The Student Room Group

unsure about studying finance or chemistry at uni

hi! I'm currently a y13 student studying maths, chem + English lit- I applied for accounting + finance at uni and have firmed Southampton and insured Surrey. However I'm not really sure about if I want to pursue this line of work in the future and am having second thoughts..

I am predicted AAB (with a B in chem) but have worked very hard on chem in the last year and managed to get a very high A in my feb mocks. bc of my pred grades I wasn't able to apply to the more competitive unis I wanted to (Bristol, bath, lse etc) so I was thinking about taking a gap year and reapplying if I overachieved what I was predicted.

my problem is that I dont currently study FM even though my school offers it (I wanted to do law in y11 so didn't even think of choosing FM as an a-level) and I've seen a lot of ppl on here and in my own school saying that even though it's not a requirement its beneficial to study FM and disadvantages you if you don't. if that is the case, is it worth taking a gap year and applying to more competitive unis for a degree related to accounting/finance even though I don't currently study FM?

I've also read a lot about how competitive it is to secure a job in a large firm in the finance industry and more often than not they hire students from the more prestigious/competitive unis, then is it even worth pursuing finance if I can't attend one of those unis since it'll put me at a greater disadvantage when finding jobs? (note, I'm not sure exactly what area of finance I'd like to go into but likely will be asset management based off my wex)

sorry ab the rant I'm just very confused!

my parents are also open to me studying chem at uni which I initially turned down in y12 bc I disliked the subject since I was so bad at it, but after putting work into it I really like the subject and would be interested in pursuing it at uni but not really sure what kinds of jobs I can get with a chem/medicinal chem degree? I think I'd be really interested in pursuing the research side of medicinal chemistry but not really sure if you need higher level education like a phd/masters to secure one of those jobs

basically if anyone could shed some light on if it's worth going into finance if I attend a non-competitive uni and don't study FM + what career opportunities come from studying chem at uni I'd really appreciate it!
(edited 1 month ago)
Bath doesn't require FM for Chem, and doesn't give any extra credit to those who have.
And you can do 'Chemistry with Management' at Bath.
Where can a chemistry degree from Bath take you?
Reply 2
I don't think many courses would heavily favour FM for chemistry (if you were looking at physics that would be a different matter). Have you looked at natural sciences degrees?
Chemistry and Finance are worlds apart. This is an important cross roads for you since you need to 'pick a lane'. Taking any STEM subject pretty much guarantees you a job in a quantitative field since they are crying out for data rational graduates so chemistry is a safe bet even if - later on - you decide life in a lab is not for you.
Hi @jadeiscool

I studied Chemistry, Further Maths, and Maths. I also studied Computer Science at A-Level but dropped it at the end of Year 12.

I'll be honest. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at the end of Year 12. Several courses were thrown at me including accounting, pharmacy, chemistry, engineering, software engineering, and so on.

Further Maths is by no means needed nor necessary, although it may be helpful in some contexts. From my experience in Surrey, most of the Maths in accounting and finance are covered in A-Level and GCSE maths so please don't feel disadvantaged! Off the top of my head, the only topic in maths that wasn't covered in GCSE or A-level maths was linear programming, although the amount of maths varies by uni. I'm sure this is similar in Chemistry, and you shouldn't be disadvantaged for not taking it.

I switched to Accounting and Finance as, personally, the idea of working in a lab didn't suit me, and I didn't quite enjoy the Further Mechanics side of FM. Accounting and finance were something new to me. After my first year, I realised that was something that I wanted to do. I have several internship and placement offers lined up now and feel I'm in a good position. Often, employers can offer fast-track or graduate roles to those who undertake these programmes, so it's worth looking into.

The finance industry is competitive. Depending on the sector/job, some employers may prefer economics or mathematics over accounting, and vice versa. One advantage of studying BSc Accounting and Finance is that you'll be offered exemptions from professional qualifications such as CIMA, ACCA, and ICAEW, making you stand out to firms such as the Big 4. However, more focus is on your competency, personality, and ability to fit around company values and culture than your university or degree course.

Regardless of which course you decide to study, a lot of support is available at the university to support you in your career, especially at Surrey, and I highly recommend researching what's available.

Here is the Surrey course link for Accounting and Finance and here's the link for Chemistry. It's worth looking into what each course offers and please do the same for other universities as well. You have the option of going through clearing if you decide on results day to do a different course.

I hope that's provided you with some thoughts. Here are some of the support services we offer to students, including our Centre of Wellbeing. I wish you all the best on your journey and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

All the best
Daniel
BSc Accounting and Finance
University of Surrey
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by University of Surrey Student Rep
Hi @jadeiscool
I studied Chemistry, Further Maths, and Maths. I also studied Computer Science at A-Level but dropped it at the end of Year 12.
I'll be honest. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do at the end of Year 12. Several courses were thrown at me including accounting, pharmacy, chemistry, engineering, software engineering, and so on.
Further Maths is by no means needed nor necessary, although it may be helpful in some contexts. From my experience in Surrey, most of the Maths in accounting and finance are covered in A-Level and GCSE maths so please don't feel disadvantaged! Off the top of my head, the only topic in maths that wasn't covered in GCSE or A-level maths was linear programming, although the amount of maths varies by uni. I'm sure this is similar in Chemistry, and you shouldn't be disadvantaged for not taking it.
I switched to Accounting and Finance as, personally, the idea of working in a lab didn't suit me, and I didn't quite enjoy the Further Mechanics side of FM. Accounting and finance were something new to me. After my first year, I realised that was something that I wanted to do. I have several internship and placement offers lined up now and feel I'm in a good position. Often, employers can offer fast-track or graduate roles to those who undertake these programmes, so it's worth looking into.
The finance industry is competitive. Depending on the sector/job, some employers may prefer economics or mathematics over accounting, and vice versa. One advantage of studying BSc Accounting and Finance is that you'll be offered exemptions from professional qualifications such as CIMA, ACCA, and ICAEW, making you stand out to firms such as the Big 4. However, more focus is on your competency, personality, and ability to fit around company values and culture than your university or degree course.
Regardless of which course you decide to study, a lot of support is available at the university to support you in your career, especially at Surrey, and I highly recommend researching what's available.
Here is the Surrey course link for Accounting and Finance and here's the link for Chemistry. It's worth looking into what each course offers and please do the same for other universities as well. You have the option of going through clearing if you decide on results day to do a different course.
I hope that's provided you with some thoughts. Here are some of the support services we offer to students, including our Centre of Wellbeing. I wish you all the best on your journey and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
All the best
Daniel
BSc Accounting and Finance
University of Surrey

Hi daniel,

I'm a year 12 student looking at accounting and Finance at Surrey. I'm aware of the standard offers, but just wondering how flexible they are on offer day if a student misses by one grade. Do you happen to know?
Original post by lindseywalsh
Hi daniel,
I'm a year 12 student looking at accounting and Finance at Surrey. I'm aware of the standard offers, but just wondering how flexible they are on offer day if a student misses by one grade. Do you happen to know?

Hi @lindseywalsh

Thanks for your question. Entry requirements can change throughout the year. From my experience, admissions can be forgiving if grades are off slightly and you have a strong personal statement or GCSEs, however, this is not guaranteed.

We also offer contextual offers to students who meet our criteria, typically an offer reduced by one or two A-levels. More information can be found on our website here.

It’s best to check with the admissions team about individual circumstances. You can contact them via this form.

I hope that helps! Please feel free to reach out again if you have any questions.

All the best
Daniel
BSc Accounting and Finance
University of Surrey

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