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    What's the difference between them? I'm considering taking Pharmacology as a course in Uni, specifically at King's College London, and there's the option of both, but I don't know what the difference is?
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    A BSc is the standard UK 3-year undergraduate course, which gets you a bachelors level degree.

    A MSci is also an undergraduate course, but it lasts an extra year. The first 3 years are identical to the BSc; in the final year, you would typically do one big project (at least 6 months), write a few literature reviews, and be taught more advanced research techniques.

    Its not the same as a stand-alone masters degree (MSc)—which people take after graduating and lasts a whole 12 months, rather than just for the academic year (9 months or so).

    The MSci is better preparation than the BSc for a PhD. Its probably worth trying to apply for the MSci because you can change to the BSc after 2 years if you change your mind; at my University (Sheffield), BSc students weren't allowed to switch.
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    One is a Bachelors (standard) degree which is 3 years and the other is a Masters degree which is a Bachelors degree + 1 year (4 years)
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    (Original post by Tpx)
    A BSc is the standard UK 3-year undergraduate course, which gets you a bachelors level degree.

    A MSci is also an undergraduate course, but it lasts an extra year. The first 3 years are identical to the BSc; in the final year, you would typically do one big project (at least 6 months), write a few literature reviews, and be taught more advanced research techniques.

    Its not the same as a stand-alone masters degree (MSc)—which people take after graduating and lasts a whole 12 months, rather than just for the academic year (9 months or so).

    The MSci is better preparation than the BSc for a PhD. Its probably worth trying to apply for the MSci because you can change to the BSc after 2 years if you change your mind; at my University (Sheffield), BSc students weren't allowed to switch.

    Ahh I see, that makes a lot more sense now. Thank you!
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    I feel your question has been answered on what the difference is between a Bachelors and a Masters, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...ions_Framework for more info (Bachelors is level 6, Masters is level 7, A Level level 3 etc...), however let me delve a little bit deeper in an attempt to demonstrate more relevant differences you may not have thought of just yet.

    A bit of background first - I graduated from a 3 year accredited BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science when there was a 4 year MBiomedSci available with professional accreditation that I didn't go for. I'm glad I didn't spend a fourth year doing the MBiomedSci as it was just a year in industry and I didn't want to be a Biomedical Scientist (it's literally loading machines all day, nothing technical or interesting at that level and I wanted to study graduate medicine) however a small part of me wished I had done it - I got my undergraduate degree and the 4 year students did the exact same, graduated a year later with a Masters degree. I went on to do an MRes (Master of Research) at Imperial College which may not have happened if I already had a Masters so for that I am thankful at least.

    The reasons I wished to have done the undergraduate masters though were simple, they had their tuition fees paid for by the NHS, and they didn't have to pay ridiculous post-graduate fees (£12k for me) without a loan for their Masters degree. There are no SFE post graduate tuition fee or maintenance loans so I had to find that all up front. That cost me £15-£20k that I was lucky to be able to borrow from my father. Undergraduate masters (such as your MSci) would be funded for all 4 years typically and that can be a massive bonus, don't underestimate that unless you're lucky to be in very charmed circumstances.

    On the other hand, as a post-grad now looking back without the money worry, I'm incredibly glad I didn't do an undergraduate masters. I wouldn't have enjoyed it, I had spent 3 years at the university and was really starting to hate it there (it was north, not high up the league tables, not really the course I wanted to do - as I said medicine was the aim) and I constantly wanted to be done with it. A fourth year would have pushed me over the edge, though those are all personal issues you probably wouldn't have (everyone loves uni, at least the first 2/3rds!).

    Now I've been applying to graduate medicine, jobs and PhDs I've found out that undergraduate masters aren't as well respected as I thought. A lot of employers see BSc followed by MSc a lot more impressive and I can see why. I did an MRes, my significant other is doing an MSc (both at Imperial College) and the workload is vastly more than any undergraduate masters student I've come across. Imperial recruit their stand alone masters students (MSc, not MSci) on to doctorates and don't accept undergraduate students, even those with undergraduate masters, very frequently if at all. I thought my third year undergraduate research project was reasonably complex and I did a lot of work for it. I could have done the entire thing in about three weeks during my MRes. I was nowhere near as intelligent as I thought despite having a great 2.1 and a good first for that project.

    Undergraduate masters degrees are a good way to say to employers "I'm as good as all your other Bachelors degree candidates even if they got a higher mark than me, I have a masters degree" but it also says to them "I didn't necessarily have to work full time for my masters degree, I just did a year in industry/swanned about as an undergraduate for an extra year" which can make them prefer BSc then MSc candidates to just MSci candidates. Particularly for doctorate applications or for using your scientific degree (as opposed to going into pharmacology outside the lab ie. journalism or business etc...) doing a BSc then masters would seem beneficial. Though you can always do the MSci and a separate masters and negate all of those preconceived ideas people have, for about half of my MRes course already had masters degrees (undergraduate masters degrees) and this was a step up for them to then go on to doctoral level.

    Overall, I would say to go for the undergraduate masters degree as it does look better than just a BSc, only takes an extra year, and you get a higher degree, though don't try to use it as a passport to higher things in place of a stand alone masters degree, just use it to get ahead of your peers on the BSc!
 
 
 
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