Life sciences and medicine is a discipline that is incredibly large, covering everything to do with medical courses from introductory undergraduate programmes to highly advanced, specialised post-graduate study programmes. Both life sciences and medicine are very closely related and often overlap, especially with the more human spheres of life science such as biochemistry, genetics and physiology. Whilst there is a lot of crossover in some regards, in others, they are completely separate to each other such as astrobiology which looks at the formation of life in the universe and evolutionary biology which looks at the origin and descent of species.
Life sciences are basically anything that deals with the study of life, whether at a micro level or macro level, which makes it a very diverse and large sector of education. Medicine encompasses anything related to treating living things, which is why the two often crossovers as the students of life sciences and medicine specialisms will need to learn a lot about how life works in order to treat it.
Life sciences and medical students often study with a specific specialisation or career path in mind, especially in relation to medicine. The many years that needs to be spent in education means that these individuals are often very driven to succeed and extremely passionate about their area of study, which makes for dedicated individuals that are highly employable in their field.
The academic nature of many of these specialisms makes their students highly analytical and research minded, with the added transferrable skill of being able to work autonomously and to deadlines when completing tasks or assignments. Programmes within the life science and medicine discipline are highly vocational and it is expected that they will lead to jobs in the field, specifically in medicine; although in certain life science programmes there may be an opportunity to fund research or join a research team.
With medicine specifically, many of the qualifications will be transferable to countries around the world which gives anyone with a medical degree the chance to work anywhere they wish to in their chosen field or specialism.
As largely academic subjects, life sciences are usually conducted in the traditional sense of three or four-year full-time study at the undergraduate level, with masters and further higher education lasting longer depending on the specialism. In certain specialisms, there may be an opportunity for placements and research opportunities but these are much less common.
Medicine programmes tend to follow a more vocational learning element at all levels of study. Students at undergraduate courses in many countries who are specialising will often be required to complete several placements over the course of their study, with responsibility increasing as you progress through the courses. These can be either absorbed into a three-year course or taken as an entire placement year within a four-year course, in some circumstances.