How much chemistry do I need in a biochemistry personal statement?

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yellow543
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Should I talk about chemistry-related topics explicitly in my personal statement? Right now I have a lot of things which are biochemistry-related (e.g. The Selfish Gene) but I haven't mentioned anything chemistry-related. I'm hoping to go to Oxford.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by yellow543)
Should I talk about chemistry-related topics explicitly in my personal statement? Right now I have a lot of things which are biochemistry-related (e.g. The Selfish Gene) but I haven't mentioned anything chemistry-related. I'm hoping to go to Oxford.
I'm not sure The Selfish Gene is that biochemistry related, and it's a book everyone was mentioning for a while- might be worth picking something else. If there are pure chemistry modules on the degree, then I think mentioning some interest in pure chemistry would be good. If not, then it's probably not essential, but you do need to show you are interested in biochemistry, not just biological sciences.
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artful_lounger
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Biochemistry as it's taught at degree level in the UK is functionally a course in molecular and cell biology, rather than a course in (biological) chemistry (the Oxford course actually styles itself as Biochemistry (Molecular and Cellular) to this end - although that course also is a bit more chemistry oriented than most other biochem degrees, ironically). Therefore, while there is more chemistry used as an ancillary subject than in other bioscience degrees, it is not in of itself a chemistry focused course. The chemistry you do learn will be in the service of learning other biological material.

Discussing relevant aspects of molecular/cell/developmental biology etc, that interest you should be sufficient, and you don't need to write about "pure" chemistry unless you want to. That said in general STEM degrees aren't hugely focused on the personal statement usually, and they may well anticipate some of the applicants to a course in biochemistry may also be applying to joint honours courses in chemistry and biology/biochemistry/etc or natural sciences courses with such combinations, and probably will be used to seeing applicants discuss more chemistry in their PS's than might be strictly relevant.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 months ago
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