By Fariha Chowdhury, Chemistry with Biomedicine, Department of Chemistry
I was sitting in front of my laptop looking at university courses, and at the time, it was the most daunting thing I’d ever experienced. I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry but didn’t know what course was best for me, which is how I stumbled upon the Chemistry with Biomedicine degree at King’s College London.
As someone who hadn’t studied Biology at A-Level but still found the subject interesting, I was worried whether I would be in a tough position compared to my peers. However, all the biology I have done so far uses simple chemistry, to show how the reactions we learn about are carried out every day in our bodies.
The entirety of first year is the same as a normal Chemistry degree at King’s and even though the two courses are combined, the overall class is quite small, with just above 80 students in my year. Which is great as I was able to get to know everyone and we were able to help each other out. Also workshop classes were small and focused, I had no problem bringing up questions.
Doing a Chemistry degree, you’re expected to be in the lab at least one day a week, carrying out a different experiment every week with an assigned lab partner. You don’t have to worry about not feeling comfortable in the lab with just a set of instructions, as in first year King’s provide a dedicated workshop to labs where you can find out exactly what to do and put your experiment into context. Not to mention additional drop-in sessions where you can pop-by to ask a lab supervisor questions on your experiment or how they will be assessed.
The course allows you to bank around 20% of your grade with coursework, including ongoing lab assessments and worksheets etc. The course work is just the right amount, so you don’t feel like you’re drowning in work during the year, but you have a significant chance to raise your overall grade. They are also a good indication of how you are doing at the moment, and what you need to work on before the final exam.
Which leads us to the end of the university year, the time everyone looks forward to(!): EXAMS. The first exam I had was in January, for one module in first year. I know what you’re thinking: ‘an exam right off the bat?’ but this was actually a great way to experience a university exam before the ones in the summer. Allowing you to visit the location where exams are held, so come summer, you’ll be much less nervous.
I am having a great time at King’s studying Chemistry with Biomedicine and am glad I came across the degree two years ago while looking for university courses.