avlb
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Hi,

I’m currently in year 13 doing Maths, Chemistry and Biology A Levels and have offers from 4 unis for Chemistry MSci. I do enjoy Chemistry, but I can’t stop thinking about Physics at university.
I don’t do Physics A level, so would have to try to switch courses to Physics with a foundation year.
It’s also May, so very late in the year to be thinking of switching courses!
I’m having a bit of a crisis over this at the moment... is anyone thinking a similar thing or know anything that could help?

Thank you
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McGinger
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(Original post by avlb)
Hi,

I’m currently in year 13 doing Maths, Chemistry and Biology A Levels and have offers from 4 unis for Chemistry MSci. I do enjoy Chemistry, but I can’t stop thinking about Physics at university.
I don’t do Physics A level, so would have to try to switch courses to Physics with a foundation year.
It’s also May, so very late in the year to be thinking of switching courses!
I’m having a bit of a crisis over this at the moment... is anyone thinking a similar thing or know anything that could help?
1) Why do you want to do Physics when you have not done it at A level? Think about why you didnt choose it for A level.
2) Check the Physics entry requirements for the Unis where you already hold offers. Is a course like Chemical Engineering available?
3) If you meet the entry requirements in full, then ask about a course switch.
4) Think about taking a Gap Year and thinking this through more clearly
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PQ
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I’d suggest taking a gap year and taking physics A level as a better option. You’d still have the option to revert to chemistry if you find physics isn’t as good as you hoped and you’ll have a wider range of choices applying for first year instead of foundation entry for a physics degree. Plus you’ll be a lot better off financially.
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artful_lounger
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I think the key thing to figure out is, do you want to study chemistry or physics. Obvious I know, but worth thinking about - also there are a lot of differences between the two subjects, but also some overlaps.

For example, in a chemistry degree you will study physical chemistry and hence some quantum mechanics and thermodynamics/statistical mechanics, which are also core topics in a physics degree, although in the chemistry course you will probably study them to a slightly lesser degree of mathematical formalism. You'll also probably cover some nuclear chemistry/physics and solid state/materials physics/chemistry topics (relating to e.g. crystallography, semiconductor properties etc).

However there are lots of topics in physics you are unlikely to study in a chemistry course e.g. electromagnetism, mechanics, particle physics, a lot of the more advanced solid state/condensed matter physics, the more advanced/in depth QM and statistical mechanics/thermodynamics, and a lot more mathematical methods. Equally on the chemistry side you'll study the organic and inorganic chemistry which is completely separate other than some materials stuff on the inorganic side, and there is some content in the physical side which is not really covered in a physics course (mostly kinetics I think).

That said, there is a particular course which exists which incorporates aspects of both chemistry and physics and particularly the intersection of the two subjects - namely chemical physics (there are also a couple similar courses in chemistry and/with molecular physics). Although most do also require A-level Physics, the course at UEA just requires chemistry and maths to A-level so might be worth considering.

You may want to consider the option of a gap year and taking A-level Physics (and perhaps, if you want to consider physics degrees as well, further maths) which would a) open up these courses as options for you b) give you the option of physics degrees without doing a foundation year and c) give you a chance to experience physics before committing to a degree via foundation year and potentially finding it's not what you expected (while also using up one of your years of SFE funding).

CheeseIsVeg might be able to advise on the content/nature of a chemistry degree, particularly what is or isn't covered in the physical chemistry side. Sinnoh might be able to similarly advise on physics courses?
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Sinnoh
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What has got you thinking about physics at uni? What about it attracts you to it?
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CheeseIsVeg
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(Original post by avlb)
Hi,

I’m currently in year 13 doing Maths, Chemistry and Biology A Levels and have offers from 4 unis for Chemistry MSci. I do enjoy Chemistry, but I can’t stop thinking about Physics at university.
I don’t do Physics A level, so would have to try to switch courses to Physics with a foundation year.
It’s also May, so very late in the year to be thinking of switching courses!
I’m having a bit of a crisis over this at the moment... is anyone thinking a similar thing or know anything that could help?

Thank you
Hi there
I was actually a bit torn between chemistry and physics when I was doing my levels.

In the end I chose to study chemistry at Uni because I was performing better at it in tests, enjoyed the practical side much more and there were more parts of physics that didn't interest me.
It's up to you what you enjoy but let me know if you have any questions about chemistry at University. I'm in my final (integrated master's) year

(Original post by artful_lounger)
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I think the exact physical chemistry will depend on the course and also on your optional module choices.
What was covered in core physical chemistry modules included: change and equilibrium, electrochemistry, quantum mechanics, surface chemistry and probably more but I forgot

In inorganic chemistry you'll do a lot of periodic table chemistry, organometallics, catalysis, solid state/semiconductors.

Optional modules I did include: analytical chemistry, aquatic/environmental chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, NMR, advanced spectroscopy, quantum mechanics: spins, atoms and molecules and computational chemistry.
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