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Universities usually require biology a level and sometimes another subject such as maths for entry onto the course. I’ve heard chemistry can be useful in a biology degree, so are students that take a level chemistry favoured over the students that don’t especially at top universities?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Nicesprout67)
Universities usually require biology a level and sometimes another subject such as maths for entry onto the course. I’ve heard chemistry can be useful in a biology degree, so are students that take a level chemistry favoured over the students that don’t especially at top universities?
Many bioscience degrees not only prefer, but in fact require A-level Chemistry, particularly at "top" universities. This is mainly for "biomolecular" type courses, such as biomedical sciences, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, often genetics or neuroscience, etc. More organismal/ecological courses such as conservation, ecology, zoology, plant sciences etc, usually are more flexible about what your second science is in, but it's often still useful as you'll cover some similar content to those above courses on these (particularly for e.g. zoology and plant sciences where you'll normally cover some physiology and aspects of biochemistry).

If you want to go into the biosciences, it would probably be sensible to take A-level Chemistry to give you the broadest range of courses to choose between when you apply in year 13. However for most of those courses (the exceptions being biochemistry and pharmacology usually) there isn't an enormous amount of chemistry as it is done in A-level, as I understand.
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Many bioscience degrees not only prefer, but in fact require A-level Chemistry, particularly at "top" universities. This is mainly for "biomolecular" type courses, such as biomedical sciences, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, often genetics or neuroscience, etc. More organismal/ecological courses such as conservation, ecology, zoology, plant sciences etc, usually are more flexible about what your second science is in, but it's often still useful as you'll cover some similar content to those above courses on these (particularly for e.g. zoology and plant sciences where you'll normally cover some physiology and aspects of biochemistry).

If you want to go into the biosciences, it would probably be sensible to take A-level Chemistry to give you the broadest range of courses to choose between when you apply in year 13. However for most of those courses (the exceptions being biochemistry and pharmacology usually) there isn't an enormous amount of chemistry as it is done in A-level, as I understand.
It obviously makes sense for the subjects that include a lot of chemistry. What about for a general biology/biological sciences degree though, the entry requirements from universities I’ve looked at don’t require chemistry so what disadvantage would I be at compared to those with chemistry when applying for those?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Nicesprout67)
It obviously makes sense for the subjects that include a lot of chemistry. What about for a general biology/biological sciences degree though, the entry requirements from universities I’ve looked at don’t require chemistry so what disadvantage would I be at compared to those with chemistry when applying for those?
Well bear in mind you will probably study some chemistry in those sooner or later to provide a background for the relevant aspects of biochemistry common to any biological science course etc. You would have to be learning this after not having done chemistry for two years otherwise, and in uni you will spend a lot less time on any given topic and have a lot less potential individual attention than in school usually, so it's not necessarily easier to put it off in this way (although you'll probably do less chemistry overall, what you do might be a bit harder to keep on top of).

Some universities (particularly those considered "top" universities, such as Oxford or Imperial) might not explicitly require it, but may have the majority of successful candidates taking it, so it might be worth looking at e.g. past FOI requests on admissions data for any courses you're particularly interested in (or making your own request). Ultimately though, if you have the choice it seems most sensible to take it to maximise your chances and range of options. If you are absolutely unable to do well in chemistry and you know this, I would suggest considering carefully whether the biosciences are a good option generally. However if you do still want to pursue that, then you can do so but keep in mind you will probably have a much more restricted range of courses to apply to (mainly in the ecological/evolutionary/organismal realm) and you may not be as strong an applicant for the "top" universities.
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Well bear in mind you will probably study some chemistry in those sooner or later to provide a background for the relevant aspects of biochemistry common to any biological science course etc. You would have to be learning this after not having done chemistry for two years otherwise, and in uni you will spend a lot less time on any given topic and have a lot less potential individual attention than in school usually, so it's not necessarily easier to put it off in this way (although you'll probably do less chemistry overall, what you do might be a bit harder to keep on top of).

Some universities (particularly those considered "top" universities, such as Oxford or Imperial) might not explicitly require it, but may have the majority of successful candidates taking it, so it might be worth looking at e.g. past FOI requests on admissions data for any courses you're particularly interested in (or making your own request). Ultimately though, if you have the choice it seems most sensible to take it to maximise your chances and range of options. If you are absolutely unable to do well in chemistry and you know this, I would suggest considering carefully whether the biosciences are a good option generally. However if you do still want to pursue that, then you can do so but keep in mind you will probably have a much more restricted range of courses to apply to (mainly in the ecological/evolutionary/organismal realm) and you may not be as strong an applicant for the "top" universities.
I think that’s just something I’m going to have to deal with really, I’m not going to let it hold me back from applying to what I want to. Thank you!
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(Original post by Nicesprout67)
I think that’s just something I’m going to have to deal with really, I’m not going to let it hold me back from applying to what I want to. Thank you!
If you don't take chemistry but later decide to do a course which does require chemistry, you can always look at doing a course with a foundation year - just bear in mind, pretty much no matter what you are going to have to do some chemistry no matter what area of bioscience you go into (you just might need to do less on some courses than others). So just be aware of that and prepare accordingly
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
If you don't take chemistry but later decide to do a course which does require chemistry, you can always look at doing a course with a foundation year - just bear in mind, pretty much no matter what you are going to have to do some chemistry no matter what area of bioscience you go into (you just might need to do less on some courses than others). So just be aware of that and prepare accordingly
I’ll definitely prepare myself for it, I’m not sure what parts of chemistry are relevant to biology but I’ll definitely find out, I’m determined to follow the biology route so I’ll research into it, thank you
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(Original post by Nicesprout67)
Universities usually require biology a level and sometimes another subject such as maths for entry onto the course. I’ve heard chemistry can be useful in a biology degree, so are students that take a level chemistry favoured over the students that don’t especially at top universities?
Hola nicesprouts7,

Chemistry is not a required subject for Biology. You should check this link to check that your A levels do enable you to meet what Biology explicitly say IS required http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...isting/biology

Assuming that you are not in fact studying Chemistry, this is presumably good news since without it you are still eligible.

Brasenose Admissions
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(Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
Hola nicesprouts7,

Chemistry is not a required subject for Biology. You should check this link to check that your A levels do enable you to meet what Biology explicitly say IS required http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/under...isting/biology

Assuming that you are not in fact studying Chemistry, this is presumably good news since without it you are still eligible.

Brasenose Admissions
So I should be okay when applying to biology?
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Hi there,
As someone who studied biology and chemistry at A-Level, and now studies biosciences and chemistry at university, I'd definitely recommend taking chemistry as well at A-Level. Studying chemistry at A-Level will not only make studying Biology A-Level far easier (due to the bits of biochemistry you study), but there ends up being a fair bit of chemistry at university-level biology. While it is not necessary for a lot of bioscience degrees, it is massively useful as it means you don't have to work as hard at understanding it.

Furthermore, taking chemistry and biology at A-Level will leave you with far more options than taking just biology. For example, while biology may allow you to do biology, psychology and maybe some other bioscience degrees, taking chemistry as well will allow you to do those pluse biochemistry, biomedical science, natural sciences, chemistry degrees and more.

I hope this has helped,
Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
(Original post by Nicesprout67)
Universities usually require biology a level and sometimes another subject such as maths for entry onto the course. I’ve heard chemistry can be useful in a biology degree, so are students that take a level chemistry favoured over the students that don’t especially at top universities?
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username4840902
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi there,
As someone who studied biology and chemistry at A-Level, and now studies biosciences and chemistry at university, I'd definitely recommend taking chemistry as well at A-Level. Studying chemistry at A-Level will not only make studying Biology A-Level far easier (due to the bits of biochemistry you study), but there ends up being a fair bit of chemistry at university-level biology. While it is not necessary for a lot of bioscience degrees, it is massively useful as it means you don't have to work as hard at understanding it.

Furthermore, taking chemistry and biology at A-Level will leave you with far more options than taking just biology. For example, while biology may allow you to do biology, psychology and maybe some other bioscience degrees, taking chemistry as well will allow you to do those pluse biochemistry, biomedical science, natural sciences, chemistry degrees and more.

I hope this has helped,
Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
I know that biology is what I want to do so having more options isn’t the issue for me. I can see that it would make it easier to study but I’m not able to take chemistry a level as my school doesn’t offer it. How much chemistry is actually involved throughout the entire course and is it covered in the course?
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