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Going straight into MSci ?

(21 Posts)
livingontheedgeee Wed 21-Mar-18 16:22:47

Assuming she gets the grades, DD is considering going straight onto a MSci course instead of the BSc. She'll choose the year in industry option.

Does anyone have any first hand experience of doing this? Is the course different in any way? Is it actually worth it in the long run?

I know there are financial considerations as we are talking about potentially a 5 year course including the placement but that aside I'd be interested to hear anyone's opinions/advice.

Thank you.

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GnomeDePlume Wed 21-Mar-18 22:25:18

I have two DDs at either end of this. Many courses have the option to move between BSc and MSci. Depending on the course the final year may well contain an extensive research project.

The placement year has been extremely beneficial for DD1. It has helped her to decide what she wants to do next.

Skiiltan Wed 21-Mar-18 22:52:14

Integrated masters' degrees are becoming pretty common. They've been around for a while in subjects like engineering and chemistry but other sciences have started adopting them recently. I think there was a rush triggered by the increase in tuition fees and the lack (at the time) of financial support for postgraduate students. Doing a 4-year undergraduate masters allowed you to get tuition fee & maintenance loans for the full 4 years, whereas if you did a 3-year bachelor's degree and then a 1-year master's you'd get financial support for the first 3 years and then nothing for the fourth, having to pay the fees out of your own pocket. Now there are financial support options for postgrads but there are still attractions for integrated masters', especially if you actually want to work in something connected to the degree after graduating, although relatively few science graduates do this.

Arapaima Wed 21-Mar-18 22:56:58

She’ll be paid for her placement year, so it’s not really a 5-year course - either in terms of finances, or in terms of extra time spent studying rather than working. Also, if she changes her mind, she’ll have the option to stop a year early with a BSc.

Skiiltan Wed 21-Mar-18 23:06:42

Not all placement years are paid. This will vary with the university, the course and the employer. See www.surrey.ac.uk/professionaltraining/documents/professional_training_mini_guide.pdf, for example.

livingontheedgeee Wed 21-Mar-18 23:53:35

She's hoping to go to Warwick to study Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry then work in some capacity in the cosmetics/skincare industry.

Thanks for the info. I didn't know about the fees situation if you go on to do a Masters separately. She'll definitely be looking for a paid year in industry though.

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Skiiltan Thu 22-Mar-18 00:01:15

I spend so much time suggesting medicinal chemistry as a route to a wide range of industries (food and household products as well as beauty products and pharmaceuticals). It's so good to hear of someone who's worked out that this is a good option.

My nephew did a MChem at Warwick. After a PhD in London (biochemistry) he's now on a slightly different scientific track but still definitely applying what he learnt through both degrees.

Obsidion Thu 22-Mar-18 00:09:06

I'm doing an integrated masters, we do a research project in a our final year and can stop and get a BSc after the third year if we wish. I really enjoy what I do and I like that's it's integrated.

The downside seems to be that we have a 55% pass mark rather than 40% for progression to the next year. I was way above that last year though.

Skiiltan Thu 22-Mar-18 00:19:15

I presume the 55% pass mark is only for progression from year 3 (bachelor's level) to year 4 (master's level). If you weren't on an integrated course you'd have to get a 2ii in your first degree to make that progression. Pharmacy students on MPharm programmes routinely have to get 50% to progress to the master's year: if they don't they have to leave with a BPharmSci and can't qualify as pharmacists.

livingontheedgeee Thu 22-Mar-18 00:19:18

Skiiltan

That's good to hear she's making a worthwhile choice. She would have liked to be a Dermatologist but just didn't want to go down the road of studying medicine and everything else that goes with it.

How did your nephew find Warwick?

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Skiiltan Thu 22-Mar-18 00:29:46

Interestingly, I met a girl in Toronto a couple of years ago who wanted to study medicine do she could become a dermatologist and take a senior role in her family's beauty business. But that's in a country with a largely private healthcare system (although she wanted to study medicine in England, which is how I came to be talking to her).

My nephew greatly enjoyed Warwick but I think he felt it was a bit too close to home (his family is near Stratford-upon-Avon). He preferred London. The course certainly sounded interesting: his research project was in bioinorganic chemistry, which isn't an area that usually gets a lot of coverage.

Skiiltan Thu 22-Mar-18 00:31:02

so
not do

Why is autocornet so weird?

Skiiltan Thu 22-Mar-18 00:37:30

Someone I worked with long ago now does what your daughter wants to do (she's European head of research & development for a multinational skincare & fragrance company). Her first degree was applied biology, though, and her PhD wasn't skin-related. The path is rarely direct.

Needmoresleep Thu 22-Mar-18 07:43:43

With an integrated Masters fee levels for the final year should be the same as UG. It is worth checking what fees are for a standalone Masters at somewhere like Imperial. They can be surprisingly high, often with no differentiation between home and overseas students.

If this is the case you may be better off signing up for the integrated Masters. You dont need to do it, or as your interests develop, you could apply elsewhere. But at least you have the option.

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Thu 22-Mar-18 07:57:29

my advice (DD switched to MMath after year 2 of her degree) is DO NOT try to talk to student finance on the phone, as they struggle with the concept of an "undergraduate" masters course. A friend of DDs spent literally hours on the phone trying to get through to someone who wouldn't just parrot "we don't fund masters degrees". Try to do the application (and reapplications) online as much as you can.

BubblesBuddy Thu 22-Mar-18 10:25:06

Undergrad masters is understood by Finance England. Thousands of students do them. No problem at all.

I would check that Warwick actually find the work placement though. Not all universities do and fully paid work may not be available either. There is a difference between a university having employer contacts and paid employment for the year.

Skiiltan Thu 22-Mar-18 11:57:40

Undergrad masters is understood by Finance England. Thousands of students do them. No problem at all.

I think that's a fair statement of the situation currently, BubblesBuddy. I'm not sure it was the case 4 or 5 years ago, though.

GnomeDePlume Thu 22-Mar-18 12:09:28

DD1 had to find her own placement but did get support from her uni.

Cost of an MSc (as opposed to integrated masters) can vary from uni to uni. DD1's uni gives a discount on fees for continuing students.

user150463 Thu 22-Mar-18 12:29:26

They've been around for a while in subjects like engineering and chemistry but other sciences have started adopting them recently. I think there was a rush triggered by the increase in tuition fees and the lack (at the time) of financial support for postgraduate students.

Not correct. They were introduced in most subjects in the mid 90s and the enrolment has not increased significantly in recent years. In fact, the opposite - with 9k fees, the number staying on the Masters year has dropped a bit.

user150463 Thu 22-Mar-18 12:30:44

If this is the case you may be better off signing up for the integrated Masters. You dont need to do it, or as your interests develop, you could apply elsewhere. But at least you have the option.

In most cases you can transfer into the integrated Masters, provided you are on course for a 2:i or above. Student finance cannot refuse to fund you, unless you have already used extra funding for repeat years/restarting your degree.

livingontheedgeee Thu 22-Mar-18 12:55:32

Thanks everyone for your replies. We certainly feel more informed now.

She has already approached the two biggest cosmetics companies with a view to an industrial placement in the US. She has dual nationality so that's one obstacle she won't have to overcome.

There are lots of opportunities around but as you say, it's finding one that is paid. If she can't find anything then she may do some internships over the summer holidays.

I stress about it more than her!

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