The Student Room Group

Maths or medicine degree

So I'm currently in year 11 doing my GCSE's and I've already applied to all my colleges and everything for maths, physics, further maths and chemistry to do a maths degree in the future but recently I've been wondering whether that's actually the right choice for me. I've always been good at maths and I've been on solid 9s for as long as I can remember and I enjoy the subject and I think I would enjoy it at degree level too but I'm just not sure if the degree will actually be worth it when not many of the jobs I can get with it actually interest me. Like I don't really care for jobs in the IT sector or finance sector and I would like to help people in my career but teaching also doesn't interest me. When it comes to medicine I'm pretty good at the sciences and wouldn't mind pursuing them at A-Level (although I do like physics more than biology and chemistry and I'd probably have to drop physics if I decided to change my A-Levels) but I'm just afraid that I won't be very good at biology A-Level because biology doesn't come as naturally to me as physics, maths and chemistry do (I'm at 7/8 for biology and 9s for the other two). Also, I think I would enjoy a career as a Doctor because I get to help people much more than I would enjoy studying medicine because a lot of it seems very memorisation based compared to maths which involves more problem solving. If I was to pursue medicine instead of maths I would probably end up doing biology, chemistry, maths and further maths A-levels and I know that I can still technically do a maths degree with those A-levels I just feel like I wouldn't be on par with the other maths undergrads who more likely than not studied physics instead of biology. To conclude I'm not really sure what to do and I'm kind of scared I'm ruining my life by making the wrong choices. And I also don't want to have to end up paying all that money for a degree just to regret ever having done it, especially since people always tell me that a maths degree is only really necessary if I'm looking to go into teaching, which I'm not. I'd appreciate any advice anybody can give me!
Reply 1
Original post by coherent-shroud
So I'm currently in year 11 doing my GCSE's and I've already applied to all my colleges and everything for maths, physics, further maths and chemistry to do a maths degree in the future but recently I've been wondering whether that's actually the right choice for me. I've always been good at maths and I've been on solid 9s for as long as I can remember and I enjoy the subject and I think I would enjoy it at degree level too but I'm just not sure if the degree will actually be worth it when not many of the jobs I can get with it actually interest me. Like I don't really care for jobs in the IT sector or finance sector and I would like to help people in my career but teaching also doesn't interest me. When it comes to medicine I'm pretty good at the sciences and wouldn't mind pursuing them at A-Level (although I do like physics more than biology and chemistry and I'd probably have to drop physics if I decided to change my A-Levels) but I'm just afraid that I won't be very good at biology A-Level because biology doesn't come as naturally to me as physics, maths and chemistry do (I'm at 7/8 for biology and 9s for the other two). Also, I think I would enjoy a career as a Doctor because I get to help people much more than I would enjoy studying medicine because a lot of it seems very memorisation based compared to maths which involves more problem solving. If I was to pursue medicine instead of maths I would probably end up doing biology, chemistry, maths and further maths A-levels and I know that I can still technically do a maths degree with those A-levels I just feel like I wouldn't be on par with the other maths undergrads who more likely than not studied physics instead of biology. To conclude I'm not really sure what to do and I'm kind of scared I'm ruining my life by making the wrong choices. And I also don't want to have to end up paying all that money for a degree just to regret ever having done it, especially since people always tell me that a maths degree is only really necessary if I'm looking to go into teaching, which I'm not. I'd appreciate any advice anybody can give me!

As someone who also changed their mind a lot in Year 11, I think I might be able to help you.

In my opinion, it seems like you prefer the idea of studying maths and you are just uncertain about your career choices. Studying medicine will be heavily based in biology and chemistry during your pre-clinical years, so if biology isn't something that comes naturally to you, this may not be the best move. Also, there is no reason why you can't study maths for your undergraduate degree and go on to graduate entry medicine. Your mind will change career-wise as you begin your A levels and even throughout your degree. My advice would be to study what appeals to you most right now. Studying medicine is a 5-6 year commitment and if you go on to become a doctor, that would be another 2 years for your foundation years before you can start training in specialties. Maths on the other hand is a 3 year commitment at undergraduate level, which is standard for every degree. Don't underestimate the power of a maths degree. In terms of careers, it will open up a range of different sectors and opportunities for you, so I wouldn't fixate on careers right now.

When I was trying to navigate my career and degree this time last year, I knew that I wanted to study either neuroscience or psychology at university and would potentially go on to either graduate entry medicine, pharmacology research or clinical psychology. I wanted to maximise my chances, so initially I was thinking of studying biology, chemistry and philosophy/religious studies, but after doing my GCSE chemistry papers, I knew that I would struggle in chemistry A level, so replaced this with psychology. On results day, I missed the grades needed to study biology very narrowly and was going to beg my college to let me study it since I had lots of extenuating circumstances, but something inside me told me not to fight for biology. I settled on English language and literature for my third option (alongside psychology and philosophy), because I did well in English GCSE, only to end up hating it. I had hoped there would be lots of linguistics content, but it felt more like an extension of GCSE English. I ended up trying to switch to biology, but there was no spaces, so again I decided to settle for either law or politics. I'm coming towards the end of Year 12 studying psychology, politics and philosophy and I can safely say that I made the right decision with all of my subjects. I love philosophy, but I definitely don't want to study it at university. As much as I now dislike psychology, I am glad that I ended up taking it instead of chemistry, because it showed me that studying psychology at university would not be the best fit for me. I don't hate it, but as an A level, the content is so heavy and I know I won't enjoy myself if I try to study it at university. Politics has really shaped me as a person and although I don't want to study it at university, it pushed me towards the law path, which I will forever be grateful for. I've made quite a drastic switch from wanting to study a STEM degree and hoping to go into a healthcare or research career to wanting to go into law and a commercial career.

Like I said, your A levels will really influence your decisions, but I recommend studying what you are interested in the most right now. Also, you may not have to change from physics to biology, as there are some medical schools who will accept chemistry and another science/science related subject/maths, which you will be doing. I would look into the requirements, but I know that the University of Manchester is one that has this requirement.
Original post by coherent-shroud
So I'm currently in year 11 doing my GCSE's and I've already applied to all my colleges and everything for maths, physics, further maths and chemistry to do a maths degree in the future but recently I've been wondering whether that's actually the right choice for me. I've always been good at maths and I've been on solid 9s for as long as I can remember and I enjoy the subject and I think I would enjoy it at degree level too but I'm just not sure if the degree will actually be worth it when not many of the jobs I can get with it actually interest me. Like I don't really care for jobs in the IT sector or finance sector and I would like to help people in my career but teaching also doesn't interest me. When it comes to medicine I'm pretty good at the sciences and wouldn't mind pursuing them at A-Level (although I do like physics more than biology and chemistry and I'd probably have to drop physics if I decided to change my A-Levels) but I'm just afraid that I won't be very good at biology A-Level because biology doesn't come as naturally to me as physics, maths and chemistry do (I'm at 7/8 for biology and 9s for the other two). Also, I think I would enjoy a career as a Doctor because I get to help people much more than I would enjoy studying medicine because a lot of it seems very memorisation based compared to maths which involves more problem solving. If I was to pursue medicine instead of maths I would probably end up doing biology, chemistry, maths and further maths A-levels and I know that I can still technically do a maths degree with those A-levels I just feel like I wouldn't be on par with the other maths undergrads who more likely than not studied physics instead of biology. To conclude I'm not really sure what to do and I'm kind of scared I'm ruining my life by making the wrong choices. And I also don't want to have to end up paying all that money for a degree just to regret ever having done it, especially since people always tell me that a maths degree is only really necessary if I'm looking to go into teaching, which I'm not. I'd appreciate any advice anybody can give me!

@coherent-shroud

Have you thought about studying engineering at university?

Oluwatosin 3rd year student University of Huddersfield
Original post by bibachu
As someone who also changed their mind a lot in Year 11, I think I might be able to help you.
In my opinion, it seems like you prefer the idea of studying maths and you are just uncertain about your career choices. Studying medicine will be heavily based in biology and chemistry during your pre-clinical years, so if biology isn't something that comes naturally to you, this may not be the best move. Also, there is no reason why you can't study maths for your undergraduate degree and go on to graduate entry medicine. Your mind will change career-wise as you begin your A levels and even throughout your degree. My advice would be to study what appeals to you most right now. Studying medicine is a 5-6 year commitment and if you go on to become a doctor, that would be another 2 years for your foundation years before you can start training in specialties. Maths on the other hand is a 3 year commitment at undergraduate level, which is standard for every degree. Don't underestimate the power of a maths degree. In terms of careers, it will open up a range of different sectors and opportunities for you, so I wouldn't fixate on careers right now.
When I was trying to navigate my career and degree this time last year, I knew that I wanted to study either neuroscience or psychology at university and would potentially go on to either graduate entry medicine, pharmacology research or clinical psychology. I wanted to maximise my chances, so initially I was thinking of studying biology, chemistry and philosophy/religious studies, but after doing my GCSE chemistry papers, I knew that I would struggle in chemistry A level, so replaced this with psychology. On results day, I missed the grades needed to study biology very narrowly and was going to beg my college to let me study it since I had lots of extenuating circumstances, but something inside me told me not to fight for biology. I settled on English language and literature for my third option (alongside psychology and philosophy), because I did well in English GCSE, only to end up hating it. I had hoped there would be lots of linguistics content, but it felt more like an extension of GCSE English. I ended up trying to switch to biology, but there was no spaces, so again I decided to settle for either law or politics. I'm coming towards the end of Year 12 studying psychology, politics and philosophy and I can safely say that I made the right decision with all of my subjects. I love philosophy, but I definitely don't want to study it at university. As much as I now dislike psychology, I am glad that I ended up taking it instead of chemistry, because it showed me that studying psychology at university would not be the best fit for me. I don't hate it, but as an A level, the content is so heavy and I know I won't enjoy myself if I try to study it at university. Politics has really shaped me as a person and although I don't want to study it at university, it pushed me towards the law path, which I will forever be grateful for. I've made quite a drastic switch from wanting to study a STEM degree and hoping to go into a healthcare or research career to wanting to go into law and a commercial career.
Like I said, your A levels will really influence your decisions, but I recommend studying what you are interested in the most right now. Also, you may not have to change from physics to biology, as there are some medical schools who will accept chemistry and another science/science related subject/maths, which you will be doing. I would look into the requirements, but I know that the University of Manchester is one that has this requirement.

Thank you so much for the reply! Honestly you're right about me being confused about my career options at the moment, and I know it would probably make more sense for me to go through with maths right now and if I decide medicine is better for me later on it wouldn't be too late for me to go through with it, even if I end up having to drop physics to do it. Was it easy to catch up on all the content you missed after dropping and changing your A-Levels so much? And did you ever feel disappointed that you didn't go on to study english even after doing well at GCSE, like you wasted your potential or something? I feel like that's how I would feel if I were to end up not studying physics, but I guess I should let my interests guide me rather than my supposed competence at the subject right now, because that's never guaranteed in the future haha. I've been thinking about it and I do think I would enjoy studying biology at A-Level maybe just as much as I would doing physics because I find them both equally interesting at GCSE level, I just think I wouldn't do as well in biology as I would in physics. Regardless I do think physics is right for me at the moment. Thank you again!
Reply 4
Original post by coherent-shroud
Thank you so much for the reply! Honestly you're right about me being confused about my career options at the moment, and I know it would probably make more sense for me to go through with maths right now and if I decide medicine is better for me later on it wouldn't be too late for me to go through with it, even if I end up having to drop physics to do it. Was it easy to catch up on all the content you missed after dropping and changing your A-Levels so much? And did you ever feel disappointed that you didn't go on to study english even after doing well at GCSE, like you wasted your potential or something? I feel like that's how I would feel if I were to end up not studying physics, but I guess I should let my interests guide me rather than my supposed competence at the subject right now, because that's never guaranteed in the future haha. I've been thinking about it and I do think I would enjoy studying biology at A-Level maybe just as much as I would doing physics because I find them both equally interesting at GCSE level, I just think I wouldn't do as well in biology as I would in physics. Regardless I do think physics is right for me at the moment. Thank you again!

If physics is right for you at the moment then I would say to pursue that over biology. I don’t have any regrets about English at all. I don’t think I ever really liked the subject I just happened to be good at it. I think what has made it easier is that I do quite well in politics naturally and since I switched a month into A levels, I never got the chance to see how well I would perform in English. I’ll be honest I did have to do a lot of catching up, but that’s only because politics is a very content heavy A level. It honestly wasn’t that bad though, so I wouldn’t worry too much. I think the only regret I do have is not fighting harder for biology. Although I love all my subjects now, I think if I had taken biology, I may have been happier and it would have opened up more pathways for me. I was always interested in going into STEM pathways, such as pharmacology, neuroscience and biomedical sciences and because I don’t study any STEM A levels, the only way I would be able to go into those fields is through a foundation year at university. I think I probably would have ended up switching from it anyway since it is quite hard and I don’t understand the A level content. I think it’s good to have variety and if I regret anything, it would be limiting my options. However, doing the subjects I’m studying right now have opened up so many doors for me in other areas. I’ve discovered a love for essay writing that I didn’t have before and that’s what pushed me towards law. I’m passionate about all of my subjects and have a genuine interest in them, so I enjoy helping out at open days to talk about them with younger years. These subjects are where my interests lie right now, which is why I’d advise picking what you want to do in the moment, rather than hyper-fixating on your future. You never know what could change and how quickly you may shift from one career path to another. If you’re going to do A levels, do it in the subjects you like.

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending