This four-year course has a student satisfaction rating of 90%.
Are you interested in spending one year of your degree studying chemistry at a foreign university? Perhaps you are interested in developing your language skills whilst training as a chemist, or you see yourself working abroad in a future career. If so, our Chemistry with Study Abroad programme might be for you.
Placements in Europe: Birmingham has an arrangement with universities in the following countries: France (Université Bordeaux 1 , Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 , Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Montpellier , Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Toulouse ), Germany (Technische Universität Braunschweig , Philipps Universität Marburg), Italy (Università di Pavia ), Spain (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela ), Finland (University of Helsinki ) and Sweden (Uppsala University). With the exception of Sweden and Finland, you will study in the language of your host country. Currently, living costs are assisted by an award from the EU Erasmus Programme, and an arrangement with the British Council allows the waiving of tuition fees in your year abroad.
Placements further afield: It is also possible for students to study abroad in English-speaking universities outside of the EU. Birmingham Chemistry has arrangements for studying chemistry in universities in Australia (Melbourne , New South Wales , Queensland and Adelaide), New Zealand (Auckland) and Singapore (National University of Singapore). However through worldwide links organised by the University’s International Relations Office, it is also possible for placements to be arranged in countries such as Canada and the USA. Should you require further information about these potential overseas placements, please contact us in the first instance. Students on these placements pay reduced tuition fees whilst on their year out (the figure for 2012 entrants is £2500).
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. You will then spend your third year studying abroad at your chosen university, before returning to Birmingham for your fourth year. You will find significant flexibility in this, your 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.
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. If you intend to study at a non-English speaking university on your year out, you will take also take a module in the appropriate modern language, otherwise 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, unless you are planning on studying at a non-English speaking university in your third year, in which case you will take a further module in the appropriate modern language.
Third year (contributes 20% to overall degree mark)
Your third year is spent out at your chosen university. Our Course Director will have already liaised with your host department to identify appropriate courses for you that will ensure you return to Birmingham with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully rejoin your MSci cohort for the fourth year.
Fourth year (contributes 60% 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.
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: A level subjects must include Chemistry; one (or more) from Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Further Mathematics is desirable but not essential. You must also have a minimum grade B at GCSE level (or equivalent) in an appropriate language if you are to study at a non-English-speaking university.
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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