This four-year course has a student satisfaction rating of 89%
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, which is delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits. In the first three 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. There is significant flexibility in your fourth and final year, as you choose 40 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 80 credits. For many, your final-year project is the most exciting and enjoyable part of your degree and often influences the career pathway you choose to follow after graduating.
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.
MSci or BSc? The first two years of this MSci course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our BSc programme (F100), which means you can delay your final choice of degree (MSci or BSc) until the end of Year 2. MSci study is dependent upon performance so you will need to successfully complete Year 2 with a high 2ii to remain on the MSci programme; otherwise you follow the alternative BSc pathway.
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.
Third year (contributes 40% to overall degree mark)
In Year 3, core chemistry modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are accompanied by further choice in elective subjects, which focus on some of the most exciting aspects of current chemistry research, including atmospheric chemistry, magnetic resonance imaging, metals in organic synthesis and bioinorganic chemistry. You will also undertake an advanced laboratory course, which will prepare you for the research project that you will undertake in your fourth year.
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 40 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 80 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.
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
Core courses (60 credits in each year) are taken by all students enrolled on both single honours and major/minor degree programmes and cover those fundamentals of the subject that we deem essential. These courses include a significant practical component, which not only allows you to develop your practical skills and techniques, but also to consolidate the associated theory from your lectures.
The remaining 60 credits in each year comprise modules designed to support these core courses and include optional chemistry modules, mathematics courses, laboratory modules, and courses which focus on communications skills and employability.
Module details are located on the course breakdown page on the School of Chemistry website.
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.
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.
Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.
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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