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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Is it worth studying a science subject at Durham?

I'm looking at applying to study Pharmacology next year. I really like the look of Durham but the range of science courses seems pretty limited: I could do the natural sciences route and do a combined degree in Biology and Chemistry but I'm not sure how close to biochemistry/biomedical science this will be and whether I'm better off applying to universities more renowned for their science departments, where Durham is generally known for humanities. Does anyone have any thoughts? Is anyone currently on the natural sciences route who could explain what it's like? Thank you
Durham currently ranks very highly for Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, and I would say is probably regarded as one of the best universities in the UK (top 10 or even top 5) for these subjects. Their Natural Sciences course is highly competitive to my knowledge, with around 100 places but many more applicants.

I'm honestly surprised that Durham has a reputation as a humanities university; having lived in the vicinity, I've never heard that before!

Durham is #6 for Biology, #3 for Chemistry, and #4 for Physics in the 2020 Complete University Guide league tables, for context.

Their science courses can seem limited, but instead of offering many different niche degrees, they operate with a single degree with greater freedom, resulting in a degree such as 'Physics, specialising in Analytical Astronomy' etc.
(edited 4 years ago)
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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Reply 2
Oh that's good to know, thank you :smile: are you a natural sciences student? Do you know if there are optional modules, etc.?
Original post by Anonymous
Oh that's good to know, thank you :smile: are you a natural sciences student? Do you know if there are optional modules, etc.?

I may be a Chemistry student at Durham this year, grades depending, but I have had family go through Durham before so am quite familiar with the uni to a reasonable extent. I was going to apply for the Natural Sciences, but felt it may have been too competitive. I still went to the natsci lectures on open day and have got some resources which describe the degree. I'll see if I can find them and copy the information below later.
Reply 4
Original post by HRobson_BMC
I'll see if I can find them and copy the information below later.

that would be amazing thank you <3
Original post by HRobson_BMC
I may be a Chemistry student at Durham this year, grades depending, but I have had family go through Durham before so am quite familiar with the uni to a reasonable extent. I was going to apply for the Natural Sciences, but felt it may have been too competitive. I still went to the natsci lectures on open day and have got some resources which describe the degree. I'll see if I can find them and copy the information below later.


I may be a Chemist (well Natsci but leaning heavily to Chemistry) at Durham too this year - which college are you? I am Collingwood.
Original post by tedinbed
I may be a Chemist (well Natsci but leaning heavily to Chemistry) at Durham too this year - which college are you? I am Collingwood.

Josephine Butler. Collingwood was my second choice though! Maybe we'll still end up sharing some classes anyhow.
Original post by HRobson_BMC
Josephine Butler. Collingwood was my second choice though! Maybe we'll still end up sharing some classes anyhow.

Cool just need to get the grades......but so out of my hands.
Reply 8
Original post by HRobson_BMC
I may be a Chemistry student at Durham this year, grades depending, but I have had family go through Durham before so am quite familiar with the uni to a reasonable extent. I was going to apply for the Natural Sciences, but felt it may have been too competitive. I still went to the natsci lectures on open day and have got some resources which describe the degree. I'll see if I can find them and copy the information below later.

hi, i'm thinking of applying to natsci at durham. i do biology chemistry and psychology, with an AS in maths. the entry requirements say A*AA but i'm not sure if i'll be predicted those - i'm thinking it's most likely going to be AAA, but it's up to my teachers :// would you say it's worth applying as i didn't realise natsci at durham was that competitive ?
Original post by skiii
hi, i'm thinking of applying to natsci at durham. i do biology chemistry and psychology, with an AS in maths. the entry requirements say A*AA but i'm not sure if i'll be predicted those - i'm thinking it's most likely going to be AAA, but it's up to my teachers :// would you say it's worth applying as i didn't realise natsci at durham was that competitive ?

Would you want to take Chemistry as part of Natsci as unfortunately you can only do Chemistry at Durham if you take A level Maths and to receive a Natsci offer to include Chemistry you need to be predicted A*A* in Maths and Chem.

Natsci is a tough course as you need to be at undergrad level in lots of subjects - most courses expect AAA/A*AA. Depending on which subjects you want to study perhaps a joint honours course might be the way to go.
Reply 10
Original post by tedinbed
Would you want to take Chemistry as part of Natsci as unfortunately you can only do Chemistry at Durham if you take A level Maths and to receive a Natsci offer to include Chemistry you need to be predicted A*A* in Maths and Chem.

Natsci is a tough course as you need to be at undergrad level in lots of subjects - most courses expect AAA/A*AA. Depending on which subjects you want to study perhaps a joint honours course might be the way to go.

ohh okay. no, i was thinking of taking biology and psychology as the joint honours degree within natural sciences, as i would only need biology to apply? which joint honours course were you suggesting?
Original post by skiii
ohh okay. no, i was thinking of taking biology and psychology as the joint honours degree within natural sciences, as i would only need biology to apply? which joint honours course were you suggesting?

See here https://www.dur.ac.uk/courses/info/?id=26299&code=cfg0#admissions - yes only need 1 science A level and Bio and Pschol is a Durham joint degree https://www.dur.ac.uk/natural.sciences/prospective/bscxandy/ http://www.maths.dur.ac.uk/php/natural.sciences.php?dept1=biol&dept2=psyc&programme=jh_bsc

But I was thinking of Biology and Psychology at other unis as this will give you a much wider range of offer grades which might be good if A*AA is a stretch (plus Durham appeared to want min 7 9's at GCSE this year for an offer) eg https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/c8c1/ https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/bsc-psychology-with-human-biology
Reply 12
Original post by tedinbed
See here https://www.dur.ac.uk/courses/info/?id=26299&code=cfg0#admissions - yes only need 1 science A level and Bio and Pschol is a Durham joint degree https://www.dur.ac.uk/natural.sciences/prospective/bscxandy/ http://www.maths.dur.ac.uk/php/natural.sciences.php?dept1=biol&dept2=psyc&programme=jh_bsc

But I was thinking of Biology and Psychology at other unis as this will give you a much wider range of offer grades which might be good if A*AA is a stretch (plus Durham appeared to want min 7 9's at GCSE this year for an offer) eg https://www.ncl.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees/c8c1/ https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/bsc-psychology-with-human-biology

thank you so much!
should i still apply for natsci elsewhere if i get predicted AAA? eg lancaster's requirements are AAA-A*AA?
Original post by skiii
thank you so much!
should i still apply for natsci elsewhere if i get predicted AAA? eg lancaster's requirements are AAA-A*AA?

Kind of depends if this is the course you want to do. I have ended up changing from NatSci to Chemistry at Durham as the Durham course allows you to do several non-chemistry modules in your first and second year, this is not the same at all Universities.
Lancaster gave me an unconditional for NatSci - at the offer holder day not everyone had received one - think it might be dependent on GCSE grades (I have equivalent of 7 x 9's an 5 x 7's, A in AS chem and 4A*predicted)
Reply 14
Original post by tedinbed
Kind of depends if this is the course you want to do. I have ended up changing from NatSci to Chemistry at Durham as the Durham course allows you to do several non-chemistry modules in your first and second year, this is not the same at all Universities.
Lancaster gave me an unconditional for NatSci - at the offer holder day not everyone had received one - think it might be dependent on GCSE grades (I have equivalent of 7 x 9's an 5 x 7's, A in AS chem and 4A*predicted)

thanks. if i want to do biological natsci at any uni, should i keep maths for a level? it's not required but i heard it makes your application more competitive?
Original post by skiii
thanks. if i want to do biological natsci at any uni, should i keep maths for a level? it's not required but i heard it makes your application more competitive?

Best to ask specific unis - although you do have AS - stats is important for Biology and Psychol.
Original post by username5064508
I may be a Chemistry student at Durham this year, grades depending, but I have had family go through Durham before so am quite familiar with the uni to a reasonable extent. I was going to apply for the Natural Sciences, but felt it may have been too competitive. I still went to the natsci lectures on open day and have got some resources which describe the degree. I'll see if I can find them and copy the information below later.

I’m a ucl natural sciences undergrad. I chose ucl over Dirham for natsci (was rejected by cambridge), from my understanding durham natsci isn’t very competitive. The course is definitely difficult, but their offer to applicant ratio is quite high. Also Natural Sciences at durham isn’t really a thing, it just mushes a bunch of modules together, where as ucl natsci is it’s own department with some of the early stage modules taught in house.
Original post by Anonymous
I’m a ucl natural sciences undergrad. I chose ucl over Dirham for natsci (was rejected by cambridge), from my understanding durham natsci isn’t very competitive. The course is definitely difficult, but their offer to applicant ratio is quite high. Also Natural Sciences at durham isn’t really a thing, it just mushes a bunch of modules together, where as ucl natsci is it’s own department with some of the early stage modules taught in house.

Hi do you mind me asking why you chose UCL over Durham? I can't decide between the two for undergrad
Original post by Anonymous
I’m a ucl natural sciences undergrad. I chose ucl over Dirham for natsci (was rejected by cambridge), from my understanding durham natsci isn’t very competitive. The course is definitely difficult, but their offer to applicant ratio is quite high. Also Natural Sciences at durham isn’t really a thing, it just mushes a bunch of modules together, where as ucl natsci is it’s own department with some of the early stage modules taught in house.

Hi, interesting. My DC firmed natsci at durham and put ucl chemistry as an insurance choice. I wonder, if it was worth firming ucl chemistry instead and later change it to natsci there. Do you know anything about chemistry course at ucl? I have heard it is a very hard subject to do there. Thanks
Original post by Anonymous
Hi, interesting. My DC firmed natsci at durham and put ucl chemistry as an insurance choice. I wonder, if it was worth firming ucl chemistry instead and later change it to natsci there. Do you know anything about chemistry course at ucl? I have heard it is a very hard subject to do there. Thanks
Hi I have also firmed Durham and put UCL chemistry as my insurance but I'm wondering too if i should have put UCL as my firm 😕 I have heard that the chemistry course at ucl has one of the lowest percentages of students graduating with 2:1 and above compared to other courses at the uni. Regarding NatSci at UCL, I was also very interested in this course so I did loads of research into it and went to the talk at the open day. From what I can gather, the course is very poorly organised with lots of classes occurring at the same time depending on what 'stream' you choose. This lack of organisation was emphasised to me at the open day by the tutor giving the talk who basically answered all the questions with "go on the website". People actually went to the Chemistry talks to try and find out more about the NatSci course since the tutor was not helpful at all! I hope this is at least a little helpful and it's just my opinion and I'm sure others might tell you something different! Obviously a natsci student from UCL will be more helpful!

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