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Chemistry Research, Durham University
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Switching Durham course

Hi all,
I've applied and got an offer from the biosciences course, but have now decided I would much prefer the natural Sciences course. I've emailed the admissions people and they've forwarded my request into the department but ..
How likely is it they'll let me switch?
Would I be able to switch once I get there?
Thanks.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Hi all,
I've applied and got an offer from the biosciences course, but have now decided I would much prefer the natural Sciences course. I've emailed the admissions people and they've forwarded my request into the department but ..
How likely is it they'll let me switch?
Would I be able to switch once I get there?
Thanks.


Hiya

As far as I'm aware, your course change request will depend on your merit as well as the availability of spaces on the programme. The same goes for when changing your course once you come to Durham- you will most probably have to make a request with your department within the first four weeks of your time at Durham and your request will be reviewed based on the same criteria I've mentioned above. You can check this link for a more detailed response, however, please note that it is quite an outdated response but can give you a general idea of the process. The best option going forward is to wait for a response from the admissions team or contact the department directly at [email protected] and ask what the course change process is once you come to Durham.

-Himieka
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
Visit website
Reply 2
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Hi all,
I've applied and got an offer from the biosciences course, but have now decided I would much prefer the natural Sciences course. I've emailed the admissions people and they've forwarded my request into the department but ..
How likely is it they'll let me switch?
Would I be able to switch once I get there?
Thanks.


Hi,

Sorry I can’t help you in this, but I am having a similar dilemma in that I’m not sure if I should choose Natural Sciences or Biological Sciences as the course I want to study. Can I ask what made you change your mind on what you course you want to do?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by SignOut
Hi,

Sorry I can’t help you in this, but I am having a similar dilemma in that I’m not sure if I should choose Natural Sciences or Biological Sciences as the course I want to study. Can I ask what made you change your mind on what you course you want to do?


Yep, basically there isn't much info available on the Durham website about exactly what modules are available, and I only found out recently there is another website that has the modules. And after the offer holder day and finding out what modules were available, it was clear to me that the biosciences course is very much purely biology and biochemistry, whereas I wanted some chemistry too. Additionally, the biology modules you can pick for the Nat sci course are the exact same modules as for the biosciences course, so by doing nat sci I can do some of the biosciences modules, but some chemistry as well.
Basically, pick the biosciences course if you want to study lots of areas of biology (like ecology, biomedicine and biochemistry) but if you want some other subjects as well (like geography, chemistry, computing or physics) pick the Nat sci course. I think with the Nat sci course you can pick up to 3 areas and then graduate with a joint honours if you pick modules from only 2 areas - I.e if I study only the bio and chem modules, I'll graduate with a degree with joint honours in bio and chem. Alternatively, you can also graduate with just a degree in Nat sci if you want that.

Just to mention, for this year they have also brought out a biochemistry course, if you might be interested in this!
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 4
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Yep, basically there isn't much info available on the Durham website about exactly what modules are available, and I only found out recently there is another website that has the modules. And after the offer holder day and finding out what modules were available, it was clear to me that the biosciences course is very much purely biology and biochemistry, whereas I wanted some chemistry too. Additionally, the biology modules you can pick for the Nat sci course are the exact same modules as for the biosciences course, so by doing nat sci I can do some of the biosciences modules, but some chemistry as well.
Basically, pick the biosciences course if you want to study lots of areas of biology (like ecology, biomedicine and biochemistry) but if you want some other subjects as well (like geography, chemistry, computing or physics) pick the Nat sci course. I think with the Nat sci course you can pick up to 3 areas and then graduate with a joint honours if you pick modules from only 2 areas - I.e if I study only the bio and chem modules, I'll graduate with a degree with joint honours in bio and chem. Alternatively, you can also graduate with just a degree in Nat sci if you want that.

Just to mention, for this year they have also brought out a biochemistry course, if you might be interested in this!

Thank you so much for your really detailed reply! Hope your course swap goes well!:biggrin:
Original post by SignOut
Thank you so much for your really detailed reply! Hope your course swap goes well!:biggrin:

Did you want the links to the module lists?
Reply 6
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Did you want the links to the module lists?

Yes please that would be 👍 great
Original post by SignOut
Yes please that would be 👍 great

Okay, so these are the links to the various course variations, but these dont have much info about the actual modules involved:
Biological sciences BSc https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/c103/
Biosciences MSci https://www.durham.ac.uk/study/courses/c107/
Natural scinces BSc and MSci https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/natural-sciences/

Then these are the links to the actual modules available for Nat Sci:
https://www.maths.dur.ac.uk/php/natural.sciences.php

This is the link for the bio modules of nat sci
https://www.maths.dur.ac.uk/php/natural.sciences.php?dept=biol
Note that at the bottom is a list of course variations within the nat sci - worth checking these out. Some modules in later years have modules that need to have been taken in previous years as well to be able to do them in later years.

NOTE; within the biosciences course there are 'course routes' too. Basically if you take certain modules in each year you graduate with a degree with a specialism in that area. I.e. if i take special cell biology modules I'd graduate with a degree in biological sciences with cell biology.

if you have any idea of what topics you are interested in, i'll have a think/ search for what specialisms you could take for each of the biosciences/nat sci courses - basically its very complex but the whole thing was explained on an open day.
Reply 8
WOW! This is amazing!!! Thank you. :smile: The website on its own was very confusing.

From looking at this, what I understand is

a) That 99% of modules available in Biosci are available in Natural Sciences expect some fieldwork related stuff

b) That if I change my mind, subject to availability and choosing Bio modules, it is normally possible to transfer to a single science option

Personally I have a big interest in bio but not really in anything specifically (maybe the chem side of stuff and cellular level but only by a tiny bit). I also want to study a broader degree e.g.. maybe chemistry, geo, earth sci, psychology etc.

The Durham requirements are A* for chem which I might not be able to do, so I wouldn't be able to do modules like Biological Chem but I still could do other interests e.g. geography or earth sciences (which would prob have some basic chem anyways). Also, in biological sciences there are not modules anyways for that. So its looking to me like natural sciences may be better.

My only concern is would choosing natural science without the chemistry section (geo, earth sci, philosophy instead) disadvantage me if I want to then go into a career related to biology research or biotech? Would a lack of specialisation disadvantage me compared to say Biosciences with Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or Biosciences with cell biology ?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by SignOut
WOW! This is amazing!!! Thank you. :smile: The website on its own was very confusing.

From looking at this, what I understand is

a) That 99% of modules available in Biosci are available in Natural Sciences expect some fieldwork related stuff

b) That if I change my mind, subject to availability and choosing Bio modules, it is normally possible to transfer to a single science option

Personally I have a big interest in bio but not really in anything specifically (maybe the chem side of stuff and cellular level but only by a tiny bit). I also want to study a broader degree e.g.. maybe chemistry, geo, earth sci, psychology etc.

The Durham requirements are A* for chem which I might not be able to do, so I wouldn't be able to do modules like Biological Chem but I still could do other interests e.g. geography or earth sciences (which would prob have some basic chem anyways). Also, in biological sciences there are not modules anyways. So its looking to me like natural sciences may be better.

My only concern is would choosing natural science without the chemistry section (geo, earth sci, philosophy instead) disadvantage me if I want to then go into a career related to biology research or biotech? Would a lack of specialisation disadvantage me compared to say Biosciences with Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or Biosciences with cell biology ?

If you have a big interest in bio, but nothing specific, both biosciences and Nat sci sound like a good choices.
Given your interest in geography etc, the Nat sci course sounds perfect. Looking at the grade requirements, for physics, chem and maths they specify where the a* is, but if you want the geo or bio routes, they don't mind what the a* is in.
With regards to the careers, etc, biotechnology does seeem quite chemistryish, but I dont think not having any chem will disadvantage the chance of you getting a job. I imagine they teach you any required chemistry for biology in the bio modules, its just that the overall degree might seem less chemistry focused to employers if you dont take the chem modules. But for bio research, having geo skills etc, are equally useful,its just whether you are researching something molecular in a lab (where chem might be more useful) or researching ecosystems etc (where geo will be more useful)

I don't think the lack of specialism is a disadvantage because
A) you have lots of skills from the nat sci course and breadth of knowledge
And b) more importantly, for a job in bio research or biotech nowadays, they'll want you to have a masters/PhD- this could be done in a more specialised area, so your bsc doesn't need to be that specialised.
Employers mainly look at skills nowadays, rather than the degree title.

Just to add, not sure what other unis you are looking at, but other nat sci courses elsewhere focus more on the main 3 sciences (Bio, chem and physics) and have less geo options etc. It varies alot of course, but given you want to do philosophy etc, the Durham course is the only one I've seen that allows you to study so many different areas.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 10
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
If you have a big interest in bio, but nothing specific, both biosciences and Nat sci sound like a good choices.
Given your interest in geography etc, the Nat sci course sounds perfect. Looking at the grade requirements, for physics, chem and maths they specify where the a* is, but if you want the geo or bio routes, they don't mind what the a* is in.
With regards to the careers, etc, biotechnology does seeem quite chemistryish, but I dont think not having any chem will disadvantage the chance of you getting a job. I imagine they teach you any required chemistry for biology in the bio modules, its just that the overall degree might seem less chemistry focused to employers if you dont take the chem modules. But for bio research, having geo skills etc, are equally useful,its just whether you are researching something molecular in a lab (where chem might be more useful) or researching ecosystems etc (where geo will be more useful)

I don't think the lack of specialism is a disadvantage because
A) you have lots of skills from the nat sci course and breadth of knowledge
And b) more importantly, for a job in bio research or biotech nowadays, they'll want you to have a masters/PhD- this could be done in a more specialised area, so your bsc doesn't need to be that specialised.
Employers mainly look at skills nowadays, rather than the degree title.

Just to add, not sure what other unis you are looking at, but other nat sci courses elsewhere focus more on the main 3 sciences (Bio, chem and physics) and have less geo options etc. It varies alot of course, but given you want to do philosophy etc, the Durham course is the only one I've seen that allows you to study so many different areas.


Thank you once again. I appreciate your responses a lot, they have cleared up quite so much. When I first asked I wasn't expecting anywhere as much detail and I have really been blown away by the amount of time and depth of info you have sent. I hope you have a lot of success in the future.
:smile:
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Hi all,
I've applied and got an offer from the biosciences course, but have now decided I would much prefer the natural Sciences course. I've emailed the admissions people and they've forwarded my request into the department but ..
How likely is it they'll let me switch?
Would I be able to switch once I get there?
Thanks.

Did you get a reply?
Reply 12
Original post by Anonymous
Did you get a reply?

Yeah they replied to say they've forwarded the request to the admissions department but that it's their "busiest time of year" so it may take a while for them to decide. That was about 3 weeks ago now and I've heard nothing
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Yeah they replied to say they've forwarded the request to the admissions department but that it's their "busiest time of year" so it may take a while for them to decide. That was about 3 weeks ago now and I've heard nothing


Hiya

It is indeed a busy time but I would suggest contacting them again via phone or the Ask Us form and seeking an update on this.

-Himieka
Hi!
Just to ask if you heard back?
I'm basically in the EXACT same position only I'm requesting natural sciences to biology instead 😀
Reply 15
Original post by Anonymous
Hi!
Just to ask if you heard back?
I'm basically in the EXACT same position only I'm requesting natural sciences to biology instead 😀

Yep basically they told me there wasn't room, and to email back after the ucas deadline. So I did , and apparently there still isnt room, even though I know people who declined the course on ucas. But I really don't want to do the bio course I'm on so I think I might go through clearing to another uni. And ive not been that impressed with durhams organisation and general student care throughout the application process so don't really want to go there now.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, I'd definitely try and switch
Original post by Emmmaaaa...
Yep basically they told me there wasn't room, and to email back after the ucas deadline. So I did , and apparently there still isnt room, even though I know people who declined the course on ucas. But I really don't want to do the bio course I'm on so I think I might go through clearing to another uni. And ive not been that impressed with durhams organisation and general student care throughout the application process so don't really want to go there now.
Anyway, sorry for the rant, I'd definitely try and switch


Yeah unfortunately I think they normally over offer in accordance with rates of declining/not meeting offers which will be why they still don’t have room.
Original post by Anonymous
Hi!
Just to ask if you heard back?
I'm basically in the EXACT same position only I'm requesting natural sciences to biology instead 😀


i was able to get an alternative offer so i think it might be based on no. of places. btw if you want to say, why do you want to change from natural sciences to biology instead?

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