The Student Room Group

Biochemistry vs Chemistry vs Natural Sciences

Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:
Reply 1
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:

I do chemistry for drug discovery. It's mainly chemistry but I do the drug process side of it too. This means my optional modules are geared towards the more biology side. In S1 of first year I did: biochemistry, physiology and then in S2 I did medicinal chemistry which is all about how small molecules work in the body, how we optimise them to work as drugs and then how the drug discovery process works (idea --> market). I study at Bath so can only rly speak for that :smile:) maybe this is what ur looking for?
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:
Hi,

I'm a third-year at Lancaster University and I study chemistry. I was in a similar boat when I started uni so I understand the struggle you are going through.

If you are looking for a good combination of chemistry and biology, you may want to consider biochemistry or medicinal chemistry as these fields often bridge the gap between the two sciences and you would be able to explore aspects of both in your studies. That being said, I do straight chemistry and have completed modules of the chemistry of biomedical imaging and biological chemistry so there is some overlap as well as opportunities to tailor the modules to your interests.

Don't stress too much about getting your choice 'wrong' as throughout university you change a lot and your interests might evolve as you progress. Plus, there are opportunities to tailor your degree to your interests as you go along.

Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or want to chat more about your decision. Good luck with your UCAS application!
-Beth (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Original post by Cyion
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:

I do chemistry for drug discovery. It's mainly chemistry but I do the drug process side of it too. This means my optional modules are geared towards the more biology side. In S1 of first year I did: biochemistry, physiology and then in S2 I did medicinal chemistry which is all about how small molecules work in the body, how we optimise them to work as drugs and then how the drug discovery process works (idea --> market). I study at Bath so can only rly speak for that :smile:) maybe this is what ur looking for?


Oh cool that sounds interesting! Have you got any ideas about what you are going to do after uni?
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:
Hi

I'm Oliver and currently a final year Natural Sciences student at Lancaster.
I remember being in such a similar position a few years ago and finding it really hard to make a decision. In the end I went for natural sciences as I really wanted to keep my options open and not have to commit to one subject.
For me it's worked perfectly as I've been able to follow my interests as I've progressed through my degree and and had the flexibility to choose whichever modules I'm interested in from across chemistry and biochemistry.
In first year I took pathways in synthetic/organic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry but decided for second year I wanted to focus on synthetic chemistry and biochemistry so was able to drop my physical chemistry pathway. I'm now taking my final year project in organic chemistry while still taking biochemistry modules and really love the balance between the two.
I hope that is helpful and feel free to ask me any more questions :smile:

Oliver (student ambassador)
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:
Hi,

I'm a third-year at Lancaster University and I study chemistry. I was in a similar boat when I started uni so I understand the struggle you are going through.

If you are looking for a good combination of chemistry and biology, you may want to consider biochemistry or medicinal chemistry as these fields often bridge the gap between the two sciences and you would be able to explore aspects of both in your studies. That being said, I do straight chemistry and have completed modules of the chemistry of biomedical imaging and biological chemistry so there is some overlap as well as opportunities to tailor the modules to your interests.

Don't stress too much about getting your choice 'wrong' as throughout university you change a lot and your interests might evolve as you progress. Plus, there are opportunities to tailor your degree to your interests as you go along.

Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or want to chat more about your decision. Good luck with your UCAS application!
-Beth (Lancaster Student Ambassador)


Thank you very much for this! Yes, I think I am worried about getting my choice ‘wrong’ but I enjoyed my GCSEs and am enjoying the A-Levels I am doing, although I probably also would have enjoyed the other subjects I was thinking about!
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:
Hi

I'm Oliver and currently a final year Natural Sciences student at Lancaster.
I remember being in such a similar position a few years ago and finding it really hard to make a decision. In the end I went for natural sciences as I really wanted to keep my options open and not have to commit to one subject.
For me it's worked perfectly as I've been able to follow my interests as I've progressed through my degree and and had the flexibility to choose whichever modules I'm interested in from across chemistry and biochemistry.
In first year I took pathways in synthetic/organic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry but decided for second year I wanted to focus on synthetic chemistry and biochemistry so was able to drop my physical chemistry pathway. I'm now taking my final year project in organic chemistry while still taking biochemistry modules and really love the balance between the two.
I hope that is helpful and feel free to ask me any more questions :smile:

Oliver (student ambassador)


I am now thinking that I would quite like to do natural sciences as it seems much broader, and I’ve seen on for example the Bath website that you can do other things like Psychology modules as well! How many modules are you allowed to take at Lancaster, and what kind of subjects do they encompass?
Original post by raindropxox
Hi

I'm Oliver and currently a final year Natural Sciences student at Lancaster.
I remember being in such a similar position a few years ago and finding it really hard to make a decision. In the end I went for natural sciences as I really wanted to keep my options open and not have to commit to one subject.
For me it's worked perfectly as I've been able to follow my interests as I've progressed through my degree and and had the flexibility to choose whichever modules I'm interested in from across chemistry and biochemistry.
In first year I took pathways in synthetic/organic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry but decided for second year I wanted to focus on synthetic chemistry and biochemistry so was able to drop my physical chemistry pathway. I'm now taking my final year project in organic chemistry while still taking biochemistry modules and really love the balance between the two.
I hope that is helpful and feel free to ask me any more questions :smile:

Oliver (student ambassador)


I am now thinking that I would quite like to do natural sciences as it seems much broader, and I’ve seen on for example the Bath website that you can do other things like Psychology modules as well! How many modules are you allowed to take at Lancaster, and what kind of subjects do they encompass?Hi @raindropxox ,
There's a complete range of subjects you can study under natural sciences at Lancaster, like Biology, Chemistry, environmental science and Psychology. A full list of the subjects you can study is on the website below, which also explains how the pathways work.
Natural Sciences - Lancaster University
If you have any more questions feel free to ask!
-Jasmine (Lancaster Student Ambassador)
Reply 8
not very sure yet. With my degree it does prep me to work in most of the Pharma industry weather that's target identification, HTS or hit to lead optimisation best but working in law is also open as a patent attorney (but v. competitive) or in the industrial process of making a drug perhaps working in analytical chemistry, process chem or quality. I would say that a degree in Chemistry defiantly opens doors but only if you work HARD
Reply 9
Original post by raindropxox
Hi all! I have of course researched these degrees however I would like to get some input from people who are actually studying these degrees!

After doing the Chemistry Olympiad, I decided that I wanted to do a chemistry degree as I really enjoyed all of the extra revision I was doing, however I am doubting myself now as I also like biology, and like the idea of being able to combine them, but I am still quite unsure. I really enjoyed organic chemistry, but I like a lot of the chemistry modules! My favourite biology topics are probably things like biological molecules! I really just don’t want to get it wrong and commit to something that I won’t enjoy, though I think I am someone who is able to enjoy anything if I put my mind to it! I would also be particularly interested in people doing these degrees at Cardiff, Bristol and Bath as those are the universities I am probably thinking of most. I am interested into going into research in the future. This is a very wordy and ramble-y post but if anyone would be able to help with their knowledge of these degrees that would be really helpful! Thank you! :smile:

As someone who was in your exact position when applying to uni, natural sciences was the degree that I think was best for me to apply. I only really know much about the Cambridge Natsci course, but the tripos there gives u the opportunity to study what it appears that you like. A degree in biochem I think can be a bit restrictive, you are not able to do a lot of physical or inorganic chemistry that you may find very interesting, and likewise you cannot do areas of pure biology that you may also like. Natural sciences, at Cambridge at least, allows you to independently take modules that allow you to study pure chemistry, pure biology, and biochemistry all at once

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