rosemaguire
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Bit of context: I am in Y12 currently take biology chemistry and maths for my A levels. I think I want to go into biochemistry but I really don't know where to start with choosing a university.
Predicted grades AAA*-A*A*A*
I have had a look at imperial and oxford bu not sure where else to look.
Any help will be much much much appreciated
Thanks xxx
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artful_lounger
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Cambridge, UCL, Edinburgh, Glasgow may all be worth considering. UCL has some options to allow you to specialise more in molecular biology or cell biology from 2nd/3rd year onwards from the biochemistry course as well.

Cambridge in particular, since Biochemistry is one of the largest bioscience departments there in of itself, and if you consider the wider range of connected research institutes like the Gurdon, Centre for Stem Cell Research, Laboratory for Molecular Biology, CRUK etc, has a very broad range of research being done. Cambridge is also the "birthplace" of molecular biology as well.

The NatSci format caters well for Biochemistry due to how wide ranging and potentially itnerdisciplinary the subject is, as it allows you to then in addition to the more fundamental bioscience courses that are the background of biochemistry (biology of cells in y1, cell & developmental biology and biochemistry & molecular biology in y2) you can take other options. Some relevant areas they offer are more "biomedical" areas (e.g. physiology and related things, relevant if you're more interested in e.g. developmental or cancer biology), more chemistry, or something like plant science or animal biology (since quite a few major biochemical processes were identified in plants or non-human animals first, then generalised to other organisms). You can also specialise in systems biology in the 4th year (after a year of specialising in e.g. biochemistry), if you're more mathematically oriented.

Other NatSci courses might also be worth considering in that sense, although the Cambridge format allows for I think more depth and breadth than most - so you would have a similar background in biochemistry as someone who did a single honours course, but with additional breadth in some supporting area(s) which as above, is useful in such a broad and interdisciplinary field. However, you may still want to look into courses at e.g. Durham for NatSci as well.
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rosemaguire
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Thank you so much!! Would you happen to know anything about the job opportunities after doing a biochemistry degree. Sorry for the numerous questions
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swanseajack1
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I list below CUG rankings for Biological science to try to help you.
https://www.thecompleteuniversitygui...gical+Sciences
However choosing universities is not as simple as just looking at league tables. You need to conside the course content and the different modules to see what interests you most. You also need to ask yourself where would you be happiest. Do you want to spend 3 or more years in a large city or somewhere very small. Would you prefer a campus or city based university. How far or close to home do you want to be. You need to consider all these as what is the best university for someone else might not be right for you. Try going to as many open days as possible during the summer.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by rosemaguire)
Thank you so much!! Would you happen to know anything about the job opportunities after doing a biochemistry degree. Sorry for the numerous questions
Well along with all the "generalist" grad roles any graduate could apply to (e.g. in business, media, law training contracts, banking, etc, etc) any of a range of biological or perhaps chemical (depending on course content) lab roles. These could range from technician roles to research based positions, and range from microbiological work, cell culture work, to chemical analysis etc. These might be in schools, universities, or industry, and in the latter may range from food industries to pharmaceuticals to other medical areas. If you pursued a course with significant bioinformatics/systems biology options and took appropriate maths modules/papers in the course you might also be qualified for some data based roles, although I think for most single honours courses this is unlikely.

There is also of course the option of academia - biochemistry, being the "fundamental" science underpinning most modern medical research and a large proportion of other biological science research is very oriented towards academia and further research work. A biochemistry UG course would probably be suitable for most medical and bioscience PhDs, with only possibly very ecologically oriented ones not being so suitable (and even then, if you did a lot of e.g. bioinformatics work and the PhD project would involve a lot of modelling and/or data analysis, on those transferable skills along you might be well placed to go into a project in that area). From a PhD you could remain in academia or go into industry research and development roles.

Of course there is also the option of graduate entry medicine/dentistry/vet med or pursuing allied health professions. These might be more or less expensive/and or difficult to pursue. I would note the following from the lab roles noted above, a possible exception would be working as an NHS biomedical scientist - it might be difficult to go down this route if you haven't done an IBMS accredited course, or ideally a healthcare science course with integrated placements. Depending on course content you may well end up being required to do a second degree if you wanted to pursue that specific role; so if this is your aim, I would recommend focusing on IBMS accredited biomedical science courses or the HCS courses noted above.
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rosemaguire
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Thank you so so much xx
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University of Bath
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Hi there,
With your predicted grades, you should definitely take a look at Bath as one of your options.

Our biochemistry course is brilliant, with a variety of labs, lectures, seminars etc so your learning is varied. The content has great depth and breadth, and the lecturers are often world-leading researchers in their field. An added perk to our biochemistry course is that you have the flexibility to switch from biochemisty to biology (or vice versa) after the first year, so you have a bit more time to decide if you aren't entirely certain that biochemistry is what you want to specialise in yet.

As another reply said, it might be worth looking at Natural Sciences courses. We offer NatSci here at Bath, where you can study biochemistry as a major or minor in the following stream options:
- Biochemistry major with Chemistry and Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry major with Pharmacology
- Environmental Science major with Biochemistry
- Chemistry major with Biochemistry
- Pharmacology major with Biochemistry
You can find out more about these streams and the course content here.

The NatSci course is great as you study the same modules to the same depth/detail as students on the straight biochemistry course, but you can choose not to study certain modules (i.e. my major is biology but I don't study plant sciences, as I don't like it) and take modules from another field. This gives you more breadth and interdisciplinary knowledge than someone on the straight course, and this is often desirable when you get to graduate employment.

Regardless of the course, I'd highly recommend Bath due to the ability to study a placement (which massively boosts your employability, and it is simply an unmissable experience), the beautiful city and campus, the massive range of sports and societies available and the fact that the univeristy has very high student satisfaction. Overally, the work-life balance at Bath is far better than at other universities which combined with the top-quality teaching makes it an amazing placxe to study.

I hope this has helped, and please let me know if you have any other questions,
Jessica, a second year Natural Sciences student
(Original post by rosemaguire)
Bit of context: I am in Y12 currently take biology chemistry and maths for my A levels. I think I want to go into biochemistry but I really don't know where to start with choosing a university.
Predicted grades AAA*-A*A*A*
I have had a look at imperial and oxford bu not sure where else to look.
Any help will be much much much appreciated
Thanks xxx
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bl0ndegiraffe
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I'm going to Bath in September to do biochem, and also applied to Oxford, Imperial, Birmingham and Exeter with predicted grades of A*A*A, similar to you!! I'd say look at the course before anything else, they all differ so much and that really helped me when deciding, I also wouldn't worry about league tables too much as it's really about what's best for you and where you'll be happy. Open days really helped me to decide where to apply!!
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University of Bath
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(Original post by av.os)
Hi, I'm interested in studying your nat sci course as my fifth choice (my other four are dentitry) - would I need to submit a separate personal statement for your couse? And is it possible to get a conditional offer of AAA or is it all A*AA?
Hi there, thanks for your question and glad to hear you are interested in studying at Bath!

I am not sure whether there is an option to submit a separate personal statement for Bath - I would recommend that you email the admissions team and they should be able to give you more clarity: [email protected]
Apologies I cannot be of more help!

Regarding entry requirements, the standard offer is A*AA, but there are some lower offer alternatives if you meeting the below requirements. More on this can be found here.

The offer is AAA in three A levels including one of the following combinations:

- Biology and Chemistry
- Chemistry and Mathematics
- Biology, Mathematics and Physics
- Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
plus one of the following project qualifications:
- grade A in an EPQ
- grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate
- if you are eligible, a pass in the Access to Bath course or successful completion of another recognised widening access programme

Additionally, if you are studying Biology and Chemistry A level but do not study Mathematics A level you will be eligible for an alternative offer based on additional study in mathematics. The offer is AAA in three A levels including Biology and Chemistry plus one of:
- grade B in a Core Mathematics qualification
- grade B in AS level Mathematics or Statistics (except if you are studying an A level in that subject)
- if you are eligible, a pass in the Access to Bath course or successful completion of another recognised widening access programme


I hope the above makes sense I would recommend reading through the course page I have linked above as it should provide some clarity.

Let me know if you have anymore questions

Leah
Placement Chemical Engineering
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University of Bath
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(Original post by av.os)
Hi, I'm interested in studying your nat sci course as my fifth choice (my other four are dentitry) - would I need to submit a separate personal statement for your couse? And is it possible to get a conditional offer of AAA or is it all A*AA?
Hi again,

Usually you are not required to submit a separate personal statement for NatSci at Bath, but I believe they have recently been asking some students to do this after they've applied. I applied for NatSci at some unis and Biology at others, so I was able to make my personal statement a bit more general about science and not specifically one field. However, you've said your other 4 choices are dentistry which is very different to NatSci, so this may be difficult to do. I would suggest contacting the Uni of Bath admissions department and asking them what they would suggest, as you may be able to send a separate NatSci-specific personal statement.

I would suggest looking closely at the units offered in NatSci here at Bath. If your main interest is dentistry, then you may find NatSci not suitable for you. NatSci consists of a major and a minor subject from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, Biochemistry and Pharmacology - none of these involve any dentistry. At most, you may discuss dental analgesia and aesthetics briefly in pharmacology, but that it about it.

In terms of getting an AAA offer instead of A*AA - this is only usually possible if you have an extra qualification such as an EPQ, and you must have one of the following subject combinations:

AAA in three A levels including one of the following combinations:

Biology and Chemistry
Chemistry and Mathematics
Biology, Mathematics and Physics
Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
plus one of the following project qualifications:

You can full details of the entry requirements here.

I hope this has helped, and please let me know if you have any more questions about the NatSci course
Jessica, a final year NatSci student
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