I decided to post this following a discussion on Twitter with two Chemistry colleagues, from Liverpool and York respectively (@SimonHiggins_60 and @Dr_PaulC). It started with a Twitter advertisement for a PhD position, where a person with an MChem was sought to fill the position. I picked up on this because at Keele we don’t do MChems, but at the same time, our students go on to do PhDs at universities all over the UK, at no apparent disadvantage to those who have an MChem. I commented on this issue in an earlier post, which was in response to an EndPoint article by David Phillips.
The point for discussion is essentially this. Does doing an MChem make a significant difference to a student’s ability to do a PhD? Yes, I agree they will get a bit more research experience, and (depending on the course), some more chemical ‘knowledge’ (which may or or not be useful in their PhD). But from my experience with our students over many years, it makes no diference at all in the end. Comments, agreements and disagreements are very welcome!