The Student Room Group

Biochemistry vs Chemistry

Hii!
I’m debating on whether I should study biochemistry or just chemistry at uni? I like both but I’m scared biochemistry will be too hard or if I do biochemistry, I’ll be stuck with it. Whereas if I do chemistry, it’s more varied because chemistry isn’t as specialised as biochemistry?
If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it!
The most important thing to understand is that in the UK biochemistry is not "biology and chemistry" at degree level. It is specifically a bioscience degree specialising in molecular and cell biology. There is generally only a small amount of "pure" chemistry in a biochemistry degree (and what is considered "biochemistry" is fully biology content, not chemistry).

If your main interest is in chemistry (applied to biological systems or not) you should do a chemistry degree.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by artful_lounger
The most important thing to understand is that in the UK biochemistry is not "biology and chemistry" at degree level. It is specifically a bioscience degree specialising in molecular and cell biology. There is generally only a small amount of "pure" chemistry in a biochemistry degree (and what is considered "biochemistry" is fully biology content, not chemistry).

If your main interest is in chemistry (applied to biological systems or not) you should do a chemistry degree.


Ahhh I thought it would be mainly chemistry but applied in a biological sense. Thanks so much!
Original post by FatmaR:)
Ahhh I thought it would be mainly chemistry but applied in a biological sense. Thanks so much!


I think a lot of students end up thinking this and then find the degree is quite different to how they imagined! It's definitely fundamentally biology - even Oxford's course (which is ironically probably the biochem course with the most chemistry) is formally subtitled "(Molecular and Cellular)" to emphasise it's status as a bioscience course.

Really if you like chemistry, the only course which really includes a lot of chemistry in the sense that you will have experienced it is chemistry itself! You will usually do at least some biological chemistry (which is chemistry applied to biological systems) in a chemistry degree, and some courses may have more options in this realm than others. If you really want to do a lot more bioscience related stuff you could look for natural sciences courses or joint honours courses in chemistry and bioscience (or maybe pharmacology/pharmaceutical sciences) :smile:
Original post by artful_lounger
I think a lot of students end up thinking this and then find the degree is quite different to how they imagined! It's definitely fundamentally biology - even Oxford's course (which is ironically probably the biochem course with the most chemistry) is formally subtitled "(Molecular and Cellular)" to emphasise it's status as a bioscience course.

Really if you like chemistry, the only course which really includes a lot of chemistry in the sense that you will have experienced it is chemistry itself! You will usually do at least some biological chemistry (which is chemistry applied to biological systems) in a chemistry degree, and some courses may have more options in this realm than others. If you really want to do a lot more bioscience related stuff you could look for natural sciences courses or joint honours courses in chemistry and bioscience (or maybe pharmacology/pharmaceutical sciences) :smile:


Thank you I’m glad you pointed this out before I applied! Initially I was going to apply for a natural sciences course at Cambridge but I had biochemistry as a back up course at a different uni. I appreciate your help!

Quick Reply

Latest