This four-year course has a student satisfaction rating of 90%.
The chemical industry is incredibly important to the UK economy. A recent study from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council revealed that Chemistry and the chemical industry contributes £258billion to the economy each year (21% of GDP), supports 6 million jobs, and is responsible for 15% of the UK’s exports. Can you see yourself working in the chemical industry after finishing your studies? If so, our Chemistry with Industrial Experience MSci degree programme may be for you. In this four-year course you will spend the third year in paid employment where salaries can exceed £16,000 p.a. Working and studying in an industrial setting will provide you with valuable experience, whilst at the same time improving your career prospects. Birmingham Chemistry has strong research links with many chemical companies such as AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benkiser and Procter and Gamble, and we will use our industrial contacts to help you in your search for a suitable employer. Graduates from this programme have excellent employment opportunities, and many choose to enhance these further by studying for a PhD before pursuing a career in industry.
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, which is delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits. In the first two years, you will take 60 credits of core chemistry courses, which cover the fundamental aspects of the subject. These courses include a significant practical component, which not only allows us to develop your practical skills and techniques in a range of experiments, but also to consolidate the theory you will have covered in associated lectures. The remaining 60 credits comprise modules designed to support these core courses and include optional chemistry modules, mathematics courses, laboratory modules, as well as courses which focus on communications skills and employability.
At the end of Year 2 and having found a suitable placement, you will begin a 12-month contract with a chemical company. In this third year, you will also be subject to reduced tuition fees (the figure for 2012 entrants is £2500). Returning to Birmingham for your final year, you will find significant flexibility in this, your final, year, as you choose 60 credits of taught modules from a range of courses pitched at the cutting edge of the discipline. A major research project makes up the remaining 60 credits.
Generic skills-training, focusing on transferable skills and employability, is embedded throughout the course and from the outset, and will ensure that you are equipped with the ICT, presentation, team-working and problem-solving skills, which are seen as crucial by employers.
Progression requirements: Years 1 and 2 of this course follow the same format as our other single honours chemistry degree programmes although in recognition of the challenging nature of the final two years of this course, we require you to achieve a minimum overall Year 1 mark of 60%, and Year 2 mark of 55%, to remain on the programme.
In Year 1, you will take substantive core modules in the traditional sub-disciplines of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, all of which include an extensive laboratory work programme. Everyone takes a maths module in Semester 2, and if you don’t have A-level maths at grade B or higher, you will take a further introductory maths module in Semester 1. Both of these modules are taught by staff from Chemistry, which ensures you learn those aspects of maths that you will need to understand and tackle the more physical and theoretical aspects of our courses. A range of non-chemistry option courses is available for those students with maths A-level. Particularly popular options include ‘The Cosmic Connection,’ delivered by the School of Physics and Astronomy, and ‘Good brain – Bad brain,’ delivered by the Department of Pharmacology.
Second year (contributes 20% to overall degree mark)
In Year 2, you will build on material from your first year as we employ a mix of lectures and practicals to further develop your understanding of the fundamental aspects of chemistry. In addition to core courses in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, you will also take chemical electives, and choose from a range of courses, which include analytical chemistry, computational chemistry and bioorganic chemistry.
You will also work closely with the Course Director and College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Careers Team, who will provide advice on putting together your CV, making applications, and good interview technique, all of which will maximise your chances of securing the industrial placement you want.
Third year (contributes 40% to overall degree mark)
Whilst your third year is spent out on your industrial placement, you will still maintain frequent contact with Birmingham Chemistry via your academic tutor, who will visit you on site to monitor your progress and check on your welfare. You will write a report on your work and present your results to your peers and other members of the School in a research symposium. In order that you can return to Birmingham with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully rejoin your MSci cohort for the fourth year, you will also undertake distance-learning exercises covering core Year 3 material.
Fourth year (contributes 40% to overall degree mark)
There is a significant level of flexibility in this your final year, which means you can specialise in a particular sub-discipline should you wish. Our courses at this Masters level reflect the state-of-the-art of the discipline, which not only allows us to showcase the cutting-edge research interests of the School, but also ensures that you are aware of the latest challenges in this rapidly advancing subject. In addition to 60 credits of taught material, you will join one of the School’s research groups, and become a member of the Research School as you undertake a major research project (worth the remaining 60 credits). You will work closely with your project supervisor to tailor the project to your particular interests and further develop your research skills; indeed many students enjoy the experience so much that they choose to go on to study for a PhD after graduation.
Chemists at Birmingham adopt a broad, multi-disciplinary outlook to our subject, which is going to be vital if we are to solve the problems of the 21st Century in healthcare, medicine, sustainability and the environment. The School has a leading research rating and is committed to excellence in teaching. Your lecturers are not only global experts in their field but also passionate about their subject.
We recognise that chemistry is a partnership between practical work and theory, so our degree programmes offer a balanced curriculum, which allows you to develop skills at the bench by putting into practice what you learn in lectures. Our research facilities are among the best in the country and this access to state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories is a vital part of your education.
Read more about why you shoud study Chemistry at Birmingham
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB–ABB
Required subjects and grades: Chemistry; one (or more) from Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics is highly desirable but not essential
General Studies: not accepted. Critical Thinking: not accepted. However, a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of the offer
The decision to remain on (for MSci-registered students) or transfer to (an option for BSc-registered students) an MSci programme is made at the end of Year 2, and is based on your Year 2 mark (and not your A-level results). Our entry requirements are therefore the same for both BSc and MSci degree programmes.
Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: Typical offer 34–35 points; must have Chemistry at HL; one or more additional science subjects at HL is regarded as advantageous; a minimum of 5 in SL English and 4 in SL Maths is required for those students who do not have a minimum grade C in these subjects at GCSE.
Learn more about international entry requirements
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
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