Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    I'm looking into what I would like to do at university and one of my options is biology.

    I'm just a bit worried that I enjoy the subject at A-level but won't like it so much at Degree level as I've been told it's more data, statistics based etc.

    I know this will vary between course to course at different Unis but does anyone know whether it just changes from more content/ about biology, to maths?

    The idea really puts me off as I can cope with a bit of maths as long as I'm taught it well but a lot of maths is a no go.
    • Community Assistant
    • Very Important Poster
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    Very Important Poster
    (Original post by germaineconroy)
    I'm looking into what I would like to do at university and one of my options is biology.

    I'm just a bit worried that I enjoy the subject at A-level but won't like it so much at Degree level as I've been told it's more data, statistics based etc.

    I know this will vary between course to course at different Unis but does anyone know whether it just changes from more content/ about biology, to maths?

    The idea really puts me off as I can cope with a bit of maths as long as I'm taught it well but a lot of maths is a no go.
    You will have to do a lot of statistical analysis but as Universities are often research driven, you'll inevitably do wet lab skills as well. Of the sciences, I think biology has the least maths. Although calculations are necessary. I wouldn't avoid it if being somewhat weak at maths is your only gripe.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    There was not much stats in my Biology course at all until final year. As you're doing research you have to be able to analyse the data you have gotten, however it's pretty straight forward and there's a lot of guidance.

    As far as how it differs from a-level, it just gets more complex and detailed. First and second year you learn about this complexity, for example in a cell all the different cell signaling pathways. Then third year they expect you to be able to understand original research papers, this is where you need to be able to look at figures and graphs and understand what they mean - e.g. inhibiting this enzyme caused this protein to decrease. I have really enjoyed my degree and I recommend it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    Okay that’s useful to know, I’ll still consider it then as I suppose I can work on statistics during the rest of my course anyway. Thanks!
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    Online

    17
    ReputationRep:
    there was a stats module but not for the most part. although if i'd used my stats skilled in my dissertation i'd have got a better mark as one of the multiple ways of incorporating originality into my work.

    Basically, degree-level biology is like A level on steroids. it's mostly intense memorisation (with the exception of some the most advanced topics in molecular)... you realise just how superficially you covered biology at A level and you delve into much, much greater depth. you laugh at how you thought you 'knew it' but you barely scratch the surface of detail at a level. similar otherwise though
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    xoelisee that’s interesting, where did you go if you don’t mind me asking?

    I really love biology at a level, so hopefully I would enjoy degree level too.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    I think it really depends on the university you're at in terms of how much maths you'll have to do. I'm currently a 2nd year biologist at Exeter and I love it - the breadth of stuff you can learn really makes up for any maths I have had to do (which isn't much at all and staff have been good at explaining how to do it)! Degree-level biology is a lot of learning, particularly in my first year, but the further you progress the less emphasis there is on memorisation and more on originality; how you'd analyse something, like the possible future of the field and make links between your modules etc. Also being around staff who genuinely love and are passionate about their subject is infectious. My A level biology experience was quite dry because it was just a generic specified curriculum - at uni you can choose what you study and it's being delivered by top experts in their field: if you enjoy A level you'll enjoy uni even more!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChocolateMelody)
    I think it really depends on the university you're at in terms of how much maths you'll have to do. I'm currently a 2nd year biologist at Exeter and I love it - the breadth of stuff you can learn really makes up for any maths I have had to do (which isn't much at all and staff have been good at explaining how to do it)! Degree-level biology is a lot of learning, particularly in my first year, but the further you progress the less emphasis there is on memorisation and more on originality; how you'd analyse something, like the possible future of the field and make links between your modules etc. Also being around staff who genuinely love and are passionate about their subject is infectious. My A level biology experience was quite dry because it was just a generic specified curriculum - at uni you can choose what you study and it's being delivered by top experts in their field: if you enjoy A level you'll enjoy uni even more!
    Thank you, that's a really helpful insight! I visited Exeter this past weekend. We only got to see two lecture theatres and not much of the rest of the campus but from what I did see it looked like a nice campus.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Hiya, I was in your position at A-level. I was good at and enjoyed Biology and A-level (although looking back I probably enjoyed it because I was good at it rather than just enjoying it for the sake of the subject).

    I'm currently in my second year studying Biology at uni and I HATE it. For me, it's probably more the structure of actual university I don't like (I doubt I'd enjoy any academic course!) however I haven't had many interesting modules (LOTS of genetics and cell structure/immunology).

    As for the maths...I got a U in AS maths. I am truly appalling at it. However I managed to get through first year okay. The trouble I'm finding is that now I have a stats module and I understand nothing. If you have to undertake a research project in third year (which most courses do require I think) then you'll have to to understand stats. If you can cope with a bit of maths and pick things up fairly quickly then you should be okay with it.

    The other thing to consider is how much you like this subject. You don't have to love all aspects of it but you will need some motivation and desire to do a lot of independent research and work. That applies to any subject though obviously
 
 
 
Poll
Do you like carrot cake?
Useful resources

Quick Link:

Unanswered Life Sciences Threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.