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Im thinking of doing the IB and want to do an engineering/physics or biochemistry/ chemistry degree currently i am a A* in Physics and A in Bio and chemistry GCSEs. At the moment i do not have a high enough grade for higher maths so i will have to do it at standard. Would i be better off doing Higher physics and chemistry with standard maths (that way i can do biochemistry or chemistry and still have the opportunity for engineering with the standard maths), or do i do higher biology and chemistry with standard maths to make myself more attractive if i apply for biochemistry and completely dump the idea of engineering/physics? I've been trying really hard to get my maths grade up but to no avail, i am only a B (A/A* needed, 8 in the new GCSE). Physics is my favourite science so deciding to drop it for IB will not be easy, especially as i have such a high grade in it and my physics teacher is strongly suggesting i do so.

Secondly, in my IB options i have to take a humanity (from philosophy, history, psychology, anthropology etc.). Is there a humanity which will work well with biology and chemistry if i do go for a biochem degree? If not i will probably do philosophy or politics.

Any help is appreciated, thank you!
Last edited by hjw02; 2 years ago
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Report 2 years ago
Generally you will need HL Maths for engineering or physics courses - SL will very rarely be acceptable. However, there are endless numbers of these courses available with a foundation year for those who didn't take the "right" subjects in school to continue to a degree in them, so if you just focus on doing very well in SL Maths and HL Physics and decide you want to pursue that area still, it will remain an option (and you'll be very well prepared to do well in the foundation year as well).

Most bioscience courses are also available with such a foundation as well, incidentally. I would note, in the UK at least however, biochemistry degrees are very rarely "chemistry applied to biology"; they are molecular/cell biology degrees focusing on the foundations of modern molecular biosciences. You will as such cover some chemistry in these courses to support understanding those areas, but you aren't going to be learning detailed reaction mechanisms on most courses, and will be more focused on e.g. metabolic pathways and protein structure and function. If you want to focus on the chemical principles, then you should be looking at chemistry degrees which will normally include a minimal amount of biological chemistry/chemical biology (and many have a wide range of options in these areas to specialise in later, and options to take courses in molecular biology/biochemistry as described above).

For your second science, I would suggest the one you are most interested in and strongest at. If that is physics, take physics; it's still relevant for chemistry generally. As far as humanities go, pick whichever you find most interesting and/or think you can do best in. Consider the humanities option as more a chance to take something complementary to have a bit of a break from all your science work; invariably you will be able to forge links between the subjects, if you are interested and motivated enough for it.

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