Graduate survey for the MSc programme in Medicinal Chemistry 2017

Objectives and background of the survey

Graduate surveys are conducted to gather information on employment circumstances after graduation and on whether various aspects of the studies graduates have completed influence their employment.

Through the graduate surveys, UPCH also gains knowledge of how graduates assess the degree to which the competences they have acquired through the programme are relevant and in demand in the jobs they get after completing their studies.

The graduates also assess whether there are aspects of the programme, its structure and contents that could be adjusted so that the programme to an even higher degree would prepare them for the labour market.

Graduate surveys are therefore an important element in the quality assurance of programmes. 

Data collection and response rate

This report is based on data from graduates of the MSc programme in Medicinal Chemistry who graduated in the period from 1 October 2012 – 30 September 2015 and who thus completed their studies a minimum of one year before the survey.

The data were collected in the period from 1 November – 8 December 2016 as part of the annual joint graduate survey across UCPH.

In total, 6 of the 14 invited graduates of the MSc programme in Medicinal Chemistry responded to the graduate survey. This corresponds to a total response rate of 43%. Since the survey has a very small population, interpretations of the data must be made with care. 

Graduates find employment quickly and there is a high transition rate to the PhD programme

All graduates of the MSc programme are employed. Half of the graduates have jobs, two out of three of which are permanent positions, while the other half are enrolled as PhD students at UCPH. The survey results thus indicate a high transition rate to the PhD programme.

Two thirds of the graduates secured a job or a PhD programme before they completed the MSc programme, while the remaining third found a job after completing their studies. All are employed within the pharmaceutical industry.

Wider range of job opportunities than expected and changing career goals

The MSc programme in Medicinal Chemistry is often regarded as a stepping stone to a research career. However, half of the graduates are employed in the pharmaceutical industry without previous research training. At the beginning of their studies, half of the respondents had expected to continue to a PhD programme. At present, however, only one of these people is enrolled in a PhD programme. The three respondents who are not enrolled in a PhD programme do not wish to be at present. This indicates that graduates get a different type of job than they had envisaged at the beginning of their studies.

Academic competences and contacts are important for the first job

83% of graduates assess that the right contacts and sought-after academic competences were decisive for them getting their first job. For half of them it was also important that they had written their Master’s thesis within the specific area of work.

Graduates are well prepared for the labour market but call for collaboration with the business community

Two thirds of the graduates who have a job (and are not enrolled in a PhD programme) think that the MSc programme has prepared them well for the labour market. The remainder of the group assess this to be the case to a lesser degree. The graduates indicate that better opportunities for internships and more knowledge of and collaboration with the business community would prepare future graduates even better for the labour market. The graduates assess that subject-specific methodological competencies are more important than very specific competences for new graduates in today’s labour market.

The mandatory courses on the programme are satisfactory

More than half of the graduates assess that they have benefitted from the mandatory courses on the programme in connection with their subsequent jobs. Some mandatory courses are assessed less highly than others, which may be due to the specialisations on the programme, which lead to different forms of employment.

Positive assessment of academic progression and level as well as the programme structure

100% of the graduates experience that there is academic progression on the MSc programme and 83% assess that the teaching is at an appropriate level in relation to the admission requirements. 50% of the graduates have a BSc in pharmaceutical sciences or chemistry from the University of Copenhagen, while 50% have a bachelor’s degree from a university abroad.

83% of the graduates assess that the elements of the MSc programme support the overall objectives for learning outcomes, while 66% assess that the structure of the MSc programme supports the overall objectives for learning outcomes.

Limited opportunities for mobility but good opportunities for electives and specialisation

All of the graduates assess that the elements of the programme have promoted completion within the prescribed period of studies. However, they also state that it is difficult to participate in a period of studies abroad or an internship due to the intensive nature of the programme. On the other hand, five out of six graduates assess that there are good opportunities for specialisation and electives without extending the period of studies.

Teachers’ professional level and pedagogic competences are good

All of the graduates assess that the professional competences of the teachers on the MSc programme in medicinal chemistry are sufficient. Similarly, the majority of the graduates find that the teachers’ pedagogic competences are sufficient.

Overall assessment of the programme

The aspects of the programme that graduates assess as especially positive include good teachers, opportunities for specialisation, opportunities for research and publication and the practical work in the laboratory. With regard to possibilities for improvement, the graduates emphasise aspects such as knowledge of career opportunities, a better introduction to deadlines for visiting students and more integration between Danish and international students.

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