I have an equal opportunity to pursue my PhD in chemistry in the United States or United Kingdom. As I investigated, the educations systems are different (correct me if I'm wrong):


  • BSc: 4-year coursework
  • MSc: 1-year coursework + 1-year research
  • PhD: 2-year coursework + 2-year research


  • BSc: 3-year coursework

  • MSc: (it can be) 2-year research

  • PhD: 4-year research

In all programs I checked, a master degree is required for the PhD admission (I think it is the standard for chemistry).

My ultimate goal is to continue in academia and I anticipate that I need 3-4 years of postdoc before applying for a faculty position. Since the UK system is more research active, I thought a research degree can be more helpful to get a postdoc position (I anticipate I can publish more papers during 4 years as opposed to two years of research in the US).

In general, I am fascinated by the research-oriented system in UK and I prefer it to coursework, but it can be my misconception only. This is the reason that I ask this question to avoid any illusion.

Disclaimer: I know that a PhD program may take longer and each university may have different programs to offer. These numbers are just standard averages for the sake of comparison.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Brian Borchers, Buzz, Enthusiastic Engineer, Florian D'Souza, scaaahu Oct 8 '17 at 3:42

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    The number of people who have taken PhDs both in the US and in the UK might be very small. – TheWanderer Oct 7 '17 at 17:41