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Chemistry with Maths

I'm going to Durham to study natural sciences. I was thinking of joint honours in maths and chemistry, but wondered if this would leave many doors open for PhD programs and then jobs after uni? I struggle to find any info online

edit - Another option is bio and chem, which I would probably be stronger at, I just miss maths. I can do linear algebra 1 and calc 1 in first year but have to do solely chem and bio for year 2 so not sure which would be best.
(edited 5 months ago)
Can you perhaps send emails to tutors and ask? Also, I don't know specifically about Durham, but when you do biology there's gonna be some maths involved e.g. graphs, data so you won't be free of it (just as you prefer!)
Doing a joint honours definitely doesn't help if you want to do a phD as it's almost like half a degree in both areas. It's still feasible though, especially if the phD area is Chem rather than mathematics in the first option.
Original post by Ben259
I'm going to Durham to study natural sciences. I was thinking of joint honours in maths and chemistry, but wondered if this would leave many doors open for PhD programs and then jobs after uni? I struggle to find any info online

edit - Another option is bio and chem, which I would probably be stronger at, I just miss maths. I can do linear algebra 1 and calc 1 in first year but have to do solely chem and bio for year 2 so not sure which would be best.

So worth bearing in mind, invariably you will do maths in the style of A-level Maths in any degree (broadly all falling under the umbrella of "mathematical methods"). A joint honours in something and maths at degree level is thus a combination of "maths-degree maths" and the other subject (which will include those mathematical methods anyway).

The kind of maths encountered in degree level is very different to the kind of maths in A-level, so it's worth recognising that and making sure that is what you want to be doing. It's very abstract (even the applied maths portions of a maths degree are usually necessarily abstract), and the pure maths content is essentially entirely proof based (barring some basic computational exercises in linear algebra or something early on I guess).

If you just are worried you are "dropping" maths, you don't need to worry as effectively any science degree (certainly any physical science degree, e.g. chemistry) will be necessarily mathematical. That said there are some areas of maths that are very much "maths-degree maths" which have bearing on chemistry - I gather group theory has a number of uses in inorganic chemistry for example, and if you wanted to go down the theoretical physical chemistry route then much of the same maths physicists use (including those more pure areas potentially) may be applicable (so more formally abstract introductions to linear algebra and complex numbers/analysis might be quite productive). So could be a really useful background for specific PhD projects in those kind of realms - not sure it would be as much of a big deal for organic or synthetic chemistry though?

However that is all very much academic. In terms of non-academic careers, it's pretty much a wash - most generalist graduate schemes don't care what you studied at degree level. For more specialist roles some specific background may be needed, so for going into data science or aiming to become a quant a background in maths at degree level (in the former case leaning hard onto the stats side, in the latter case something more computational although quite possibly stats-probability related) might be useful (although bear in mind to become a quant you'd usually need to be doing a PhD in a heavily numerate or computational subject e.g. maths/physics/CS/maybe engineering). There are some other roles where a joint honours in maths and chemistry might open a couple doors otherwise not available (e.g. actuarial work perhaps, again if leaning on the stats-probability side I'd imagine).
Hiya,
I’m Ella, a MSci (Natrual sciences integrated masters) grad going on to start a Physics PhD next year. From what I’ve found NatSci students are well respected for PhD places, you’ll have got a wide range of skills and lots of enthusiasm for your choices it the end of your degree.
As well as chemistry PhDs you would be qualified to apply for natural sciences PhDs and maths PhDs, maybe even compsci ones depending on the course. I understand worrying you’ll be at a disadvantage - I was a bit scared too, but if anything I’ve found the opposite.
Good luck!!
Sciences only gets more interdisciplinary the higher up you get.
Ella 😁

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