What is it like studying an MChem?
After being settled into my integrated masters in chemistry for a few months now, I thought i’d give an insight on what it is like being a fourth year chemistry student, This could be useful for anyone who cannot decide if they should stop at a bachelors or push through for another year!
A big reason as to why I wanted to do an integrated masters is because I enjoyed the idea that 50% of my final year would be based on a project that I had been working on. I felt that during my schooling years, I have always struggled to have initiative so a lab-based project will give me more of the independence within academia that I needed. As well as this, research has always been appealing to me as a potential route post degree so I wanted to explore more to see if this is really what I wanted to do.
Personally, I have been really enjoying my masters year and it is probably one of my favourite years. This is mostly because I am intrigued by my masters project and the context behind it, I really enjoy doing lab work and learning new lab skills and finally because my supervisor and the PhD student that both mentor me are extremely friendly, approachable and encouraging.
All the following factors are the things you need to consider before stepping into this degree:
Firstly, do you enjoy lab work? You will spend three days a week in labs for the first two terms so there needs to be a motivation for you to want to get up and get into those labs for those days! However, if you really don’t enjoy a lab based environment, you can opt for an educational based project which I know three people on my course are doing.
Next, will you enjoy the project? Make sure you do a lot of research into the kind of chemistry you would like to do and what each academic is researching in their group! Email them beforehand for more of an insight and include this in your request if you find something really interesting. However, even if you request a certain academic, it is not certain you will get them as your supervisor.
Lastly, find out what the research group and environment is like. You may prefer a smaller or larger lab group, a more chilled working environment or one with a faster pace! Do your research and speak to students who are currently in their MChem year to see what it is like to be in certain research groups to find the one that will suit you.
Any questions? Feel free to message me!