Are you interested in sciences? Or maybe you hope to go into medicine one day? Either or, you should consider a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) at USYD.
We’ve talked to Julia, a Medical Science student at USYD to share her experiences in the degree and to dig into the pros and cons.
If you haven’t read what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) at USYD, check it out first so you can better understand the degree requirements, units you take and course culture.
Now, let’s dive into the pros and cons of Medical Science at USYD!
Why should you study a Medical Science major at USYD?
There are many reasons one may take this degree. There’s the obvious interest in sciences and medicine, alongside being a common pathway to get into Medicine.
Ultimately, Medical Science is a research and science based degree, and that is where it differs from the health sciences such as Nursing and Pharmacy.
Top 3 Pros of an Arts degree
#1: Flexibility in the course
Being a Bachelor of Science, there is a fair amount of flexibility in terms of the majors or minors that you can pick, and electives within your major or minor that interest you.
Although there are a number of core subjects that you have to take, you can choose specific electives in the Science stream to broaden your horizons.
Julia said, “My second major is Applied Medical Science because in third year I can research a topic of choice… and other than the core units, you’re able to pick other subjects that peak your interest.”
#2: Practical approach
With Medical Science, you have a range of different classes and labs, so that you’re constantly applying the content; ultimately giving the degree a considerably practical approach.
“There’s a lot of focus on research and building up your graduate qualities. They’ve incorporated real life situations where you can use the research and apply your knowledge to real life situations,” Julia said.
#3: Great faculty
The Medical Science faculty at USYD is considered well researched, engaged and supportive in providing its students with various resources and learning opportunities.
Julia said, “The doctors and professors that work with us are amazing! The coordinators for the Medical Science stream do their best to distinguish us from the Bachelor of Science students as they want to further us in the research side of the degree.”
Top 3 Cons of an Arts degree
#1: A lot of content
As commonly assumed with science degrees, it can be very content heavy, and that is most definitely the case with Medical Science at USYD.
“There’s a lot of content that you need to know and it’s very biology based. First year is pretty standard and you have core subjects that translate from high school,” Julia said.
You’ll usually do two to three core subjects a semester, and these can become quite demanding in the workload and commitment needed to study and complete assessments.
#2: Lack of flexibility in when you want to do subjects
When planning out your degree for Medical Science at USYD, there isn’t a whole lot of flexibility in terms of moving core subjects around. As the majority of core subjects are prerequisites for the next ones, you end up completing them in the set order.
“The second year subjects are only available in the first semester, so there’s flexibility in the major and what subjects we pick, but not much flexibility in the core subjects,” Julia said.
“For people who want to take a few more years to do the degree, there’s not a lot of flexibility because you have to follow a certain order.”
Therefore, if you’re transferring from another degree or planning on taking a semester off, it can be quite difficult to start Medical Science in second semester.
#3: Frequent assessments
With Medical Science, you can expect a lot of assessments and you can expect them frequently! Although this means that some reports or quizzes have a smaller weighting, you’ll find yourself taking each course a week at a time, finishing one assessment to then start the next one.
“There are a lot of mini experiment related or lab related assessments. So you’re focused on the week to week lab reports that are due, and it takes time away from trying to catch up with lectures,” Julia said.
Julia said, “I don’t regret doing the Medical Science degree, but I think that I should’ve researched the majors more before I locked into one of them.”
If you’re thinking of doing a Bachelor of Science (Medical Science) at USYD, note that you will need to choose a second major or minor. You can have a look at the options available for potential majors and minors here!
What do you wish you had known before starting Medical Science at USYD?
“They cover a lot of the basic knowledge we require in first year, but in second year they don’t cover as much. So first to second year is an even bigger jump than high school to university in my opinion, because more is expected from you… The jump in content is bewildering!” Julia shared.
Essentially there is a lot more that you need to know in second year, and the course requirements and standard increase each year. Therefore, it’s important that you understand each year’s content as you progress throughout the degree.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
“What spoke to me about USYD are the majors that they offered… I think that before going into the uni or the degree, it’s really important to read through the degree and the majors that are available to you,” Julia explained.
So if you do have another major, minor, or specific field of study you want to go into, it’s a great idea to look into what majors and minors are offered at different universities.
What inspired you to choose Medical Science at USYD?
“I did a nursing degree in high school and I knew that I liked health, but didn’t want to go into health science — I wanted to know more about the human body,” Julia said.
“I wanted to go into Medical Science because I was always on the fence on if I wanted to do the research side or the medicine side. Ever since I set my eyes on Medical Science, I knew I wanted to enter medicine eventually, but now I’m in the degree, that’s heightened even more. However, it is common to come back and pursue the research side of medicine later on.”
For Julia, Medical Science provided the right balance of research focused content and medicine directed learning. As for choosing USYD, she considered the majors offered at other universities, but decided USYD offered the majors she was interested in.
What are the possible career paths?
With Medical Science, there will always be demand for jobs in research and the medical industry in general.
Some of the careers you could pursue as a Medical Science graduate include:
- Medical researcher
- Doctor (with further study)
- Biomedical device designer
There are so many career options beyond this short list, so Medical Science is a great pathway with a range of job opportunities.
Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.