's wrong for you. Be aware, it's an unusual combination so some universities may not offer a relevant joint honours. Others may offer a relevant programme but as a subspecialism of a single honours (or as close to single honours as possible - for example Cambridge NatSci doing Part III Systems Biology, which accepts NatSci students from biological and physical backgrounds to my knowledge, and sometimes Maths/CS as well).
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Assuming you're going to pursue a PhD (which, you may not be thinking of now, but may well do so down the line if this area is your specific interest) I doubt it'll make much difference. Doing a "pure" bioscience course (probably something more fundamental i.e. Biochemistry/Molecular Biology side) and just doing programming projects on your own outside, and doing computational work in any independent study/project modules (such as your dissertation) would be more than sufficient.

    As above, such PhD training programmes do often have "routes" for engineers or physical/computer scientists anyway, so having a background in this may be suitable as well. As such, the joint honours doesn't add anything, but unless you change direction then it shouldn't detract either.

    If you're interested in both areas, and believe you can sustain academic study of both, rather than doing one and subspecialising in that in later years and/or doing additional work extracurricularly (either as teaching yourself programming and doing self driven programming projects or going to programming events/competitions, and/or doing summer projects with faculty, funded or unfunded - there are usually funded opportunities by the EPSRC, and sometimes by the BBSRC), then go for it. If you would be just as happy with the latter and don't want to fully commit to the middle path (which cuts you off from some of the side paths on either individual subject) then doing a single honours may worth considering.

    Essentially, there isn't a wrong answer - just what's wrong for you. Be aware, it's an unusual combination so some universities may not offer a relevant joint honours. Others may offer a relevant programme but as a subspecialism of a single honours (or as close to single honours as possible - for example Cambridge NatSci doing Part III Systems Biology, which accepts NatSci students from biological and physical backgrounds to my knowledge, and sometimes Maths/CS as well).
    A PhD is something iv taken into consideration especially if I do single honour in biochemistry, I feel as though ill have to specialise more before being perceived as employable to a majority of jobs out there.

    I suppose having a lot of interest in both subject areas has lead me to this predicament of whether I should take both or take the subject I'll be better at. considering there are all these resources such as the programming events/competitions and boot camps (where you can gain experience), would you consider a degree in computer science not having as much value as it previously had?

    And a few unis do offer the two subjects together but more in the context of a NatSci course.
 
 
 
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