FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions to the Master Programme in Business Chemistry at WWU Münster
Why Business Chemistry?
Value creation in the chemical industry and neighbouring sectors is characterized by a high level of research intensity, complex processes and a convergence of disciplines. Business chemists are familiar with the management of these environments, because they are trained both in chemistry and business administration. They possess state of the art knowledge in chemistry and are aware of the latest developments in the natural sciences. Because they are equally familiar with modern management concepts, they can assume key positions in enterprises and corporations, so as to ensure the successful commercialization of chemical knowledge.The training in the subject of Business Chemistry is characterized by an interdisciplinary approach and close proximity to indus
trial practice. In addition to classic courses and lectures, students analysecase studies based on management practice. Representatives from industry are frequently guests at the Institute and give presentations or conduct block courses.Students attend courses at the Departments of Business and Economics and Chemistry and Pharmacy. The program is rounded off with courses that have been specially developed by the Institute of Business Administration.
Which areas of a company are business chemists employed in?
Chemical companies have a requirement for junior managers with a natural sciences background and who also have a knowledgeof business administration. Such graduates are employed especially at interfaces between departments, as well as in central functions. SMEs seek graduates in Business Chemistry to support the company’s management. In the field of consulting, what is especially important is to build up consulting competence specific to a particular branch of industry. Of course business chemists can enter other areas as well, due to their acquired analytical and interdisciplinary competences.
Business Chemistry – A bridge between different disciplines
The “MSc in Business Chemistry” course is geared to research and offers opportunities for specialization in currently relevant areas of chemistry. However, the business chemist is not supposed to do the work of chemists, but rather work closely with them in day-to-day business and build a bridge to the research department. In other words, the business chemist does not compete with the traditional chemist but, rather, interacts with him. After all, he understands the elementary vocabulary of chemistry, mediates with the classic company business administration functions and makes the R&D teams’ collaboration with customers, marketing experts and other managers within the company that much easier.In their Business Chemistry Master’s course at Münster University, students acquire knowledge of business administration relevant for the chemical industry. In this course, a central place is occupied by learning about management methods and about instruments which support corporate decision-making. Great importance is also attached to teaching skills such as presentation technique or teamwork. The Master’s course builds on the academic foundation and on the methods and specialist knowledge which students have already acquired in their first degree course. It takes into account the changes taking place in the working world and in society, which are marked by increasing interconnection, a growing together of specialist disciplines and the accompanying increased complexity in research and daily company life.
Since when does the program in Business Chemistry exist?
The master programme has been accredited successfully and was firstoffered from the winter semester 2010/2011 onwards.Since the winter semester 2012/2013 a revised master programme has been established (including new modules).From the winter semester 2001/2002 onwards, and before the nationwide changeover in Germany to the system of Bachelor/Master degrees, a course in Business Chemistry was offered at Münster as a traditional Diploma course. Since the winter semester 2007/2008 it has no longer been possible to enrol in this Diploma course, as only Bachelor/Master degrees are now possible.
Please note that the master programme in business chemistry at WWU Münster is primarily given in German.
What are the personal requirements I need to take the Master’s course in Business
The Master’s course builds on the academic foundation and on the methods and specialist knowledge which students have already acquired in their Bachelor degree course in Chemistry (or Food Chemistry or Business Chemistry). In order to take into account thechanges taking place in the working world and in society– e.g. increasing interconnection, growing together of specialist disciplines and increased complexity –students are trained to solve scientific problems independently, put their solutions into practice and thus learn responsible management behaviour. This means that, in addition to a high level of interest in both subjects –Chemistry and Business Administration –students should possess a high degree of openness and initiative to help them cope with the various requirements that will later be made of them in their careers.
What are the formal requirements for the Master’s course in Business Chemistry?
The requirement for admission to the Master’s course in Business Chemistry is a degree in a relevant course of study (i.e., as a rule, a degree in Chemistry, Food Chemistry or Business Chemistry obtained at a university in Germany or abroad), with a duration of at least six semesters, and which has been successfully completed with a Bachelor degree ora similar degree (Diploma, State Examination etc). In addition, candidates must submit so-called Evidence of Particular Aptitude, which states that the grade obtained in the first degree taken (Bachelor, Diploma, State Examination etc) was at least 2.5 or that the degree was among the best 70 % of a graduation year.
Is there a Numerus clausus for the Master's programme in Business Chemistry?
Places for the Master's programme in Business Chemistry are limited. For this reason, two criteria decide on the selection of the students admitted. These are the grades awarded in the first vocational qualification (i.e. in most cases the grade from the Bachelor's programme) and the relevant qualifications for the Master's programme in Business Chemistry. This means, among other things, internships relevant to the profession or research, relevant professional experience or a special motivation for the Master's programme in Business Chemistry. For this reason, a concrete Numerus clausus must not be specified in advance.
Are work placements recommendable during the course of study?
Work placements are highly recommendable, for example to gain initial insights into the world of work or to make useful contacts for a future Master’s thesis or a later career. Companies regularly approach us with offers for students of Business Chemistry, which we pass on to our students. It should also be noted that it is not always possible to take leave from lectures to embark on a work placement. Compulsory attendance is required, for example, in practical research and
laboratory work. It is strongly recommended that you also go to lectures and seminars for which attendance is not compulsory so that you do not miss anything being taught. For this reason, students should think early about work placements and plan accordingly. As a rule, the first phase of the Master’s course is more suitable for putting into practice the business knowledge you have acquired. This means that initial insights into a later career as a business chemist can be obtained at a very early stage. On request, the "Wirtschaftchemiker der Universität Münster e.V." get you access to internship reports (WUM).
Abroad: yes or no?
The requirement profile of many companies includes a stay abroad of the applicants. It is not of paramount interest whether the applicant has studied abroad or completed an internship. Both options are also suitable for students of the Master's programme in Business Chemistry. For example, a stay abroad can take place via our contacts to foreign universities or the partnership agreements between the departments.
Can I go on to do a PhD course with a degree in Business Chemistry?
Yes! There are three options. The most usual choice is to take a PhD at our Institute, where you would have the opportunity to work in one of our main areas of research, on an academic topic closely linked to the BusinessChemistry course of study. You can find more information about our areas of research on our website. In addition, current research issues are included in our teaching, which means that during your studies you already come into contact with issues that might be suitable for later research activity. Also, with a degree in Business Chemistry you can study for a PhD at a Faculty of Chemistry and carry out basic or applied research. A third possibility is to specialize in Business Administration. Many Faculties of Business Administration are explicitly looking for PhD students with interdisciplinary skills.