username4633536
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Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone would kindly be able to give me an insight into studying any Biology-related science at university, and as a career.

I am interested in doing some sort of biological degree. I was considering Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science and Medicine as the main ones. I think the science part of the medicine course seems the most similar to my interests, but I don’t want to be a doctor (most likely want to stay in biology/academia).

The fields of Biology I most enjoy are:
Biochemistry, Immunology, Genetics/Epigenetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Systems Biology and Developmental Biology.

I would happily go into any combination of these fields in the future, but don’t mind other fields such as animals/plants and ecology if part of a degree. What universities/degrees are most in demand, and give you the most opportunities in terms of jobs?

Does anyone have any tips or experiences to share? I am very grateful for any help 😊. Thank you very much!
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kwtkwsk
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Hi, I am a third year student at UCL studying Applied Medical Sciences. I firstly applied to Biomedical Sciences (here at UCL), but then switched before the begininnging of the year, as I realised that this course is more system-based and offers a bigger choice of modules within immunology, genetics and molecular biology, which interested me the mosts. I really love the course, as during the first year it gives you the basics of each system - going from organs, through tissues to cells and biochemical processes, so you can see it all coming together to produce a bigger picture of human anatomy and physiology. In second and third year it gives you an opportunity to focus - besides a couple of core modules (techniques in molecular medicine, molecular basis of disease) it's mostly optional modules of your choice, which in my case were centred around immunology and infection (autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, molecular virology, medical bacteriology, cancer immunotherapy, pharmacology and drug action), but there is plenty to choose from: clinical trails, bioinformatics, drug design, neurogenetics and neurodegeneration, microbiome in health and disease, stem cells, animal models, cancer biology and therapeutics, cancer clinical trials, biological clocks and much much more! I really recommend this course and seeing my friends studying Biomedical Sciences I am so glad I picked this one instead! If you have any questions let me know!
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username4633536
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(Original post by kwtkwsk)
Hi, I am a third year student at UCL studying Applied Medical Sciences. I firstly applied to Biomedical Sciences (here at UCL), but then switched before the begininnging of the year, as I realised that this course is more system-based and offers a bigger choice of modules within immunology, genetics and molecular biology, which interested me the mosts. I really love the course, as during the first year it gives you the basics of each system - going from organs, through tissues to cells and biochemical processes, so you can see it all coming together to produce a bigger picture of human anatomy and physiology. In second and third year it gives you an opportunity to focus - besides a couple of core modules (techniques in molecular medicine, molecular basis of disease) it's mostly optional modules of your choice, which in my case were centred around immunology and infection (autoimmunity, immunodeficiency, molecular virology, medical bacteriology, cancer immunotherapy, pharmacology and drug action), but there is plenty to choose from: clinical trails, bioinformatics, drug design, neurogenetics and neurodegeneration, microbiome in health and disease, stem cells, animal models, cancer biology and therapeutics, cancer clinical trials, biological clocks and much much more! I really recommend this course and seeing my friends studying Biomedical Sciences I am so glad I picked this one instead! If you have any questions let me know!
Wow, sounds amazing! Thank you very much for your reply. This course sounds exactly like the kind of thing I would like to study. How different would you say the course is to biomedical science, when you say this is more ‘system based’, how does this differ from biomed? Did you consider doing immunology BSc or transferring to immunology (which I’ve heard is possible at UCL?) Also do you have any idea of the oppurtunities after university, or what you and any of your friends or colleagues are planning to do (such as further education, or getting a job?). Thank you for any responses you can give!
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kwtkwsk
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(Original post by hariisawesome)
Wow, sounds amazing! Thank you very much for your reply. This course sounds exactly like the kind of thing I would like to study. How different would you say the course is to biomedical science, when you say this is more ‘system based’, how does this differ from biomed? Did you consider doing immunology BSc or transferring to immunology (which I’ve heard is possible at UCL?) Also do you have any idea of the oppurtunities after university, or what you and any of your friends or colleagues are planning to do (such as further education, or getting a job?). Thank you for any responses you can give!
No problem!
It isn't that different, after all it's all the same science, but the main difference is in the way it's taught - it's based on systems e.g. cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, neurological etc. rather than having anatomy, physiology, cell-to-cell interactions and biochemistry separately which helps a lot in seeing it all coming together as one picture. It also offers a wider range of optional modules, it's smaller (so you get more attention from the lecturers) and assessment is more coursework-based so you learn how to do things and conduct research rather than memorising useless things.
I haven't transferred as I liked to keep my options open and still have some general biomedical education to cover the bases, but departament of medical sciences (where applied medical sciences course is based) offers Infection and Immunity course into which you can tranfer after your first year without any problems. I am not sure if it's possible to tranfer from Life Sciences departament where biomedical sciences and biochemistry are taught, as they have completely different programme.
In terms of opportunities, I am currently holding masters offers from Oxford and Cambridge, one is for Immunology and the other is for Population Health Sciences and I still haven't decided which one I'd like to do more. Other people hold PhD offers (which is very impressive after just doing your bachelors), go to graduate medicine courses, health data science, but most are continuing into masters degree in chosen "specialism" such as neuroscience, cancer biology, gene therapy, pharmacology, tissue engineering, cardiorespiratory health etc. at various British universities, but some also are going into business and consulting.
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username4633536
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(Original post by kwtkwsk)
No problem!
It isn't that different, after all it's all the same science, but the main difference is in the way it's taught - it's based on systems e.g. cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, neurological etc. rather than having anatomy, physiology, cell-to-cell interactions and biochemistry separately which helps a lot in seeing it all coming together as one picture. It also offers a wider range of optional modules, it's smaller (so you get more attention from the lecturers) and assessment is more coursework-based so you learn how to do things and conduct research rather than memorising useless things.
I haven't transferred as I liked to keep my options open and still have some general biomedical education to cover the bases, but departament of medical sciences (where applied medical sciences course is based) offers Infection and Immunity course into which you can tranfer after your first year without any problems. I am not sure if it's possible to tranfer from Life Sciences departament where biomedical sciences and biochemistry are taught, as they have completely different programme.
In terms of opportunities, I am currently holding masters offers from Oxford and Cambridge, one is for Immunology and the other is for Population Health Sciences and I still haven't decided which one I'd like to do more. Other people hold PhD offers (which is very impressive after just doing your bachelors), go to graduate medicine courses, health data science, but most are continuing into masters degree in chosen "specialism" such as neuroscience, cancer biology, gene therapy, pharmacology, tissue engineering, cardiorespiratory health etc. at various British universities!
Wow, congratulations on your offers! Sounds fantastic, thank you very much for your help. You might just have converted me into an applied medical science student 😅.
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starlight00
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(Original post by hariisawesome)
Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone would kindly be able to give me an insight into studying any Biology-related science at university, and as a career.

I am interested in doing some sort of biological degree. I was considering Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science and Medicine as the main ones. I think the science part of the medicine course seems the most similar to my interests, but I don’t want to be a doctor (most likely want to stay in biology/academia).

The fields of Biology I most enjoy are:
Biochemistry, Immunology, Genetics/Epigenetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Systems Biology and Developmental Biology.

I would happily go into any combination of these fields in the future, but don’t mind other fields such as animals/plants and ecology if part of a degree. What universities/degrees are most in demand, and give you the most opportunities in terms of jobs?

Does anyone have any tips or experiences to share? I am very grateful for any help 😊. Thank you very much!
Hi! I'm a masters student right now but I graduated last year from UEA studying Biological Sciences. My course covered all of the fields you are interested in except with less pharmacology. However my friends who did Biomedicine had modules which focused on pharmacology. In first year we did have a plant based module but it wasn't a major component and we got to specialise from Year 2 onwards, there was also a really large number of modules to choose from (I chose Molecular bio, biochem, Behavioural ecology, human physiology, genetics, and microbiology in my 2nd year. and Cancer biology, Infection and Immunity, Genomics, and Stem Cell and Developmental Biology in my 3rd year, to give you examples), but alot of my friends chose drastically different modules, and not only in science but also science communication if thats what you're interested in. Through this, I personally think it'd be in your best interest to choose a biology or biomedical science related course, or variants of it (since not every course is advertised under these names). Biochemistry as I know has biology but not as much as I think you'd be interested in. And it's obviously best not to go for medicine if you don't want to be a doctor! if you have any questions though feel free to ask.
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username4633536
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(Original post by starlight00)
Hi! I'm a masters student right now but I graduated last year from UEA studying Biological Sciences. My course covered all of the fields you are interested in except with less pharmacology. However my friends who did Biomedicine had modules which focused on pharmacology. In first year we did have a plant based module but it wasn't a major component and we got to specialise from Year 2 onwards, there was also a really large number of modules to choose from (I chose Molecular bio, biochem, Behavioural ecology, human physiology, genetics, and microbiology in my 2nd year. and Cancer biology, Infection and Immunity, Genomics, and Stem Cell and Developmental Biology in my 3rd year, to give you examples), but alot of my friends chose drastically different modules, and not only in science but also science communication if thats what you're interested in. Through this, I personally think it'd be in your best interest to choose a biology or biomedical science related course, or variants of it (since not every course is advertised under these names). Biochemistry as I know has biology but not as much as I think you'd be interested in. And it's obviously best not to go for medicine if you don't want to be a doctor! if you have any questions though feel free to ask.
Thank you very much! Am I correct in assuming that the courses have lots of overlap, shared modules or lectures? What sorts of things did your friends or colleagues go into after the degree? I just don’t want to be restricted in what I can study by the choice of my degree is all!
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starlight00
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(Original post by hariisawesome)
Thank you very much! Am I correct in assuming that the courses have lots of overlap, shared modules or lectures? What sorts of things did your friends or colleagues go into after the degree? I just don’t want to be restricted in what I can study by the choice of my degree is all!
Yes that's correct! The overlap between the Biomedicine and Biological Sciences courses in my uni was probably something like 4/6 modules in year 1, and the overlap in subsequent years depends on whether you and your friends chose the same modules. But I know that because Biomedicine is more focused on the clinical side, my friends taking that course didnt have optional modules until their third year so choices were more restricted, but you can find out what the case is for optional and compulsory modules by looking on the course websites for the unis you want to apply to!

Okay so I'm doing a masters in Cancer Biology and I will be starting a PhD this september, some of my friends followed this route and stayed in academia, while others I know who did biological sciences/biomedicine have found work in NHS laboratories (Auditor, Medical assistant, healthcare assistant, lab technician, associate practitioner healthcare scientist, research interns), one person works in admin at the crown prosecution service, graduate manufacturing technician, biorepository support worker, one applied for associate physician courses and one is working as a lead researcher in a business development and pharmaceutical company -- and these are people who were in the same cohort as me and graduated in the same year, so there's loadss of different options out there and it doesn't even have to be scientific.
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develbiostudent
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Hi! I study Anatomy, Developmental and Human Biology at KCL and sounds like you might love it? The cohort is very small (10-15) so the academic support is really good, and you can heavily specialise in your 2nd/3rd year (I learned I actually hate anatomy so dropped those modules).
In your first year you're made to do a module of every bioscience King's offers (Pharmacology, Physiology, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Genetics etc.)

Think it could be a good choice for you!
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username4633536
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(Original post by develbiostudent)
Hi! I study Anatomy, Developmental and Human Biology at KCL and sounds like you might love it? The cohort is very small (10-15) so the academic support is really good, and you can heavily specialise in your 2nd/3rd year (I learned I actually hate anatomy so dropped those modules).
In your first year you're made to do a module of every bioscience King's offers (Pharmacology, Physiology, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Genetics etc.)

Think it could be a good choice for you!
Sounds great! Just had a look at the website and looks like my kind of course, also love Kings and London. Are you enjoying the course? The support side of things sounds great, would you say the teaching is more personal compared to biomed students over there? Thanks!
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develbiostudent
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(Original post by hariisawesome)
Sounds great! Just had a look at the website and looks like my kind of course, also love Kings and London. Are you enjoying the course? The support side of things sounds great, would you say the teaching is more personal compared to biomed students over there? Thanks!
Yeah I love the course to be honest - first year is academically quite difficult because you have to take all compulsory modules, so inevitably you won't love them all. I'm ultimately glad I did it though because it meant I actually knew what I liked when I could choose modules for myself. In your second year you do 2 hours a week of human dissection with a surgical student as your demonstrator which is amazing and rare for Biomed undergrads.

Defo more academic support than King's biomed students! I actually know all of the Anatomy academic staff by name, we have bi-weekly Ted talks on the research that the academics in the Anatomy department are doing etc - they genuinely make an effort to make you feel included (I realise I sound like a teacher's pet here haha).

You unfortunately do all 1st year modules with all the biomed students so don't be disheartened when first year lectures are massive; this changes in second year. It does mean, however, that you get access to all the same modules as every other biomed student throughout your degree, but with a much more niche degree title at the end - every little helps!

Hope this was helpful! I really have enjoyed King's (even despite COVID) so can't sing praises highly enough x
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(Original post by hariisawesome)
Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone would kindly be able to give me an insight into studying any Biology-related science at university, and as a career.

I am interested in doing some sort of biological degree. I was considering Biology, Biochemistry, Biomedical Science and Medicine as the main ones. I think the science part of the medicine course seems the most similar to my interests, but I don’t want to be a doctor (most likely want to stay in biology/academia).

The fields of Biology I most enjoy are:
Biochemistry, Immunology, Genetics/Epigenetics, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Systems Biology and Developmental Biology.

I would happily go into any combination of these fields in the future, but don’t mind other fields such as animals/plants and ecology if part of a degree. What universities/degrees are most in demand, and give you the most opportunities in terms of jobs?

Does anyone have any tips or experiences to share? I am very grateful for any help 😊. Thank you very much!
Hey! I think you might find this student-written degree super useful! It covers Biology, BioMed and Medicine and contains loads of info on what they're actually like to study, all written by students. I think the pros/cons and related courses sections may be particularly relevant to you as it outlines the essential differences between the realities of these degrees.

https://www.notion.so/The-WTF-Should...2e16ec93cac2a4

Also, as you have such a diverse range of interests I think you should look at degrees with the most flexibility so that you can explore all of these disciplines and specialise gradually!
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prolificsadness
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does anyone study virology undergrad here? or a degree similar to the sorts? can you please tell me how it is, study life, career prospects and everything?
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