• Question: Dear all, Could I possibly enquire what are the differences between a uni course on microbiology and that on biochemistry? I am interested in stuffs like: Neurobiology, Virology, Genome, Cell biology, and a bit of Evolutionary behaviour. Do you recommend me doing biochemistry or biology (and specialise in micro level) in the university? I would very appreciate any form of suggestions!

    Asked by amandazzh to Jo, Loren, Lucy, Sam, Toby on 23 Jun 2014.
    • Photo: Lucy Remnant

      Lucy Remnant answered on 23 Jun 2014:

      Every university is different. Even 2 biochemistry courses at 2 universities will not be the same. Some courses allow you to have optional modules where you can pick the subjects you want to study but some do not.
      I would suggest you get a few prospectus from different unis and have a look at what kind of subjects and modules each course offers. Find the one that fits your interests best.
      From what you have said you are interested in, it sounds more biology then biochemistry but as I said that would depend on the Uni. In my biochemistry course we could take modules in developmental biology and other immunology if we picked them but as I said, this is completely dependant on the university and the course it offers.

      I hope this helps, feel free to ask more if you would like more help.

    • Photo: Loren Macdonald

      Loren Macdonald answered on 23 Jun 2014:

      I know at Newcastle university where I am, you can apply for Biochemistry or Microbiology as separate degrees. It’s all under the biomedical sciences degree and the first year is the same for all of them. You get modules in all of the areas and then you can decide after the first year if you want to chance course. For example, I was technically on microbiology but switched to Human Genetics.

      You could also do a more generic biomedical science degree where you would cover possibly all of those areas.

    • Photo: Tobias Warnecke

      Tobias Warnecke answered on 23 Jun 2014:

      I think Lucy is right: given the breadth of your interests a more general biology program might be closer to what you are looking for. You can always specialize later, after finding out what really floats your boat.

    • Photo: Jo Nettleship

      Jo Nettleship answered on 23 Jun 2014:

      Hi amandazzh,
      I’m happy you are interested in microbiology and biochemistry. My advice is to look at the modules for each course at each uni you are interested in. Also, I would say that it is good to get a broad basic knowledge and background which a subject like biochemistry or biology will give you and then specialise as you go though your course. This will also give you the foundation and a little bit of insight into which of nurobiology, virology etc you actually prefer. You probably won’t know until you do them!
      For me, I actually studied chemistry and then move to towards biological aspects of this. It gives me a slightly different outlook to some of my labmates as I think about the molecules a little bit more. It is very good in a team to have people with different backgrounds.
      Good luck with finding the right course.