User6183
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#1
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#1
Hello all,

•I’m a UK student about to start my 1st year of Biochemistry at Imperial College.
• My intentions during GCSEs/A-Levels were to study in the US but given the pandemic, decided in Y13 to apply to a few UK unis for biochemistry in light of a recommendation to do so as a fallback from my chem/form tutor. I far prefer chem to bio, and from what I remember, he said most courses were chem oriented.
• I was therefore under the impression that biochemistry was far more quantitative than it actually is, and over the summer I have realised there’s far less physical and organic chem in the syllabus – I should clarify that I know this confusion is my fault. I was complacent and still focused on my US applications.
• My grades: 3A*s in Chem, Econ and Bio at A-Level and at GCSE I got 9s in seven subjects.
•I’m in the UK system now, and realising that it’s pretty hard to gravitate towards quantitative fields without A-Levels in Maths and Physics. My parents are American, so I didn’t know how the UK system worked when choosing my A-Levels, and resultantly didn’t tailor my choices to fit UK course requirements – I expected I’d just catch up in maths and physics in the US.

Now that I’m in the UK system, I’ve been contemplating switching to chemistry so that I’ll to gain more quantitative skills in my bachelor’s degree. This would ultimately be beneficial were I to seek to enter the finance space when I do a master’s degree.

I am already aware that a BSC in chemistry would require more maths than I have exposed myself to in the last 2 years, but I’ve always liked maths and physics, so am in no way averse to doing additional quantitative modules in my first year of biochem if that’ll mean that next year I can switch to chemistry.
Does anyone know what I will need to do in order to switch from biochem to chem at imperial? I.e. whether there would be courses available to me in my first year of biochem that would qualify me to switch over to 1st year chemistry after my 1st year of doing biochem? Any responses from users with experience in these fields would be greatly appreciated; especially from users familiar with Imperial.

Thanks in advance.
Last edited by User6183; 2 months ago
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Sinnoh
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There's quite a bit of maths at the start of the chemistry course - a fair bit of linear algebra from what I've heard.. You should tell your personal tutor about switching if you haven't already - maybe they've had students who wanted to switch to that course before. And also contact the director of undergraduate studies for chemistry (that's Prof. Don Craig). They can answer with a lot more certainty than I can. It's possible that you'll have to start from year 1 of the chemistry course.
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User6183
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Thanks for your response. I’m sure I don’t currently have the mathematical knowledge required of switching immediately (provided switching is possible), but if there were optional quantitative modules at Imperial for those looking to expand their knowledge I reckon it’d be feasible to learn all of the relevant maths in conjunction with my Y1 biochem content so that I could enter Y1 of the chemistry next year - additionally I have some mates doing maths degrees who I could just ask for relevant materials. Thanks as well for the info on who to contact, once I fully matriculate in October I’ll look to contact Prof. Craig.
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Sinnoh
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#4
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(Original post by User6183)
Thanks for your response. I’m sure I don’t currently have the mathematical knowledge required of switching immediately (provided switching is possible), but if there were optional quantitative modules at Imperial for those looking to expand their knowledge I reckon it’d be feasible to learn all of the relevant maths in conjunction with my Y1 biochem content so that I could enter Y1 of the chemistry next year - additionally I have some mates doing maths degrees who I could just ask for relevant materials. Thanks as well for the info on who to contact, once I fully matriculate in October I’ll look to contact Prof. Craig.
Oh yeah whoops, hard to tell your personal tutor if you don't know who they are yet. Outside of any optional modules in your course that presumably you know about already, there aren't any of these optional quantitative modules (I guess there's the STEMM modules that you can do as part of I-Explore, but that's for 2nd or 3rd year).
Your mates doing maths aren't going to have very relevant stuff - you'll be wanting books on mathematical methods. There are lots of good ones in the library.
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