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Biochemistry or Biomedical Sciences in UCAS?

Hi! I'm currently struggling to decide which degree to apply in UCAS - biochemistry or biomedical science? Both are very similar in terms of the content and I enjoy both subjects. My favourite disciplines in natural sciences include but are not limited to genetics, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, neurology and organic chemistry. Which degree should I choose? Any advice would be appreciated!! :smile:)

Fyi my current 5 choices in UCAS:
- Cambridge (NatSci)
- Imperial (Biochemistry / Medical Biosciences)
- UCL (Biochemistry / Biomedical Sciences)
- Edinburgh (Biological Science - Molecular Genetics)
- Durham (NatSci)
Original post by thesupremecarbon
Hi! I'm currently struggling to decide which degree to apply in UCAS - biochemistry or biomedical science? Both are very similar in terms of the content and I enjoy both subjects. My favourite disciplines in natural sciences include but are not limited to genetics, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, neurology and organic chemistry. Which degree should I choose? Any advice would be appreciated!! :smile:)

Fyi my current 5 choices in UCAS:
- Cambridge (NatSci)
- Imperial (Biochemistry / Medical Biosciences)
- UCL (Biochemistry / Biomedical Sciences)
- Edinburgh (Biological Science - Molecular Genetics)
- Durham (NatSci)

I would say biomed. To my understanding biochemistry just looks at the chemistry related to the human body, whereas biomed covers all of human biology + biochemistry. If you want to look into genetics, developmental biology, and neurology as well, you're strictly speaking looking at biomed.

You might want a second opinion on the above though.

Just out of interest, why Cambridge as opposed to Oxford's courses in biochem and biomed?
Original post by MindMax2000
I would say biomed. To my understanding biochemistry just looks at the chemistry related to the human body, whereas biomed covers all of human biology + biochemistry. If you want to look into genetics, developmental biology, and neurology as well, you're strictly speaking looking at biomed.

You might want a second opinion on the above though.

Just out of interest, why Cambridge as opposed to Oxford's courses in biochem and biomed?

thanks for your detailed reply!! would probably choose biomed for imperial and ucl as it includes a range of topics I'm very interested in :smile:
I prefer Cambridge as the inclusive and flexible nature of its natural science course really suits me (as I enjoy nearly all experimental sciences). I can build a solid foundation on various topics and then specialize afterwards, which to me seems to be a better idea lolol
Original post by thesupremecarbon
Hi! I'm currently struggling to decide which degree to apply in UCAS - biochemistry or biomedical science? Both are very similar in terms of the content and I enjoy both subjects. My favourite disciplines in natural sciences include but are not limited to genetics, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, neurology and organic chemistry. Which degree should I choose? Any advice would be appreciated!! :smile:)

Fyi my current 5 choices in UCAS:
- Cambridge (NatSci)
- Imperial (Biochemistry / Medical Biosciences)
- UCL (Biochemistry / Biomedical Sciences)
- Edinburgh (Biological Science - Molecular Genetics)
- Durham (NatSci)


The topics you mention are a part of biomed. For the record, biochem is also a part of biomed, so your not missing out. The module structures for the unis you’ve listed are very different, so you would look at the course structure in detail and see what fits. For example, UCL’s course allows you to specialize from year 2 itself, so if you’re looking to pick up one stream early that could be worth looking at. Check out how other unis do it too.
Original post by sleep_supremacy
The topics you mention are a part of biomed. For the record, biochem is also a part of biomed, so your not missing out. The module structures for the unis you’ve listed are very different, so you would look at the course structure in detail and see what fits. For example, UCL’s course allows you to specialize from year 2 itself, so if you’re looking to pick up one stream early that could be worth looking at. Check out how other unis do it too.

thanks for your reply! would apply to biomed in imperial and ucl instead of biochem! :smile:
Reply 5
Original post by thesupremecarbon
Hi! I'm currently struggling to decide which degree to apply in UCAS - biochemistry or biomedical science? Both are very similar in terms of the content and I enjoy both subjects. My favourite disciplines in natural sciences include but are not limited to genetics, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, neurology and organic chemistry. Which degree should I choose? Any advice would be appreciated!! :smile:)

Fyi my current 5 choices in UCAS:
- Cambridge (NatSci)
- Imperial (Biochemistry / Medical Biosciences)
- UCL (Biochemistry / Biomedical Sciences)
- Edinburgh (Biological Science - Molecular Genetics)
- Durham (NatSci)

Hey, I'm in the exact same position but I'm not a huge fan of organic chemistry and I'm thinking of Warwick or Kings instead of Durham and Edinburgh. I'm leaning toward biomed at the moment despite not finding physiology or human anatomy as interesting but I'm glad you posted this as i keep changing my mind//
I'm guessing you take bio, chem and maths like me. But i was wondering what super and extra curricular you are/will taking/
Original post by Simrika.aa
Hey, I'm in the exact same position but I'm not a huge fan of organic chemistry and I'm thinking of Warwick or Kings instead of Durham and Edinburgh. I'm leaning toward biomed at the moment despite not finding physiology or human anatomy as interesting but I'm glad you posted this as i keep changing my mind//
I'm guessing you take bio, chem and maths like me. But i was wondering what super and extra curricular you are/will taking/


If you don't like physiology, human anatomy, or organic chemistry, why do you want to do biomed?
Reply 7
Yeah that was one of my thoughts too but looking at the modules for the course It still has more of the content I'm interested to than biochemistry ,such as drug action and pharm.
Original post by thesupremecarbon
Hi! I'm currently struggling to decide which degree to apply in UCAS - biochemistry or biomedical science? Both are very similar in terms of the content and I enjoy both subjects. My favourite disciplines in natural sciences include but are not limited to genetics, cellular and molecular biology, developmental biology, immunology, neurology and organic chemistry. Which degree should I choose? Any advice would be appreciated!! :smile:)

Fyi my current 5 choices in UCAS:
- Cambridge (NatSci)
- Imperial (Biochemistry / Medical Biosciences)
- UCL (Biochemistry / Biomedical Sciences)
- Edinburgh (Biological Science - Molecular Genetics)
- Durham (NatSci)

Hey @thesupremecarbon

I'd recommend biomedical science going by the disciplines you've said you're interested in. What do you think you'd like to do for a career after uni? Do you prefer more lab diagnostics and case studies, or are you more interested in research or pharmaceuticals? I picked biomed because I decided I wanted to work in a pathology lab and worked my way backwards to see what qualifications I'd need to meet that goal. My degree at Essex is quite genetics-heavy as well.

If you're going for Biomed, make sure the course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science as not all universities offer an accredited course. If you take a placement year with the NHS you can do your registration portfolio in that time and it increases your employability chances afterwards and you'd enter at a higher pay grade
https://careers.ibms.org/students/accredited-degree-courses/undergraduate-uk-courses/

Best of luck making your choice!
Essex Student Rep - Hayley
Original post by Simrika.aa
Yeah that was one of my thoughts too but looking at the modules for the course It still has more of the content I'm interested to than biochemistry ,such as drug action and pharm.

Then why not do pharmacology, drug discovery, pharmacy, molecular biology (all still involve organic chemistry btw)?
Failing that, why not do a degree in biological sciences/Nat Sci, and you can be as picky as you want with what modules you want to do?
Original post by Simrika.aa
Hey, I'm in the exact same position but I'm not a huge fan of organic chemistry and I'm thinking of Warwick or Kings instead of Durham and Edinburgh. I'm leaning toward biomed at the moment despite not finding physiology or human anatomy as interesting but I'm glad you posted this as i keep changing my mind//
I'm guessing you take bio, chem and maths like me. But i was wondering what super and extra curricular you are/will taking/

great to see someone who is passionate about biochem / biomed! yes, I do take IB bio, chem and math aa HL (equivalent to bio, chem and math at A2 level). regarding supra-curricula, I joined some national bio & chem olympiads as well as the brain bee championship. I was also invited to participate in a shadowing programme organised by a biomed professor at a reputable uni! I did some reading as well - "Genome" by Matt Ridley and "Life on the Edge: The Coming of Quantum Biology" are the most awe-inspiring and thought-provoking imo. highly recommended!
Original post by EssexStudentRep
Hey @thesupremecarbon

I'd recommend biomedical science going by the disciplines you've said you're interested in. What do you think you'd like to do for a career after uni? Do you prefer more lab diagnostics and case studies, or are you more interested in research or pharmaceuticals? I picked biomed because I decided I wanted to work in a pathology lab and worked my way backwards to see what qualifications I'd need to meet that goal. My degree at Essex is quite genetics-heavy as well.

If you're going for Biomed, make sure the course is accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science as not all universities offer an accredited course. If you take a placement year with the NHS you can do your registration portfolio in that time and it increases your employability chances afterwards and you'd enter at a higher pay grade
https://careers.ibms.org/students/accredited-degree-courses/undergraduate-uk-courses/

Best of luck making your choice!
Essex Student Rep - Hayley

thanks for replying! currently, I'm intrigued by genomic medicine / human genetics, as it's an emerging field in biological sciences and the whole picture of genetics and DNA has yet not been discovered fully. contributing to further discovery and findings in a vital field sounds very fascinating to me lol. and thanks for the reminder for checking the accreditation received by degrees! :biggrin:
Original post by thesupremecarbon
thanks for replying! currently, I'm intrigued by genomic medicine / human genetics, as it's an emerging field in biological sciences and the whole picture of genetics and DNA has yet not been discovered fully. contributing to further discovery and findings in a vital field sounds very fascinating to me lol. and thanks for the reminder for checking the accreditation received by degrees! :biggrin:

Genetics is the first year we focused quite a bit on evolution and phylogeny, Mendel and punnet squares and that sort of thing. Plasmid cloning with E. coli is really interesting. The second year has been working more with DNA databases like BLAST, comparing nucleotide sequences to find mutations.
I'm over simplifying it :smile: but each university will have their own way of teaching and will focus more on different things. I've really enjoyed the course so far.

I did find that the first year, as your grades don't count toward your final grade, is mainly about getting everyone to the same knowledge level. You'll come across things you'll have studied at IB / A level but they go into much more detail. Try to find a way that works for you for remembering things like order of cascades, stages of mitosis etc

Best wishes
Essex Student Rep - Hayley

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