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2016 chemistry Hopeful

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    My DS Cannot decide between Imperial, Warwick, Manchester and Southampton.

    Any help will be greatly appriciated

    (Original post by PGP)
    My DS Cannot decide between Imperial, Warwick, Manchester and Southampton.

    Any help will be greatly appriciated
    Hey there, I can describe a little bit about the course at Warwick, almost finished final year in Chemistry

    Overall experience was challenging, I have to admit. The course has been restructured and in my honest opinion here are my views:

    1) There is a strong focus on developing practical skills. In my first year, I had 1x5hr lab a week followed by a writeup, and then within a few weeks it became two labs a week. Now when you've got a lot of contact hours/lectures and tutorials, this is pretty extensive for a first yr. The routine carried on for two terms so 20 weeks (with an Xmas break after 10 weeks). Same thing second yr but labs become harder and the writeups require more depth.

    2) No optional modules for first and second yr, only third year and even with that, you're kind of just limited to choosing between chemistry modules, apart from the odd business or language module if it fits the timetable. I'm on the BSc Course and it's split up as 10/30/60 % over three years. MChem is 4 yrs and involves pretty much the same for the first three yrs as the BSc stream but you need to achieve 55% to stay on MChem, where final year consists of a research project.

    3) The learning curve is steep, and you need to keep on top of your work. The modules aim to not just develop your understanding of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical aspects but also refine and give you a detailed knowledge of the theory and practical applications in industry. You are given the three core textbooks for free when you join plus recommended reading lists for each module. I would say there is a lot of breadth in the course and so you may enjoy certain aspects more so than others, which can make it more interesting as there are some really cool and revolutionary applications of chemistry in the real world.

    As a summary, the Chemistry department has invested a lot in renovating the labs and you get to learn A LOT (seriously) when you're in there because it's almost like being thrown in the deep end especially as sixth form practicals in my view don't really prepare you much for this sort of stuff. Independent study is encouraged but there is also opportunity to learn in group settings such as in tutorials, often consisting of around 5 students and a professor. The University is heavily targeted by major employers and there are regular careers fairs, which I found so so useful...if you find that Chemistry is something you want to pursue as a career, there are opportunities to really strengthen your grasp and experience through summer research projects (called URSS) or also choose from term/year abroad/ year in industry. Alternatively, if you find that you would like to steer away from science/chemistry etc, you can still get exposure to a wealth of employers from different sectors.

    I can't compare to the other universities but I can say that the department has consistently been ranked in the top 10 (rankings are subjective any way tbh)...think it was number 5 last yr, but it's definitely a tough course and you really need to be on it from when you first arrive. You will still be able to have a life outside your degree don't get me wrong lol, but let's just say you need to be pretty good with your time management. I would strongly recommend Warwick if you feel that you are eager to gain exposure to a variety of different areas in Chemistry and become as proficient as possible from a practical/labs perspective, but also want to match that with a department that is strongly focused on employability.

    Hope that helps, if you have any more qs feel free to pm x

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