SNOOP LAYAN
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Hi every1,

I truly wish you all the best with your exam results. I'm currently stuck between the two courses mentioned above.

Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science is pretty much hands on, whatever they teach on the course (formulation etc...) is directly related to the jobs you'll be applying for. The degree itself is quite unique since not many universities offer anything similar to it in such great detail. Would it be considered too "specific"?

http://www.dmu.ac.uk/study/courses/u...c-science.aspx

Chemical Engineering is about using raw materials and turning them into useful items. That includes items in the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetic industry and and many different areas like oil/gas, water & petroleum. It opens a lot of doors but it sounds quite "general".

I would like to hear the opinions of engineers on this matter, which of the two has better prospects for the future? (U.K. and beyond)

Students, which one would you go for and why?

(Wow this forum stuff can be really complicated for slowpokes like me, luckily I've spent countless hours on the FIFA Ultimate Team forums back in the days so I'm kind of familiar with the basics)
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ElChapo
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(Original post by SNOOP LAYAN)
Hi every1,

I truly wish you all the best with your exam results. I'm currently stuck between the two courses mentioned above.

Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science is pretty much hands on, whatever they teach on the course (formulation etc...) is directly related to the jobs you'll be applying for. The degree itself is quite unique since not many universities offer anything similar to it in such great detail. Would be be considered too "specific"?

Chemical Engineering is about using raw materials and turning them into useful items. That includes items in the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetic industry and and many different areas like oil/gas, water & petroleum. It opens a lot of doors but it sounds quite "general".

I would like to hear the opinions of engineers on this matter, which of the two has better prospects for the future? (U.K. and beyond)

Students, which one would you go for and why?

(Wow this forum stuff can be really complicated for slowpokes like me, luckily I've spent countless hours on the FIFA Ultimate Team forums back in the days so I'm kind of familiar with the basics)
I don't see how you are saying the first degree is more applied to the job than the second one. I think engineering teaches you a lot of stuff you will use in a job, but yes chemical engineering won't limit you to one set job, I don't see why that's a bad thing though? I would definitely go for Chemical Engineering (I am biased as I already study it) but the other degree you mentioned sounds like it will have very bad job prospects whereas there is a shortage of Good Engineers in the UK

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kkboyk
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I would go for chemical engineering since its more broader, flexible and there would be more opportunities available for chemical engineer.
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SNOOP LAYAN
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(Original post by ElChapo)
I don't see how you are saying the first degree is more applied to the job than the second one. I think engineering teaches you a lot of stuff you will use in a job, but yes chemical engineering won't limit you to one set job, I don't see why that's a bad thing though? I would definitely go for Chemical Engineering (I am biased as I already study it) but the other degree you mentioned sounds like it will have very bad job prospects whereas there is a shortage of Good Engineers in the UK

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Hehe it's great that you're currently studying Chemical Engineering but try not to be so biased

What at makes you think that the PCS Degree has bad, sorry... Very bad job prospects? DMU has great links in the industry and the course offers a placement year. Here's a quote from their website regarding this degree:

"*96.7 per cent of graduates seeking to enter employment or further study are successful within six months of graduating earning an average salary of more than £23,187.50. *(DLHE 2012/13)"

I know a friend who graduated a couple years ago and he has a great job with one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies on road.
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Nymthae
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Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science sounds quite interesting, but I don't think it opens up any roles you can't do already with a pure chemistry degree. Chemistry itself is very broad, and you won't do many of the same specific modules. The course will probably give you an edge in applying for those roles, but yeah, you're somewhat restricted personally. I would aim for a very solid foundation and specialise during your final years, or do a PhD, to target pharmaceuticals or formulations. Sometimes easier said than done, mind you, depending how you get allocated projects during your final year(s).

I've just finished a placement, and I know two people who went to GSK, and another at Unilever. GSK absolutely love candidates with a very strong organic chemistry background. I would look into how much lab work you get on this course, because if it's less than a pure chemistry degree then it's not ideal. A slight advantage in doing a chemistry degree is that if you change your mind on the area you want to go into then you're not boxed in by your degree choice. Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science doesn't seem like a particularly poor idea, but I feel like potential disadvantages outweigh potential advantages - unless you're completely adamant it's the area you want to go into. Then, if it contains a good volume of lab work, and you really can't stand the thought of physical chemistry, then maybe it's worth it. Without having known anyone who has done it, or asked companies directly, I can't judge entirely if it puts you in a better stead or not.

Chemical Engineering is primarily engineering. Do you like physics? Someone who knows more will come along shortly, I guess. It's more focused towards mass production - so once the product has been developed, it needs to be made. There's a lot of work behind all the manufacturing processes so it's a good way to get into that, things like looking at the process optimisation etc. As you're still an engineer, first and foremost, this degree is likely to be the area that will lead you into a higher wage.

If you actually want to be in the lab developing stuff then you need to look at the first option, or chemistry etc. rather than an engineering degree. There may be some occasional PhD or similar opportunities that would allow you to take on a more synthetic role, from an engineering background, but I suspect there aren't that many - and why take a chemical engineer over a chemist who has far more synthetic knowledge and experience?

You could do a sepeatate MSc in something like cosmetic, formulation, or pharmaceutical science after doing a chemistry BSc. There may not be too many of these though, haven't looked.
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Nymthae
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(Original post by SNOOP LAYAN)
Hehe it's great that you're currently studying Chemical Engineering but try not to be so biased

What at makes you think that the PCS Degree has bad, sorry... Very bad job prospects? DMU has great links in the industry and the course offers a placement year. Here's a quote from their website regarding this degree:

"*96.7 per cent of graduates seeking to enter employment or further study are successful within six months of graduating earning an average salary of more than £23,187.50. *(DLHE 2012/13)"

I know a friend who graduated a couple years ago and he has a great job with one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies on road.
I reckon if they've done a placement then that's set them head and shoulders above lots of people - whatever degree you do, the experience is what matters in the employment world.

UniStats seems to suggest that a load of graduates are in nursing/midwifery type roles. 5% listed as Science, engineering and technology associate professionals - which seems really odd, to me.

Edit: UniStats - different link? taken via their website anyway. Average salary 18k, probably around expected/avg. Still 80% listed as health professionals though.
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SNOOP LAYAN
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(Original post by Nymthae)
I reckon if they've done a placement then that's set them head and shoulders above lots of people - whatever degree you do, the experience is what matters in the employment world.

UniStats seems to suggest that a load of graduates are in nursing/midwifery type roles. 5% listed as Science, engineering and technology associate professionals - which seems really odd, to me.

Edit: UniStats - different link? taken via their website anyway. Average salary 18k, probably around expected/avg. Still 80% listed as health professionals though.
Thanks for your detailed response. Am I allowed to post the modules on this forum? The course contains a lot of lab work and that's what sets it slightly ahead of a straight chemistry degree in my opinion. It's much more hands on when it comes to dealing with and producing the products for the employer.

They also offer 3 different MSc's for you to choose from once you complete your degree. Advanced Biomedical Science MSc, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology MSc and Quality By Design MSc. I also found another university in London which offers Cosmetic Science MSc so progression is an option.

Unistats told me that the figures mentioned on their site for the PCS degree are actually related to the MPharm degree which is offered at the same institute. According to them, the figures are due to be updated early next month.
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Nymthae
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(Original post by SNOOP LAYAN)
Thanks for your detailed response. Am I allowed to post the modules on this forum? The course contains a lot of lab work and that's what sets it slightly ahead of a straight chemistry degree in my opinion. It's much more hands on when it comes to dealing with and producing the products for the employer.

They also offer 3 different MSc's for you to choose from once you complete your degree. Advanced Biomedical Science MSc, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology MSc and Quality By Design MSc. I also found another university in London which offers Cosmetic Science MSc so progression is an option.

Unistats told me that the figures mentioned on their site for the PCS degree are actually related to the MPharm degree which is offered at the same institute. According to them, the figures are due to be updated early next month.
You can post a list I would've thought. A standard chemistry degree roughly contains a quarter of the degree awarded based on lab work for the first couple of years, depending on BSc/MChem, the final year will probably be at least 50% based on a research project done in the lab. For my course specifically, 50% of my final year is that, and my final year counts for 50% of my degree. Coupled with the previous years, it actually ends up being quite a big proportion. First year during most places you're in the lab for a day a week, second year maybe 1.5 days, third year 2 - 2.5 I imagine.

Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and face-to-face contact time, and will make up approximately 17 hours of study each week.
That doesn't seem like it will have as much. On average, 22-24 hours I think is around standard for chemistry itself, but obviously this all depends on other modules taken. 8 hours of that will be in the lab though, so it would be interesting to see the split. There's also the question of what equipment/practical training is on offer - which I think primarily is perhaps one part which may restrict your job prospects more than the theoretical modules you take. My placement was in an area I had no theoretical experience in, but at least being able to tailor my application around the relevant skills I did have helped.

As I say, I think it's probably quite good for the cosmetic/pharma industries. It's just not offering anything I couldn't do anyway. The core modules on the website don't seem to list much about pure organic chemistry/organic synthetic skills - so i'm somewhat unsure how good it would be for a medicinal chemist role (like AZ, GSK..) as the GSK technical interview is really focused on organic chemistry mechanisms and reactions. I guess it just targets a different area in the pharma industry, perhaps? I'm not completely clued up on the different roles available, mainly just aware of the medicinal chemist post [as that's what I originally fancied doing]. Formulations stuff for places like Unilever and P&G look fine [way better than straight chemistry].
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SNOOP LAYAN
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Man the Chemistry degree sounds a lot more fun than I first anticipated! I imagined it to have a lot of random stuff that you won't be able to use when you start your career but it sounds like it's quite hands on. Medicinal Chemist sounds cool. What does it involve exactly?

I was told that with the PCS Degree you can choose to specialise in the Pharmaceuticals Industry or the Cosmetics Industry. Both industries are booming MULTI-BILLION POUNDS industries so that is not a bad choice to have. Then you have to choose one of those 3:

1- Regulatory

2- Formulation

3- Research


Man we sure could use an expert opinion right now. Lads, tell us what you're thinking...
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Nymthae
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(Original post by SNOOP LAYAN)
Man the Chemistry degree sounds a lot more fun than I first anticipated! I imagined it to have a lot of random stuff that you won't be able to use when you start your career but it sounds like it's quite hands on. Medicinal Chemist sounds cool. What does it involve exactly?

I was told that with the PCS Degree you can choose to specialise in the Pharmaceuticals Industry or the Cosmetics Industry. Both industries are booming MULTI-BILLION POUNDS industries so that is not a bad choice to have. Then you have to choose one of those 3:

1- Regulatory

2- Formulation

3- Research


Man we sure could use an expert opinion right now. Lads, tell us what you're thinking...
Well, pharmaceuticals is kind of interesting. There aren't that many jobs in the area anymore, in the UK. It's a really, really expensive business so the little guys tend to get pushed out so you're left with a handful of big companies. Things take years to get to market. People like Pfizer come along and close down the UK sites and take all their R&D back to the US. The same sorts of skills are used in things like agroscience, so making pesticides and so on, so it helps mainly to have the strong chemistry background then you can go into whichever.

Formulations industry is doing well I imagine. It's much easier to churn out products etc. and a lot of them put a lot into building strong brands so that always helps. I'm sort of in a formulations role right now, although not cosmetics, I just make a type of plastic. There's things like coatings and paints to consider, with more household goods like laundry detergents. I think it's pretty cool knowing how all that stuff works quite a few companies around

Regulatory - i've started looking at this recently, seems quite interesting. I think it's where the money is, but as expected, it's not a lab-based role usually so that kind of sucks if you actually want to continue making stuff. I get the impression it may be a more stressful job, but I have no idea.

The medicinal chemist job Video here (actually he seems to waffle away from what the job actually is...) - utilises all the experimental organic skills, involvement in the early stages of drug discovery. You get to synthesise the compounds so it's a very lab based job. As an undergraduate, you'll learn a lot of skills that help you decide what and where parts of molecules react, and eventually you get to the point where you have a target molecule in mind (let's say a known working drug). From that target molecule, you get the skills to work backwards dissecting the molecule like a puzzle, and working out a synthetic route by putting all those steps together in the right order. It's quite clever, and it's always very interesting because it's never really that simple - I guess I like the challenge.

There's no doubt some stuff as part of the chemistry degree may not interested you, but on the whole, I think most things are pretty interesting, even if you don't care too much about the real details of it. I don't really like physical chemistry, although certain parts like the modules I did on quantum mechanics were really cool. The best part about the degree is the lab work though, no doubt. It beats sitting in lectures any day. It feels really good to be learning skills, rather than bits of knowledge you'll probably never use.
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Petulia
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Chemical Engineering will definitely offer you more in terms of salary and career prospects. Is Chemical Engineering your Insurance?
After doing my research into Cosmetic Science, I've realised how unpopular it is as a course. UAL are always offering lots of places on the course during Clearing, and London Met offered the course for about two years but then gradually phased it out due to its unpopularity (I called up their admissions team a month ago to confirm this). Unless you're really interested in the Cosmetic aspect of Pharmaceuticals like l was, then I think you should go for Pharmaceutical Science on its own or Chemical Engineering. This is because most people who study Pharmaceutical Science or pure Chemistry end up working for the exact same companies i.e GlaxoSmithKline / P&G as those who study Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science anyway.
With a degree like Chemical Engineering (which I wanted to do, but couldn't because I don't study Physics), the starting salary is 28K http://www.prospects.ac.uk/chemical_engineer_salary.htm and will continue to rise as you go up. Despite the importance of R&D and formulation chemists, they don't get paid much and you'll definitely have to relocate if you currently live in London.
Also, Chemical Engineering offers you a lot of options because you could go into pharmaceuticals or biotechnology / food etc or even office work because it's highly regarded as a degree.
If you've already put down Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science as your Firm, then consider changing via Adjustment if you're able to.
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