CM20
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which degree do you think is better chemistry or natural sciences degree?

ALSO any uni advice in these subjects or career advice
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by CM20)
which degree do you think is better chemistry or natural sciences degree?

ALSO any uni advice in these subjects or career advice
Hi CM20,

I suppose this depends on what you might like to do in the future! Although if you're unsure of this at the moment then thats also ok. I'd recommend looking at University websites and comparing their natural sciences degree and chemistry degree pages. Often there's very in depth info about the course structure and topics covered on these web pages, so you could look for whichever degree covers the most topics that interest you. For example here are links to the University of Southampton chemistry and natural sciences pages.

Chemistry = https://www.southampton.ac.uk/chemis...ate/index.page
Natural Sciences = https://www.southampton.ac.uk/natsci/index.page

I did an integrated masters degree in chemistry at the University of Southampton so I don't know much about natural science degrees but I'll try and share a little about my experience in chemistry! During my first and second year of my degree a lot of our lectures were attended by natural science students so I imagine the degrees overlap significantly.

My chemistry degree was made up of a number of different topics; inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry and also maths (mostly in 1st year). Then you also get the choice of optional modules which can range from environmental chemistry to astronomy! You also get weekly lab practical sessions for the first two years of the degree. Depending on which type of degree you choose you can also go on a placement (year or 6 months, in industry or academia) which is an awesome experience!! No matter which degree you choose, you will also get to complete a research project in your preferred research area during your 3rd or 4th year. During a chemistry degree you will also learn loads of transferable professional skills that are useful in many different career paths. Some of these skills include; problem solving, communication, team work, presentation skills etc.

A chemistry degree, like most STEM degrees, is a busy one! This is really good for getting to know your course mates who are inevitably like-minded individuals. Because of this, you tend to form a tight community and will have so many people who are willing to help you with your studies because you're all in the same boat!

If you have any more questions, I'd be more than happy to answer!

Molly
UoS Chemistry graduate and current PhD student
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University of Bath
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(Original post by CM20)
which degree do you think is better chemistry or natural sciences degree?

ALSO any uni advice in these subjects or career advice
Hi there,

Chemistry is better if you are only interested in chemistry and know you want to specialise in it, and you would study all fields of chemistry: inorganic, organic, physical, computational etc. NatSci is better if you are interested in 2/multiple sciences and if you don't like all fields in one science. For example, because I do NatSci I choose modules from both biology (my major) and chemistry (my minor). Instead of choosing all the modules from biology or chemistry, I choose half and half basically. That means I only chose to do inorganic and organic chemistry, but I don't have to do physical chemistry as I don't enjoy it. Which one is better really depends on what you want to study and your career goals. You may find this thread that I started about NatSci at Bath helpful, as it should give you some insight into how the course works and if it would be right for you.

I did my placement doing forensic chemistry research at Uni of Bristol, and I know that they are on the the top unis in the country for both studying and researching in the School of Chemistry. For NatSci, Cambridge, Bath, Durham and UCL are probably the best. Bath and Durham's courses are very similar, whereas Cambridge and UCLs courses are slightly more restrictive (which put me off them when applying).

In terms of career advice, with chemistry you could for into loads of roles such as pharmaceutical research or drug development, forensics, healthcare and clinical roles, chemistry research and academia. With NatSci, you can go into any roles that relate to your major and minor subjects. In my case, I could go into any biology or chemistry based roles. NatSci is an interdisciplinary degree, so will likely give you more options provided you studied the relevant content in the units you chose. Science graduates also often go into business, marketing, finance, management and education roles.

I hope this helped, and let me know if you have any more questions
Jessica, a final year NatSci student
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