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What degree should I do? biomedical sciences? pharmacology? gap year?

Hi, I'm in year 13, I sort of applied for uni on impulse, my initial plan being to take gap year since I wasn't completely sure about what course I wanted to take. I went to some uni open days and was drawn to biomedical sciences, so I applied for it at imperial, ucl, King's. I've gotten offers back from imperial and King's, but unfortunately got rejected from UCL, the uni which I did want to go to, cause good uni + flexibility in changing to course in similar field.

I'm now reconsidering whether I should take a gap year to find out if I really do like biomed, since I'm coming to realise I like organic chem a lot, and pharmacology seems like a more chemistry heavy topic. It's not that I don't like biology, I do, but not as much as organic chem, which makes me hesitant on going on with biomed since it is biology focused and some unis dont require a chem a level for it.

At the same time I'm scared of giving up an offer at imperial, since it's a good uni for STEM, and there's no guarantee that if I do reapply for biomed that I get in.

Alternatively if I took a gap year, I'd do some research into pharmacology, and perhaps apply for that/biomed at ucl and King's and also some degree aprenterships. But I'm so put off by going through the entire uni application cycle again since she's so stressful 😭 and it feels iffy since i already put the effort in.

I currently have my firm choice as imperial and insurance as King's. I was considering changing my firm choice to King's and then I can easily transition to the pharmacology course after 1st year biomed. However I think I can get the grades for ucl/imperial if I were to reapply next year (hopefully!) which makes me hesitant for picking King's.

What do you guys think? Gap year or not? Changing my firm choice to Kings? Would love some feedback since exams already got me stressing 😭

Good luck with exams everyone!
Original post by fanta12345
Hi, I'm in year 13, I sort of applied for uni on impulse, my initial plan being to take gap year since I wasn't completely sure about what course I wanted to take. I went to some uni open days and was drawn to biomedical sciences, so I applied for it at imperial, ucl, King's. I've gotten offers back from imperial and King's, but unfortunately got rejected from UCL, the uni which I did want to go to, cause good uni + flexibility in changing to course in similar field.
I'm now reconsidering whether I should take a gap year to find out if I really do like biomed, since I'm coming to realise I like organic chem a lot, and pharmacology seems like a more chemistry heavy topic. It's not that I don't like biology, I do, but not as much as organic chem, which makes me hesitant on going on with biomed since it is biology focused and some unis dont require a chem a level for it.
At the same time I'm scared of giving up an offer at imperial, since it's a good uni for STEM, and there's no guarantee that if I do reapply for biomed that I get in.
Alternatively if I took a gap year, I'd do some research into pharmacology, and perhaps apply for that/biomed at ucl and King's and also some degree aprenterships. But I'm so put off by going through the entire uni application cycle again since she's so stressful 😭 and it feels iffy since i already put the effort in.
I currently have my firm choice as imperial and insurance as King's. I was considering changing my firm choice to King's and then I can easily transition to the pharmacology course after 1st year biomed. However I think I can get the grades for ucl/imperial if I were to reapply next year (hopefully!) which makes me hesitant for picking King's.
What do you guys think? Gap year or not? Changing my firm choice to Kings? Would love some feedback since exams already got me stressing 😭
Good luck with exams everyone!

Hi,

Do you have specific career aspirations or salary expectations for the future? These are important considerations, because if you want specific roles you may want to think which of these options can lead you to the career you may want.

I would look very briefly into career choices and work backwards (perhaps look on LinkedIn on people working in roles you want or even better ask them directly). Your main priority at this time should still be your exams so don't go too deep down the rabbit hole.

If you have no idea, this is okay. I would recommend looking into work experience as soon as the exam period is over and consider the cooling period for you to 'withdraw' from UCAS or the unis if you wish to withdraw at a later date after accepting/firming. Chances are - one day in work experience at a place may confirm you like something!

I personally did biomed and enjoyed studying it, but am now going into medical school after working a few years in laboratories. Regardless of your choices they all do seem like good options, especially if you would like a career in research. You are in a good spot!

Finally, if you are switching after 1st year of biomed, double check with the pharmacology admissions with King's that they will accept you as a 2nd year. They may make you start again from 1st year? This could come at added cost (likely an additional year is covered by student finance if you are in England if I recall correctly).

I hope this helped.

Best of luck with exams and the future!
Reply 2
Original post by fanta12345
Hi, I'm in year 13, I sort of applied for uni on impulse, my initial plan being to take gap year since I wasn't completely sure about what course I wanted to take. I went to some uni open days and was drawn to biomedical sciences, so I applied for it at imperial, ucl, King's. I've gotten offers back from imperial and King's, but unfortunately got rejected from UCL, the uni which I did want to go to, cause good uni + flexibility in changing to course in similar field.
I'm now reconsidering whether I should take a gap year to find out if I really do like biomed, since I'm coming to realise I like organic chem a lot, and pharmacology seems like a more chemistry heavy topic. It's not that I don't like biology, I do, but not as much as organic chem, which makes me hesitant on going on with biomed since it is biology focused and some unis dont require a chem a level for it.
At the same time I'm scared of giving up an offer at imperial, since it's a good uni for STEM, and there's no guarantee that if I do reapply for biomed that I get in.
Alternatively if I took a gap year, I'd do some research into pharmacology, and perhaps apply for that/biomed at ucl and King's and also some degree aprenterships. But I'm so put off by going through the entire uni application cycle again since she's so stressful 😭 and it feels iffy since i already put the effort in.
I currently have my firm choice as imperial and insurance as King's. I was considering changing my firm choice to King's and then I can easily transition to the pharmacology course after 1st year biomed. However I think I can get the grades for ucl/imperial if I were to reapply next year (hopefully!) which makes me hesitant for picking King's.
What do you guys think? Gap year or not? Changing my firm choice to Kings? Would love some feedback since exams already got me stressing 😭
Good luck with exams everyone!

You sound apprehensive. Keep in mind university is a big financial commitment and is not something you want to rush.

I would recommend contacting the universities and checking to see if it's possible to request a degree switch now and if not whether that would be possible after the first year. However, I only suggest doing this if you are certain you will like the university.

If you would rather go to a different university then take a gap year. It's important you enjoy university. The gap year will give you more time to enhance your application. In fact, I believe you can reapply with the same personal statement so you can use your current statement as a template and add in new experiences you've obtained through the gap year.
One thing to bear in mind with Biomed is that doing Biomed and getting accredited doesn't necessarily let you walk directly into a biomedical scientist job. Often it's a training post and they're scarce.

Also have a look around at apprenticeship sort of things. Within the NHS there are apprenticeships that will fund a BSc (and later MSc). It takes 5 years to get your BSc but you get paid at the same time AND the degree itself is funded.

I don't know if there are things like that where you are, but it's worth looking into!

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