Advanced Chemical Sciences

Kieran Collings

Advanced Chemical Sciences MSc

What course did you study?

Advanced Chemical Sciences MSc

Why did you choose postgraduate study at the University of Liverpool?

The University of Liverpool Department of Chemistry leads the United Kingdom in 4* and 3* research, I was keen to immerse myself in the culture and teachings that has led to such sustained success. Liverpool is a fantastic city that I was pleased to call home for an additional year.

I got in contact with some lecturers at the University of Liverpool Chemistry Department to get more information. After seeing the module list for the MSc I really liked the list of modules available. There was a good balance of physical, organic, inorganic, medicinal and analytical chemistry modules, with some interesting titles that I immediately was intrigued to hear more about.

I was faced with a difficult decision between staying on the integrated masters course (MChem) and changing to the MSc. I was swayed towards changing onto the MSc course because of the international recognition and structure of the course. Unlike MChem, the MSc course separates the practical work from lectures and exams, allowing for a better balance between the two.

What’s the best thing about studying in your department?

The best thing about studying at the department is the diverse range of chemistry and chemist. The welcoming atmosphere for education and improving yourself lends well to maximising your potential. The thought provoking courses cover a wide range of chemistry topics, and allow for you to branch off into other scientific disciplines to improve the scope of your abilities. The academics teaching and leading projects in the roles of supervisors have many years of experience from both industrial and academic settings in a vast and impressive array of chemical backgrounds.

How do the facilities in the University help you with your studies?

During my time as an MSc student I utilised many of the facilities available at the University. It was very easy to find an open space at one of the two University libraries to work on tutorials and additional reading. The final few weeks of the summer lab project I would go to the library to write up my dissertation for what had happened that day. The library computers had all the programmes and applications needed to be able to do chemistry work outside of the chemistry department and central teaching labs.

For the summer lab project I was able to use the labs in the Centre for Materials Discovery (CMD) as well as the new Materials Innovation Factory (MIF). The MIF especially featured brand new analytical equipment and services that allowed me to take my research to the next level.

What kind of support do you get from tutors?

In the run up to the start of the summer lab project, I met with my supervisors either weekly to discuss preparation for the impending research project and arranging any necessary training. These meetings were also a chance for tutors to ask how we were finding the course and lectures. I was able to arrange practice presentations with supervisors and before major pieces of work, such as the dissertation, needed to be submitted I could get drafts reviewed and proof read.

What do you enjoy most about the whole experience?

The part I enjoyed most of the degree was the research project. It allowed me to realise my true ability in practical chemistry. The training sessions and meetings I attended, along with the work I did towards the preparatory work such as the literature review, perfectly prepared me to dive right into the research with all the skills and knowledge required. I was given the ideal mix of individual research and practical work, all whilst working alongside industry professionals and academics.

How do you believe undertaking postgraduate study will help your career prospects?

I believe studying the Advanced Chemical Sciences MSc at the University of Liverpool will immeasurably improve my employability and help my stand out as a knowledgeable chemist with excellent experience. The international recognition of the MSc along with the experience of working individually on your own research project sets you up for a career in chemistry. Your employability is further aided by the exceptional reputation of the University of Liverpool Chemistry Department, to help you emerge ahead of other potential candidates.

What advice would you give to anybody considering postgraduate study?

My advice would be that if you are passionate about chemistry, have a fascination with conducting research and have the aspiration to further expand your understanding, a master’s degree from the University of Liverpool is ideal for you and will allow you to unlock your true potential. The MSc has also perfectly set me up to continue my studies as I am now doing PhD.