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Chemistry Degree Questions

(12 Posts)
Sophiesdog11 Thu 25-Oct-18 23:00:31

Questions I would ask relate to the year in industry. How is it organised. How do students find placements. What percentage find placements. What uni work is required while on placement. What tuition fees.

YY to all these questions, I second the assertion that the YII is key. The unis sell them as if it is so easy to walk into the likes of Astrazeneca or Glaxo, or one of the Swiss drug companies, or even further afield, when in reality you are competing with many other chemistry students, for a handful of placements (at most) in each company. Plus some companies only recruit from certain unis.

DS is in 3rd yr of Chemistry degree at a top uni. This time last year, he started applying for YII placements, along with probably 70 others of his year group (mixture of BSc and MSc, not all wanted placements). There was a placement liaison lady, but in reality they were just signposted to a website advertising student placements countrywide. There was no direct help.

He got a few interviews, resulting in one offer, but he ended up turning it down (it involved working with only 1 person, in a very small division of a large company, not obvious until interview).

Off his course, 2 managed to get Glaxo placements, a handful were successful with smaller companies. I think about 10, at the most, got a placement. A lot gave up on the idea by Christmas, after getting no interviews. A school friend doing Chemistry at another top uni wasn't successful despite top A levels and many applications.

But none of this is pointed out at open days, they sell the YII opportunities as if you can walk into a placement either here or in Europe!

The other problem is - whilst he was applying for placements, waiting for interviews etc, his house mates were sorting out this years accommodation. At the point where he gave up on the YII idea, and started to think he would be going straight into final year, they had sorted a student flat without him. This caused more than a little anguish, but at the 11th hour he did get a placement...albeit in a niche industry unrelated to his degree.

In terms of YII fees - he is sharing a house with 3 other students from 2 different RG unis, all on placement with him. He was astounded to find out that the YII fees for HIS uni, were substantially more than for the others. Think like £2.5k v £1k. Worth finding that out upfront, but it didn't occur to us to ask when doing open days.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 03-Oct-18 16:32:24

Many of the more interesting roles in chemistry in industry (not just academia) will still want PhDs. Not sure what advantage, if any, there is to doing a 4 year masters before that?

DH and I are both non-academia PhD chemists with careers starting over 30 years ago - things may have changed a bit since then. For him, CChem etc were important whereas in my company completely irrelevant.

Those unis are all good places for chemistry. With her predicted grades she might also want to consider Oxford, Durham and Manchester.

The QS rankings seem about right (you can add a U.K. filter, it doesn't seem to get captured in the link):

https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2016/chemistry

PillowOfSociety Sun 30-Sep-18 20:39:48

Thank you all for this.
I have no scientific background or knowledge at all - hadn't appreciated the difference between MSc and MSci, for example!

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Bluebelltulip Sun 30-Sep-18 20:36:27

It may be different in chemistry but in my subject if you do an accredited master's degree (Meng in this case) then if you want to apply for chartership you don't need to do further education just the relevent experience. If you don't have an accredited degree you need to do further education.

OMGtwins Sun 30-Sep-18 20:25:52

For a year in industry it is important to understand which companies the university has links with because otherwise the year in industry won't be as useful. I graduated with the degree your child wants to do, from one of the universities listed, PM me for more info if you want.

Mum2jenny Sun 30-Sep-18 20:03:37

A degree is generally a BSc, a further 1 year degree is a MSc, but for the Royal Society of Chemistry you do want to be eligible for a CChem i.e. an MRSC. But do contact the membership section of the RSC for up to date info.

titchy Sun 30-Sep-18 20:01:37

MChem or MSci same thing - integrated Masters so fee same as UG fee and maintenance loan available. MSc different though - fees maybe higher and loan is fixed PG loan which is repayable alongside UG loans. It doesn't sound like she's looking at BSc then MSc though, just the integrated option.

Nottingham is accredited by RSChemists so I'd guess getting chartered status wouldn't be too difficult afterwards.

AlbusPercival Sun 30-Sep-18 19:48:05

I don’t think it would make much difference to employability tbh.

Questions I would ask relate to the year in industry. How is it organised. How do students find placements. What percentage find placements. What uni work is required while on placement. What tuition fees.

PillowOfSociety Sun 30-Sep-18 18:39:07

To be honest, I don't understand the difference between an MSc and MChem. At Bristol the course is called MSci Chemistry with Industrial Experience. At Nottingham it is called MSci Chemistry with a year in industry.

Dd hasn't been asking about the MChem / Royal Society info on Uni visits.

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AlbusPercival Sun 30-Sep-18 18:24:29

Msc or mchem?

I don’t have cchem but have worked in a good job in food industry since I graduated.

Most important part of getting that was the year in industry I think

PillowOfSociety Sun 30-Sep-18 18:23:19

LOL, 'her' eye.

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PillowOfSociety Sun 30-Sep-18 18:22:38

Dd is looking at Chemistry courses. Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds and Bristol have all caught his eye.
I see that some say their degree course is accredited or partially accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry as meeting the requirements for a CChem. Bristol says this, but I think Nottingham does not.
Is there a big advantage in the accreditation, and should it play a part in choosing the course?
Dd is probably interested in starting a 4 year MSc from the outset. Preferably with a year in industry, as she sees herself working in industry rather than academic research.
Any advice on the relative merits of these Universities to do Chemistry?
She has looked at Imperial and UCL but is avoiding London because of the accommodation costs and to escape family as we live in London

Predicted A*A*A

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