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Physics as a second degree.

  1. Aug 30, 2013 #1

    I have completed an biological science degree in the UK but realised towards the end of my degree that my real interest lay in physics. I'm now in my mid 20's, paying the bills working full-time in a banking job but I am looking to move into physics as this is what I'm really passionate about. I have studied some material in my own time but I am now trying to develop a more concrete plan moving forward.

    I have considered a number of options but I would like to hear the opinions of the forum members here.

    1) I have looked into doing the mathematics and physics course offered by open university part-time but the cost seems prohibitive. If I was to invest in this I would have to be fairly confident that their was a realistic chance the course would open up a career in physics for me.

    Could anyone with some familiarity with the course tell me if they think its suitable for someone looking to go on to do graduate physics? I am concerned that the material covered appears a little sparse.

    I am more interested in the theoretical side but does anyone know if open university courses include any laboratory work? I couldn't find the relevant information on their site. If anyone has some experience with this course, I would love to hear from you.

    2) Save up and study full-time in a few years. I'm a bit concerned that the longer I wait the more difficult it will be to make this change and I would rather start sooner rather than later. If anyone here has made the leap into a physics career from another discipline I would be interested in hearing about your experience.

    3) Continue with my self-study. I have a strong mathematical ability and having previously done a science degree, albeit in a different field, I am confident I could manage most undergrad topics myself. My concern with this option is the lack of accreditation. It has been suggested to me by a friend that I could study for some exams such as the physics GRE and then try to get on a physics masters course using these results in combination with my previous science degree but I am unsure how realistic this plan would be. Is self-study, even if well structured, a viable option?

    Any helpful comments would be appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2013 #2
    Well, never trying to discourage someone from physics, but it may not be in your best interest to go back and start a physics degree. You may be better of continuing your schooling in Biology (masters, phd) and focusing your research path on something that would unite you with physics.

    There has been a growth in programs like quantitative biology. Looking for something like that may be a better way for you to use and build on what you have while working towards where you want to be.

    This is assuming that you would like doing research in biophysics and that you are not looking to expand into some other field like cosmology.
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