lily0293
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I want to study chemistry at university, but I'm not sure what course to take, MSc or BSc(what's the difference). Also, is it possible to do medicinal chemistry or analytical chemistry at uni? And if so, how many years of pure chemistry do you need to do before specializing in a particular field?
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Luwei
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Take MSci because if you do then you will become accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry as a chartered chemist. Yes it is possible to specialise in whichever branch of chemistry you want in your third and fourth years.
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lily0293
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What does it mean to be a chartered chemist?
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University of Bath
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(Original post by lily0293)
I want to study chemistry at university, but I'm not sure what course to take, MSc or BSc(what's the difference). Also, is it possible to do medicinal chemistry or analytical chemistry at uni? And if so, how many years of pure chemistry do you need to do before specializing in a particular field?
Hi,

I am a current Natural Sciences student studying chemistry within that, so hopefully I can help

The difference is that an MSc is a masters degree, and a BSc is a bachelors degree. You can get integrated masters degrees, which are usually around 4-5 years, where you do the 3-4 year bachelors degree, and then a final year or so more which is the masters degree. You can also get standalone masters degrees usually around 1-2 years, in which case you would do the bachelors degree and then do a separate masters degree. An integrated masters is good if you already know that you want to specialise in that subject, whereas a bachelors is good if you aren't yet sure, as you can complete your bachelors degree and then do a standalone masters after if you want. This is also good as standalone masters tend to be a bit more varied and niche, so you can specialise in something slightly different from your bachelors. For example, I'm doing a BSc in Natural Sciences (biology and pharmacology joint honours, plus optional chemistry modules), and I would like to do a 1 year MSc afterwards in Forensic sciences. On the other hand, some people will just do a MSc in Biology.

Which you choose is really a matter of preference, as it depends on what you want to specialise in, and whether you know what you want to specialise in yet.

There are indeed a wide variety of different chemistry degrees, some more specific than others, and it varies a lot by university. For example, you could do a straight chemistry degree where you cover all grounds of the subject. At Bath, we also offer Chemistry for Drug Development, which is suitable if you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry and developing drugs from a chemistry perspective. We also offer Chemistry with Management, and Biochemistry. A lot of universities offer other chemistry courses, like Medicinal Chemistry, Biomedical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and so on. A handy way to see what's on offer where is to follow this link to the UCAS website - if you search "chemistry" in the UCAS course search tool, you can see all chemistry and chemistry-related courses.

How many years you need depends on what you want and how specialised you want to be. You could do an integrated MSc, or a BSc and then an MSc, which are usually around 4-6 years (some BSc and MSc degrees are longer than others). You may only want to do a BSc and not specialise further, or you may want to do a PhD and become much more specialised (PhDs can be a fair few years long). I feel like most people do a 3-4 year BSc in chemistry, or a chemistry-related degree like biomedical chemistry, and then may do a 1-2 year MSc (either integrated into one degree, or as 2 separate degrees).

I hope this has helped, and that my explanations weren't too confusing
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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lily0293
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi,

I am a current Natural Sciences student studying chemistry within that, so hopefully I can help

The difference is that an MSc is a masters degree, and a BSc is a bachelors degree. You can get integrated masters degrees, which are usually around 4-5 years, where you do the 3-4 year bachelors degree, and then a final year or so more which is the masters degree. You can also get standalone masters degrees usually around 1-2 years, in which case you would do the bachelors degree and then do a separate masters degree. An integrated masters is good if you already know that you want to specialise in that subject, whereas a bachelors is good if you aren't yet sure, as you can complete your bachelors degree and then do a standalone masters after if you want. This is also good as standalone masters tend to be a bit more varied and niche, so you can specialise in something slightly different from your bachelors. For example, I'm doing a BSc in Natural Sciences (biology and pharmacology joint honours, plus optional chemistry modules), and I would like to do a 1 year MSc afterwards in Forensic sciences. On the other hand, some people will just do a MSc in Biology.

Which you choose is really a matter of preference, as it depends on what you want to specialise in, and whether you know what you want to specialise in yet.

There are indeed a wide variety of different chemistry degrees, some more specific than others, and it varies a lot by university. For example, you could do a straight chemistry degree where you cover all grounds of the subject. At Bath, we also offer Chemistry for Drug Development, which is suitable if you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry and developing drugs from a chemistry perspective. We also offer Chemistry with Management, and Biochemistry. A lot of universities offer other chemistry courses, like Medicinal Chemistry, Biomedical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and so on. A handy way to see what's on offer where is to follow this link to the UCAS website - if you search "chemistry" in the UCAS course search tool, you can see all chemistry and chemistry-related courses.

How many years you need depends on what you want and how specialised you want to be. You could do an integrated MSc, or a BSc and then an MSc, which are usually around 4-6 years (some BSc and MSc degrees are longer than others). You may only want to do a BSc and not specialise further, or you may want to do a PhD and become much more specialised (PhDs can be a fair few years long). I feel like most people do a 3-4 year BSc in chemistry, or a chemistry-related degree like biomedical chemistry, and then may do a 1-2 year MSc (either integrated into one degree, or as 2 separate degrees).

I hope this has helped, and that my explanations weren't too confusing
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
Thank you so much for your clear explanations. It really helped. I think I am going to apply for bachelor's for all my degrees and then during first or second year, decide on whether or not I really enjoy the course to do a master's. I'm applying for medicinal chemistry and also straight chemistry for some unis. Once again, thank you so much for spending the time to give me all of this information. I hope your studies go well and good luck!
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University of Bath
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(Original post by lily0293)
Thank you so much for your clear explanations. It really helped. I think I am going to apply for bachelor's for all my degrees and then during first or second year, decide on whether or not I really enjoy the course to do a master's. I'm applying for medicinal chemistry and also straight chemistry for some unis. Once again, thank you so much for spending the time to give me all of this information. I hope your studies go well and good luck!
Hi there,

No problem, I'm glad I could help! That's a good idea - that means you can get a feel for it and decide later, instead of pigeonholing yourself

Thank you, and good luck with your applications!
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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carilloyd1
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Hi, this is not entirely related but I love Bath and planning on either applying for Chemistry or NatSci there. Can you tell me what the natural science course is like? I don’t hear much about it unless you’re applying to Cambridge!Thanks
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University of Bath
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(Original post by carilloyd1)
Hi, this is not entirely related but I love Bath and planning on either applying for Chemistry or NatSci there. Can you tell me what the natural science course is like? I don’t hear much about it unless you’re applying to Cambridge!Thanks
Hi there,

You may find this thread that I started dedicated to NatSci at Bath useful, as well as my detailed response in this thread.

Essentially, the Bath NatSci course functions like a joint honours where you choose a major and a minor subject from Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Environmental Science and Physics. You then choose an extra auxiliary module which could be psychology, maths for life sciences, education, management or another science module. The only exception is there is no auxiliary module if you take physics, as there is a compulsory maths module instead.

If the 2 threads I linked don't answer all of your questions, please let me know as I'm happy to answer whatever queries you may have

I hope this helps,
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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carilloyd1
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi there,

You may find this thread that I started dedicated to NatSci at Bath useful, as well as my detailed response in this thread.

Essentially, the Bath NatSci course functions like a joint honours where you choose a major and a minor subject from Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Environmental Science and Physics. You then choose an extra auxiliary module which could be psychology, maths for life sciences, education, management or another science module. The only exception is there is no auxiliary module if you take physics, as there is a compulsory maths module instead.

If the 2 threads I linked don't answer all of your questions, please let me know as I'm happy to answer whatever queries you may have

I hope this helps,
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
Thank you very much!
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University of Bath
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(Original post by carilloyd1)
Thank you very much!
Hi there,

No problem, I'm glad I could help

Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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