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    Hey everyone. In summer holiday atm preparing to enter upper-sixth/remove year. I'm meant to have decided which unis I want to apply to, which course I want to do..Up until a few days ago I had...I was going to do medicine at either IC, UCL or Kings...However, after 2 weeks of hospital work experience, I decided that I did not want to be a doctor (for various reasons too long to discuss)...The problem is, I felt like I was a rock rolling down a hill, the more I approached deadlines (UKCAT, BMAT, UCAS) the more I found it harder and harder to change my mind and face my parents (as they had helped me a lot with work experience etc.). A few days ago I actually told them I didn't want to do medicine....and greatly preferred computer science...but I feel that I've left it too late and have no time to prepare before term starts.

    To put things in perspective, I did alot of work for my medicine app. i created a website and wrote 15K words on essays of various diseases: prions, MRSA, HIV, Alzheimer's etc. and was very well read up on many aspects of meidicine...All I have going for me in respect to Computer Science is the fact that I have coded many interactive websites using php, CSS and html, and that I'm starting (actually just starting) to learn C++ and C#.
    My AS and GCSE grades were great (95% avg in 5 ASs and 9A*s GCSE)...but I feel my lack of extra work (I've done no reading up on the subject as I have changed my mind so recently, I've gotten no Compsci work experience..and my programming knowledge is begginer at best)..

    I feel as if its too late for me to change from medicine as my UCAS application will be too weak for Comp Sci.. FYI: I wish to apply to IC, UCL, Oxford for Comp Sci.

    Sorry for the incoherent message
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    The fact you've coded website is enough to show you are interested. And I'd be very willing to take on a smart kid who saw sense (ie not doing medcine just because you have the grades).
    You do have time to apply for next year.
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    Woah, that sounds ridiculously prepared for computer science.

    I've got a couple of friends who will be starting computer science at Warwick (their first choice) in September. I think maybe one of them did a couple of Java tutorials (apparently, that's the language you will probably be taught first). Also, one of them did some work experience doing some tech support somewhere but that's about it.

    Truth is, Computer Science is a whole lot less competitive than Medicine, so far less preparation is required.

    Also, with regards to your personal statement, you can always talk about the stuff you're going to do.

    Frankly, I think you're well ahead of the game, and you just need to keep up the good work

    However, I cannot and will not talk about Oxford because a) I know nothing and b) I think they're completely useless and outdated :p:

    Btw, be careful with Imperial, they're more than a little bit snooty, I know a girl who got the grades they requested, bar being 5 UMS off one of them, and they rejected her out of hand.

    Note: I am a psychology student m'self, so all of this is hearsay I'm afraid :p:
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    It's never to late to change your mind, but if it is why don't you consider Bioinformatics computing and science all rolled into one
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    you have a good 2-3 weeks before you have to do your deadline presumably (i dont know whether its still mid-september of mid-october with the rest- for oxford that is?) but choose an oxford college and think over compsci in the mean time- that will give you a little while- a lot can change in the course of a few days
    id read a good introductory book about compsci to help you decide whether its really what you want to do
    I would usually say, dont do medicine unless you feel like you were born to do it (ie unless youre pretty damn certain)
    btw- whats the *** about? (i would put medicine vs compsci in the thread title if you want advice on this)

    you only need really no your stuff for oxford- and you could do what i did and say youve read books/about subject areas you havent and read them before your interview (not ideal, but in this situation, better to say youve read more- that would remedy the problem of giving away you only decided to do the subject in 2 weeks)
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    (Original post by Witches_Rave)
    It's never to late to change your mind, but if it is why don't you consider Bioinformatics computing and science all rolled into one
    I dont know anything about bioinformatics- but I thought compsci was computing and science rolled into one?

    (Original post by RacMan)

    However, I cannot and will not talk about Oxford because a) I know nothing and b) I think they're completely useless and outdated :p:

    Note: I am a psychology student m'self, so all of this is hearsay I'm afraid :p:
    A girl in my school who's a complete genius (straight A*s, 100% in maths, top in the country for IT GCSE and scholarship competitions) chose cambridge rather than oxford for compsci- I never talked to her about it but if anyone could judge a course or university it would be her

    although clearly calling oxford useless and outdated is an obviously completely uninformed generalisation
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    Computer science is programming and ICT based with options going into Artificial Intelligence etc. Bioinformatics allows you to study 'real' science but also teaches you fundamentals of programming etc in one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_science

    http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/admissions/...erscience.html
    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/undergra...ode=00454&pg=2
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    If you really do want to do it, then you still have plenty of time, and with the things you have done already, you have plenty to go on.

    For those top uni's I would try and read something ASAP, some kind of a CS introductory text, as much for your own use as for your PS. It will give you a good idea of whether it is really something you do. This is a lot more to a CS degree than programming, and programming skills themselves are by no means a prerequisite.

    But yeah, you can use your medical work experience in your statement. I had mine in Engineering and Architecture, the trick is just working out which of the skills and experiences transfer well between the two disciplines.

    As the others have said, there are a lot of links between medicine and computing, and it is a very upcoming field in CS, so if you can make those, it will show very well.

    You don't say whether you are doing FM A level, but most of the top uni's like that for CS, but apart from that it is definitely not to late! Just make sure CS is really what you want to do before you apply!

    PS. PM'd you with some more specific things to look at!
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    You sound like the ideal bioinformatics student. The programming techniques and ingenuity involved in creating a program like Coot (protein visualisation software, try it out, .pdb and .mtz files for proteins like lysozyme and haemoglobin are easy to find) is equally as fascinating as the concepts behind the protein structure elucidation techniques themselves. Of course, that's not all you'll do... but you'd get the best of both computing and science with bioinformatics.
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    just be a doctor, you'll regret it if you don't
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    (Original post by RacMan)
    Btw, be careful with Imperial, they're more than a little bit snooty, I know a girl who got the grades they requested, bar being 5 UMS off one of them, and they rejected her out of hand.
    I'm sorry, but how is that "snooty"? If she missed her grades, it's their right to not accept her. Most top universities over-offer for these reasons.
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    (Original post by Draconis)
    I'm sorry, but how is that "snooty"? If she missed her grades, it's their right to not accept her. Most top universities over-offer for these reasons.
    How is that helpful?
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    I agree with TomQMU. Don't rush yourself - there's no reason why you have to apply in the first term of Year 13 (unless of course you're going for Oxbridge), no matter what your teachers may tell you :p: If you require more time to build on your experience and reading and get your personal statement up to scratch, then take your time with your application.
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    I'm about to start reading Computing at Imperial this October. In terms of programming and work experience you have at least three times as much as I do at the moment, and you've got another year to go before you start uni.

    Considering you didn't like your work experience, I would suggest that you get some more work experience before you switch to Computing, perhaps in a different setting. I originally applied to Medicine, and I had 6 months work experience of volunteering in an NHS treatment centre to draw on when I made the decision to not do Medicine. 2 weeks work experience is nothing, just in the same way that when/if you become a doctor, 2 weeks of frantic revision for your upcoming MRCP exams doesn't mean you'll be doing this all the time, and is therefore not representative of a career.

    If, however you are 100% sure that you don't like Medicine, make sure you tell everyone involved with your UCAS application. Change your Personal Statement, tell your referee at school. If you're going to apply to Oxford, you will still have to meet the earlier deadline, but otherwise use the extra time that the later UCAS deadline offers to think up some very good reasons as to why you want to read Computing. You are sure to be asked this in an interview. Also think through which universities you want to apply to.

    If you secure an offer for Computing at Imperial they will give you a questionnaire regarding any prior programming experience, or any academic computing courses you have taken (eg A-level Computing/ICT) - I only know a bit about Java that I'v taught myself from a book I borrowed out of the library.

    As long as your Maths is solid, then you should be able to get into most Computing/Computer Science unis.

    (Original post by RacMan)
    Btw, be careful with Imperial, they're more than a little bit snooty, I know a girl who got the grades they requested, bar being 5 UMS off one of them, and they rejected her out of hand.
    When this girl accepted her conditional offer, she knew fully well that the only way she could definitely get into Imperial was to get the grades - it doesn't matter if you're 1 UMS mark off one of them, or 600 UMS off them - it comes to the same thing - she's missed her offer and she can't blame Imperial for not accepting her, especially if there are other people who solidly stepped up to the plate. The only exception to this is ofcourse, if a subsequent remark of a script raises her grade to that required by the offer.
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    (Original post by RacMan)
    How is that helpful?
    I probably isn't, I was just pointing out that just because they rejected her (when they had a right to), it doesn't make them "snooty".
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    Thanks for all your replies guys. You've been extremely helpful
    Update: I've just got my hand on the book: XNA: Programming for Beginners, which I will be reading intently over the coming weeks. I am almost finished work on a very interactive, automated php website with loads of complicated SQL queries (I'm amazed it works :P) and I am still mulling over other potential courses, but the software engineering meng at imperial sounds very interesting + its where the guy who made darwinia, uplink and defcon went...I might be sold :P
    I would get more medical work experience, but its much harder than you think....It took me months to organise these two weeks, with many of my friends having as little as 1-2 days shadowing their GP..
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    As someone who wants to do Computer Science, I say go for it. Medicine may seem attractive, but hours are long, you will rack up a lot more student debt and doctors just don't get the same respect as they did say 50 year ago. But the big factor is working in a system you know has problems, and a fair deal of corruption, and I couldn't work in a industry like that, it would eat me up inside.

    Computer Science is a good degree to have, and one with good career prospects.
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    (Original post by ogloom)
    Thanks for all your replies guys. You've been extremely helpful
    Update: I've just got my hand on the book: XNA: Programming for Beginners, which I will be reading intently over the coming weeks. I am almost finished work on a very interactive, automated php website with loads of complicated SQL queries (I'm amazed it works :P) and I am still mulling over other potential courses, but the software engineering meng at imperial sounds very interesting + its where the guy who made darwinia, uplink and defcon went...I might be sold :P
    I would get more medical work experience, but its much harder than you think....It took me months to organise these two weeks, with many of my friends having as little as 1-2 days shadowing their GP..
    It does depend on where you live, but I had no trouble getting work experience off my own bat. All I did was write to the local NHS treatment centre and they let me in to help prepare the trolleys for theatre 3 weeks later and that led onto me following into theatre to watch operations too...
 
 
 

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