Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,

    I was just wondering how common it is change courses at Oxford. I have an offer from Pembroke College for Biochemistry but I've been thinking for a while that I'd rather study Biology. Is this this likely to be possible and if so would I be allowed to change straight away or not until after the first year? Should I contact them now (the department or college?), or wait until October (grades depending)? Sorry for all the questions, I know there have been similar threads but I can't find anything college/course specific.

    Thanks.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It's better to change before you start the course. I'm sure it will be possible. It doesn't matter how common it is, it's your choice and if it's something you want to change get on the phone.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Helen1991)
    Hi,

    I was just wondering how common it is change courses at Oxford. I have an offer from Pembroke College for Biochemistry but I've been thinking for a while that I'd rather study Biology. Is this this likely to be possible and if so would I be allowed to change straight away or not until after the first year? Should I contact them now (the department or college?), or wait until October (grades depending)? Sorry for all the questions, I know there have been similar threads but I can't find anything college/course specific.

    Thanks.
    Its relatively common. The two examples i know of:

    One person decided PPE was not mathematical enough. After 2 weeks of being here he tried to make the change. They made him effectively do two degrees for 4 weeks to make sure he was good enough at maths whilst trying not to hinder his chances in PPE if he wasn't. He was stressed to say the least! Worked out fine.

    Another was doing medicine and, two weeks before first year exams, decided she did not like it. She did not sit the exam and next year came back doing experimental psychology, i believe, after an interview. I don't think it was too taxing a selection process though - they just sort of made sure she was ok then let her in. You would have great difficulty in transferring to medicine or law (apparently), but as you aren't, it should be fine.

    It might be easier if you do it straight away, i don't know. Definitely possible though!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    best bet initially would be to contact the academic affairs rep in the jcr- they'll be able to advice you more specifically about how best to approach the college with your request without treading on anyone's toes etc. Having your request refused might make your relationship with your current tutor a little awkward if they knew.
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah we've had a few people transfer both ways, so biology definitely allow it, but if you're sure about it now then you're best off changing asap. I would email Mark Fricker pronto and explain your situation and then he'll know what's coming when you start going through the official channels. In fact he may be able to tell you who is the best person to contact. The subjects are so similar that there's unlikely to be too much drama involved - in the first term we share 50% of our lectures with biochemists anyway.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you for all the replies. Glad to hear it's definitely possible. I think I will get in contact soon then and ask how to go about changing.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah, you're probably well advised to do it sooner than later. But have you maybe thought about trying Biochem for a bit? I know I definitely had lots of worries about my course - had I chosen right etc - but then it turned out to be far more interesting than I'd thought and I really enjoy it. It is still possible to change once you've started the course, esp. with similar-ish subjects, thought they may then want you to complete the term or maybe the year to see how your performance is generally.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bekaboo)
    Yeah we've had a few people transfer both ways, so biology definitely allow it, but if you're sure about it now then you're best off changing asap. I would email Mark Fricker pronto and explain your situation and then he'll know what's coming when you start going through the official channels. In fact he may be able to tell you who is the best person to contact. The subjects are so similar that there's unlikely to be too much drama involved - in the first term we share 50% of our lectures with biochemists anyway.
    ... and we have to put up with them the rest of the time :tongue:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by owenj)
    Yeah, you're probably well advised to do it sooner than later. But have you maybe thought about trying Biochem for a bit? I know I definitely had lots of worries about my course - had I chosen right etc - but then it turned out to be far more interesting than I'd thought and I really enjoy it. It is still possible to change once you've started the course, esp. with similar-ish subjects, thought they may then want you to complete the term or maybe the year to see how your performance is generally.
    Thanks, yeah I have thought about it but I think I'd be much happier doing Biology. I will obviously give Biochem a go if I can't change straight away but I don't really want to leave it too late and waste a whole year.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey - just interested as I'm in a similar position - I have an offer for biosciences at lady margaret hall but want to change from Biosciences to Biochemistry. Have you talked to Pembroke yet? And if so, what did they say?? Thanks xxx
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Just an interjection - while it's possible to switch from biochem to biology late in the day (and only take the modules you have the prerequisite knowledge for), I don't know whether it would be feasible to go the other way. Similarly, if biochemistry is your strength then the biochem tutors might not worry too much about accepting you. But if you were let in on the strength of the way that you answered the ecology questions then things might be more tricky.

    One other thing: do you know whether Adrian interviewed you? I don't know how things panned out since I left the university, but it occurs to me that tutors tend to trust the judgement of people they know well. If Adrian was still on leave and you were interviewed by someone else who they have less contact with (since Biochem and Biology - or rather Zoo and PlantSci - are totally separate departments, the Biochem tutors are unlikely to know random members of Biology staff) then that could also be a factor.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I suppose it would be more difficult to go from biology to biochemistry - If i remember correctly, Dr Macdonald interviewed me. I think I am going to speak with them when I get my grades just incase! Apparently they already know our grades now, so they know if we have got in or not. I was just interested to see whether Helen managed to do it for Pembroke or not.
    Thanks though!
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    IIRC David MacDonald is associated with LMH despite not being a tutor there, so even though he is a wolf-y WildCRU person I imagine the biochemists do know him to some degree. Definitely go for it - you'll never know if you don't, and bio/biochem/humsci swaps are common enough and similar enough that I doubt anyone will be massively offended and hate you for the rest of your course if it falls through!!
    Worst case scenario... I know plenty of biochem postgrads who started as bio undergrads, so if that's where your passion lies then you can easily do enough biochem in a biological sciences undergrad to keep you happy - but obviously if you can miss out on ecology and stuff in 1st year then that might suit you better!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Not many people know that I changed to Engineering in my first term as an undergraduate, and then back again! Now nearly 5 years in the future, it almost seems rather funny.
    I recommend calling.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi, sorry to dig up the thread again. Just wanted to thank you all for your help. I emailed the college on results day and went to speak to the tutors today, and arrived home to an email saying I can change! Thanks again!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Athena)
    Congrats Helen
    Thank you!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What's your favourite Christmas sweets?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.