Has anyone done/ is doing medicine without A level biology, and if so how hard is it?

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JordanStewart
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I would like to know, and also how hard do you think it would be without biology?
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JordanStewart
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(Original post by VirgoStrain)
Not too hard I imagine. But you are restricted to a smaller choice, as some unis require biology. You’re not restricted from oxbridge funnily enough.
yeah that had me baffled, like its the last place id expect there to be leaniency
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manlike99
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My friend didn't do A level Biology and he is currently struggling
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QuantumSnowy
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From what I've heard the reason biology isn't a requirement is because they teach it from scratch at uni, not wanting to risk anyone being deficient in any aspect of the subject what with exam board having different syllabuses and all. In addition A-level biology probably isn't as rigorous as they would like, so they have to revisit everything to make sure for certain that everyone knows the bare minimum.
What this means is that strictly speaking, you don't need to have done any biology beforehand, because they teach it from scratch. They will however teach at a pretty decent pace, as almost everyone will have two years of biology experience. Its likely you will struggle without biology a level.
In addition you'll probably have to have a good answer to the question 'Why do you want to do medicine if you don't even do biology A-level?'

Its obviously possible to do it, but its probably quite a hard way round...
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Want_To_Achieve
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(Original post by JordanStewart)
I would like to know, and also how hard do you think it would be without biology?
The course will have Biology elements so you will need to catch up on your A Level Biology before the course starts. The course is content heavy I assume (as it is pretty much the hardest degree course you can do at undergraduate level) so if you learn the essentials in A Level Biology (excluding plants and sand dunes,etc) then it will make it easy for you once you get to University.
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Blazingphoenix
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I think most unis (mine certainly does) do like a 'catch up' module during the first couple of weeks. It's to get all the students to the same level of knowledge as content varies between exam boards. And even then, the biology covered up to now goes beyond the content of a level that in some sense previous knowledge isn't going to be a great help (plus some a level stuff are 'not true'). Hence why some unis do not require biology.

That said, not having biology is going to limit your options greatly. Based on info I can remember for entry during modular A levels, you can throw out Birmingham, BSMS, Cardiff, Exeter, Hull-York, Imperial, King's, Lancaster, Leicester, Liverpool, UEA (Norwich), Nottingham, Southampton, St George's and UCL. Of the ~30 medical school, that's half gone! So really consider if that is the wisest option.

Not to mention that some of the remaining unis have very high weighting on other aspects. Bristol needs a VERY good personal statement on why medicine (and judging from another thread you have, medicine may not be on the forefront of your mind at the moment), Newcastle almost always have ridiculously high UKCAT thresholds (except for that one glitch year...), Keele LOVES their Roles and Responsibilities form (plus they are one of the few unis now asking for A*AA). So yeah, consider your options.
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viddy9
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From what I have heard, it's certainly do-able, but can be a struggle. It's not ideal, but many people (obviously) have become doctors without doing A-Level Biology. In other words, it's possible to pass, and pass well.
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Cheesychips1
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Im a final year; they definitely DON'T teach you everything from scratch, there's quite a lot of assumed knowledge which is why I think people get stressed with extra reading when they first start.
As mentioned, it limits your choices and you'll have to play catch up. My med school offers remedial sessions in the first term for people who didn't do Bio.

So its certainly doable but you might feel a bit flummoxed in the first few lectures - just as an aside, my a-level bio knowledge proved much more useful than any chemistry I learnt
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viddy9
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(Original post by Cheesychips44)
just as an aside, my a-level bio knowledge proved much more useful than any chemistry I learnt
Completely agree with this. A-Level Biology has easily been more useful for me.
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JordanStewart
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(Original post by Cheesychips44)
Im a final year; they definitely DON'T teach you everything from scratch, there's quite a lot of assumed knowledge which is why I think people get stressed with extra reading when they first start.
As mentioned, it limits your choices and you'll have to play catch up. My med school offers remedial sessions in the first term for people who didn't do Bio.

So its certainly doable but you might feel a bit flummoxed in the first few lectures - just as an aside, my a-level bio knowledge proved much more useful than any chemistry I learnt
Which medical school do you go to?
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Angury
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(Original post by JordanStewart)
I would like to know, and also how hard do you think it would be without biology?
I have several friends who went through medical school without having done A Level Biology and are good doctors. How hard medicine will be without A Level Biology depends on how hard you are willing to work. I don't think it necessarily puts you at a disadvantage. We covered most of the relevant stuff from A Level Biology in first year anyway, and to be honest I found my other A Level subjects (Chemistry & Psychology) to be more useful for medicine than Biology itself.
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Want_To_Achieve
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(Original post by Cheesychips44)
Im a final year; they definitely DON'T teach you everything from scratch, there's quite a lot of assumed knowledge which is why I think people get stressed with extra reading when they first start.
As mentioned, it limits your choices and you'll have to play catch up. My med school offers remedial sessions in the first term for people who didn't do Bio.

So its certainly doable but you might feel a bit flummoxed in the first few lectures - just as an aside, my a-level bio knowledge proved much more useful than any chemistry I learnt
Yeah without Biology it must be hard to cope with understanding things in medicine.Yes you have Chemistry but Biology is also, if not more needed to succeded in a medicine degree.
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JordanStewart
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(Original post by Angury)
I have several friends who went through medical school without having done A Level Biology and are good doctors. How hard medicine will be without A Level Biology depends on how hard you are willing to work. I don't think it necessarily puts you at a disadvantage. We covered most of the relevant stuff from A Level Biology in first year anyway, and to be honest I found my other A Level subjects (Chemistry & Psychology) to be more useful for medicine than Biology itself.
Thanks
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N/A IS THE NAME
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Its just applying to the best unis that will allow this
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Blazingphoenix
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https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/fil...ok_final_1.pdf

So I just found this and thought it was an interesting find. For Edinburgh, they will actually award you MORE points for having Biology at A Level than without. And that could make the difference between an offer and a rejection. I know its not directly related to your question, but its still slightly relevant.
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Want_To_Achieve
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(Original post by Blazingphoenix)
https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/fil...ok_final_1.pdf

So I just found this and thought it was an interesting find. For Edinburgh, they will actually award you MORE points for having Biology at A Level than without. And that could make the difference between an offer and a rejection. I know its not directly related to your question, but its still slightly relevant.
That's messed up. They shouldn't dn this as not every A Level student makes the right choices and might not pick Biology. They should have leniency for those not doing A Level Biology.
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Blazingphoenix
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(Original post by Want_To_Achieve)
That's messed up. They shouldn't dn this as not every A Level student makes the right choices and might not pick Biology. They should have leniency for those not doing A Level Biology.
Actually, its pretty funny because a couple of years ago in 2013 (in the old forgotten age of modular A levels...) again at Edinburgh, it was actually better to score a B in your 4th AS level that was not Biology (1 point for Biology, 2 points for any other science and 3 points for a non-science).

Make of that what you will.
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Want_To_Achieve
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(Original post by Blazingphoenix)
Actually, its pretty funny because a couple of years ago in 2013 (in the old forgotten age of modular A levels...) again at Edinburgh, it was actually better to score a B in your 4th AS level that was not Biology (1 point for Biology, 2 points for any other science and 3 points for a non-science).

Make of that what you will.
Edinburgh is messed up. Don't bother applying to there
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Blazingphoenix
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(Original post by Want_To_Achieve)
Edinburgh is messed up. Don't bother applying to there
Nah, it's a lovely city. Besides, getting off topic.
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Want_To_Achieve
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(Original post by Blazingphoenix)
Nah, it's a lovely city. Besides, getting off topic.
Yeah. To the OP, look at other Universities like Newcastle that accept students without Biology. If you are unsuccessful in getting into any universities then apply for a course like Biomedical sciences or Pharmacy,etc. You can apply for graduate entry (it is very difficult to get into) or you might be interested in other courses like Pharmacy, Biomedical Sciences,etc. Also, I know that at Newcastle University they have a transfer option for people on courses like Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry,etc on the first year which is better if you don't want to wait until 3 years have passed and you have already completed your degree.
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