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How do employers/academics view an MSci v MSc? (UK)

  1. Sep 17, 2013 #1
    If completing a Physics MSci, the fourth year contains 120 credits. Therefore being equivalent, in terms of credits, to a BSc plus a post-grad diploma.

    How do employers, or academics if going into research, view an MSci?

    Do they generally consider the MSci to be equal to a BSc plus an MSc (even though it contains less credits).

    Or do they equate an MSci to a BSc plus a post-grad diploma, which it does equate in terms of credits?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2013 #2
    To save everyone from googling to try and find a more concrete difference between these two degrees it'd be cool if you included some more information.

    Is the "Physics MSci" a 2 year masters program of pure research, are the 120 credits made up of mostly research based units or are they more formal classes?

    Is the "BSc + MSc" an accelerated version of the "Physics MSci"? After this diploma is the next step Phd?

    It sounds like the "BSc + MSc" is kind of like an honours degree.

    Of course I'm probably not the best person to answer the question but I no one else has really gave it a shot, the first thing I would be doing is talking to lecturers, other post graduate students, post doctoral students, anyone around who has already been in your position.

    Where I'm from a "BSc + MSci" would be a short cut into a Phd program, which means that students who decide to take this path have already planned to continue onto Phd and have pretty good grades.

    The normal MSc would be chosen by a student who either couldn't get into an "Bsc + MSci" program or is planning on stopping after obtaining the MSc to go looking for jobs.

    It really, really depends on what kind of jobs you are talking about as well. If you are planning on going into research within a university I would think the best path to go would be the "BSc + MSc" if you think you can obtain high enough grades to score a Phd scholarship / access into a Phd program, but at the end of the program, if you decide to stop your studies and go job hunting (which I guess is your biggest concern) I think employers would generally favour a full MSc over the post-graduate diploma. I think that is the case because you would gain a lot more experience during the full MSc program.

    So yea, I think that employers, in industry type jobs, would favour the MSc, whereas if you're looking to go into research the post-graduate diploma would be the way to go (If it is possible to get into a Phd program afterwards) because you its more likely academics would hire post-doctoral students over post-masters.

    Most importantly, you should talk to some of your teachers to see what they say and ask about what their past students have been doing.

    Anyway, I hope it kind of helped.
  4. Sep 22, 2013 #3


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    To be honest I've never heard of a MSci degree before this post, and I've been interviewing graduate level job applicants for several years in the UK.

    A bit of googling says It's a BSc degree plus a few "higher level" courses, right?

    If it was "worth" the same as an MSc, why would it have a different name? Call me a cynic if you like, but it sounds like something the university marketing department dreamed up to get a more students, and/or charge them higher fees...
  5. Sep 22, 2013 #4


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    In what system? Not all UK universities operate modular systems with course credits.

    A Batchelor's degree plus a one-year Master's degree is supposed to be roughly equivalent to a four-year Master's degree. Not all universities offer both options.
  6. Sep 22, 2013 #5
    The Msci (or MPhys) are quite well known.

    Here is a listed of IoP accredited courses:

    You'll observe there are several such courses. The MSci/MPhys are simply a 4-year undergraduate course after which someone can graduate with either one of these two qualifications. They therefore do not graduate with a BSc. Instead they graduate with the degree title MSci/MPhys, this difference indicating that they did not complete a BSc and then undertake a separate post-graduate MSc course.

    From what I have learned since my original post employers may see the MPhs/MSci in something of a similar light to a BSc+MSc (even though it has less credits). Although, of course, this is just opinion.

    4th year of MPhs/MSci has two semesters as opposed to three semesters in a year long MSc.

    They might see MPhys/MSci as more than a BSc + post-grad diploma as with a post-grad diploma there is no research component which there is with an MSci (or an MSc).
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2013
  7. Sep 22, 2013 #6
    According to the national qualifications framework it is worth the same, and indeed employers and academics also treat them the same.

    It's basically the science version of the (more familiar) MEng.

    It has a different name to avoid confusion between it and the postgraduate masters, i.e. the MSc.
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