Anybody's child doing Biomedical Science?

(25 Posts)
northernlurker Tue 24-Sep-13 20:51:14

And if so:

What A-levels did they take?
Where did they apply?
What offers did they get?

Do they enjoy it? (Last most important)

Dd1 is thinking about this and just trying to get some background info.

Thanks in advance smile

OP’s posts: |
zizza Tue 24-Sep-13 20:58:51

Have you tried looking on The Student Room forum?

northernlurker Tue 24-Sep-13 21:46:44

I found some course info there but in particular the A-level requirements and offers seems very variable. Some want Biology AND Chemistry. SOme just Biology. SOme will accept pyschology, others only the two above or Maths or Physics. It all seems quite variable. Did see there was a forum there - is it friendly <<wibble>>

OP’s posts: |
alreadytaken Wed 25-Sep-13 08:30:46

Biomedical science is often the 5th choice of students applying to medicine, as it was for my DC. They have a friend who applied just for Biomed and used their personal statement to make it clear that it was Biomed and not medicine that they wanted to do. The friend got 5 offers but I'll have to ask later what subjects they did. One was Biology, think they did Chemistry too, didn't do maths. They did have a bit of work experience in a lab and again that section of their personal statement would have made it obvious that it was not medicine they wanted to do.

The courses do vary quite a bit, hence the different requirements for entry.

TSR can be more friendly than this nest of vipers grin but they get trolls there too.

northernlurker Wed 25-Sep-13 10:26:12

That's very helpful. She definately does NOT want to do medicine so we can work on ways to make that clear.

OP’s posts: |
BeckAndCall Wed 25-Sep-13 14:52:17

My DD looked carefully at this but decided that she preferred Biochemistry - some of the BioMed courses had a fair bit of physics in them, which she wanted to avoid.

But also,some of the courses she's applying to have a common first year across biological sciences and biomedical science so the decision can be delayed until year 2. That way, you can really get to understand what sub specialties excite you.

northernlurker Wed 25-Sep-13 18:39:26

Tha's interesting. Thanks very much.

OP’s posts: |


LEMisdisappointed Wed 25-Sep-13 18:43:52

I did biochemistry, but the course ran alongside biomed and we shared most lectures and generally specialised more in the third year. I would defiinately encourage her to do chemistry though as it will be lurking everywhere smile

fishandmonkey Wed 25-Sep-13 18:52:11

does she want to do it with a career as a biomedical scientist in the nhs in mind? if that's the case she needs to do an accredited course, which will be competitive and need good grades. if it's just because she likes the subject then there is a complete range of universities that offer the subject as part of their life sciences and with that a range of grades needed.
in either situation, chemistry and biology are usually required.

fishandmonkey Wed 25-Sep-13 18:57:03

sorry just saw your post saying some courses want chem and some biol etc. i'd say if she's not doing chem and biol at a level then she's not interested enough to do biomed at uni (unless she realised she made a mistake with her choices). i used to teach on the biomed course at UCL.

northernlurker Wed 25-Sep-13 20:00:13

Thanks, this is fab.

The situation is that she's Yr 11 now so we're trying to think in terms of A-level choices.

She really wants to do History and Biology for certain. I think we need to look more closely at the a-level course for Chemistry and then try and decide. She is extremely able and should get good GCSEs (on target for A/A* across the board atm). She's also doing triple science at GCSE. She is pretty much an all rounder though which makes choices hard.

Yes I think an NHS career may be a possibility and I'd seen you need to pick an accredited course. We'll need to think how she can strengthen her application if that's what she wants to go for.

OP’s posts: |
BeckAndCall Wed 25-Sep-13 22:11:55

hi again - beware of the difference between accredited courses that lead you to a career as a member of technical staff in the NHS ( a good choice, I know) and a general biochemistry or biomedical degree after which you can specialise more in the theory of the science ( eg researcher in a pharmacy company) than in the 'doing of the tests'. Different unis have diff focuses.

Essexgirlupnorth Wed 25-Sep-13 22:16:23

If she wants to do biomedical science get her to do a course with a sandwich year in industry will make it far easier to get a job at the end. My sister in law did a biomedical science degree but hasn't managed to get a job in the field and wishes she had done a sandwich year.

sashh Thu 26-Sep-13 08:24:12


It's getting less common but if she is headed for a career in the NHS there are some jobs where you are employed at a hospital and do your degree part time.

I was a cardiac tech, now known as clinical physiologist (cardiology), not saying your dd should do this just using it as an example. I believe this is the kind of role BeckAndCall is talking about.

I worked 4 days a week and spent 1 day at college / uni (in my day, when there were dinosaurs) the qualification was a NTEC National followed by an HNC so I did this for 4 years.

It is not easy, my day at uni was lectures 10am to 9.30pm with a 1 hour break for lunch and 30 mins for tea. Obviously if you get home at 10.30 pm you are not going to start on home work.

The advantages are obvious - you are earning from day one and you are also gaining experience. You come out with £0 debt because the NHS pays your fees.

Another advantage - there are more jobs than people to do them, I had to give up due to permanent disability but I still get calls asking if I am available for work, I have not undertaken this work since the 1990s.

Disadvantages - you do not get the true uni / living away from home experience (although if you live in hospital accommodation it can be similar), you cannot fail units, your job depends on you passing, it takes you longer to get your degree, you are on a specific career path at 18 and your degree is so specialised it is not easy to transfer without going back to uni.

There are some other NHS roles similar, worth having a look at.

alreadytaken Thu 26-Sep-13 09:02:48

she might want to look at Nuffield placements as I know of a few students who have been on these and found them useful. If she doesn't get one she could try for work experience at the nearest university

alreadytaken Thu 26-Sep-13 09:03:09


SlowlorisIncognito Thu 26-Sep-13 18:56:20

northernlurker It will usually be quite obvious from an applicant's PS that they want to do medicine, as medicine personal statements tend to be pretty work experience heavy, and focus less on the theoretical side of biomedicine.

I would suggest she studies Chemistry A-Level, as it will give her a wider choice of places to apply, and be really useful in the first year of the course. She needs to do at least two sciences (this can sometimes include psychology and geography) anyway, even if she changes her mind to something else later on, as two sciences is usually required for any science degree.

I think TSR (particularly the sections talking about university applications) is a friendly forum, but I would encourage your DD to post there herself.

BagelGoesWalking Mon 25-Sep-17 15:18:02

My DD 17 is doing Biology, Chemistry and Maths A Levels (she just dropped History so only did 1st year of it).

We’ve been going to uni open days and have visited Southampton, Birmingham, Warwick, Sussex and will be going to Sheffield. Ppl have recommended Dundee and St Andrews as well. Most want AAA-AAB grades.

Most courses seem to have a broad 1st year and then you can choose modules to suit your interest, eg, cell biology, plant etc. Some do an integrated 4yr Masters which she’s interested in or a year in industry.

From the looks of things. I think it would be very useful for your DD to do Chemistry as well as Biology A Level, it would make her life a lot easier as well as, I presume, being in the best position to get as many offers as possible.

BagelGoesWalking Mon 25-Sep-17 15:31:17

Meant to add that she’s doing an AS in Further Maths as well this year.

titchy Mon 25-Sep-17 16:33:29

I suspect she already sorted bagel as she posted FOUR years ago...

Kez100 Mon 25-Sep-17 18:11:09

A close friends daughter is. She took psychology, biology, chemistry and music.

Kez100 Mon 25-Sep-17 18:12:37

She took a gap year so received all unconditionals (2 x a star, 2 x a). She didn't apply to oxbridge.

CatsCatsCats11 Mon 25-Sep-17 18:38:30

I did biomed at Sheffield a few years ago, I needed ABB then. I did biology chemistry and maths, from what I remember you had to include chemistry.

BagelGoesWalking Mon 25-Sep-17 20:34:27

Titchy blushgrinblush Oops!

Kez100 Tue 26-Sep-17 17:09:44

They've probably graduated and will the best person for advice now!

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