Chemistry is a partnership between practical work and theory. This degree programme, which has a 90% student satisfaction rating, offers a balanced curriculum that will enable 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 having access to state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories will be a vital part of your education.
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits. In each year, you will take 60 credits of core chemistry courses, covering the fundamental aspects of the subject. 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 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.
In Year 1, you will take core modules in the traditional sub-disciplines of inorganic, organic, analytical and physical chemistry, all of which include an extensive laboratory work programme. Those of you who have A-level maths at grade B or higher will choose from a range of non-chemistry option courses. 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. Those of you who do not have A-level maths – don’t worry! We provide an introductory maths course in Semester 1, which you take in place of the option course. This course will bring you up to speed with the common mathematical techniques needed for chemistry. In Semester 2, everyone comes together to take Numerical Methods. In this more advanced course, you will begin to apply your mathematical skills to chemical problems. Both maths courses are delivered by staff from Chemistry, which ensures you are equipped with those skills you need to tackle the more physical and theoretical aspects of our courses
Second year (contributes 25% to overall degree mark)
In Year 2, you will build on material from your first year as we employ a combination of lectures and practicals to further 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, choosing from a range of courses, which include analytical chemistry, computational chemistry and biological chemistry.
Third year (contributes 75% 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 (MRI), metals in organic synthesis, and bioinorganic chemistry. You will also carry out a 40-credit research project, which can be practical-based research, computer-based research or a literature dissertation. If you are interested in entering the teaching profession, you may instead opt for a project in the area of chemical education. You will choose the topic of your project from a pool of titles and work with your project supervisor to tailor the project to your particular research interests.
Generic skills-training, focusing on transferable skills and employability, is embedded throughout the course 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.
BSc or MSci? The first two years of this BSc course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our Chemistry MSci (F101) programme, which means you can delay your final choice of degree (BSc or MSci) until the end of Year 2. MSci study is dependent upon performance: you will need a 60% mark in Year 2 in order to transfer on to the MSci programme.
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: ABB
Required subjects and grades: Chemistry; one (or more) from Biology, Physics, Mathematics, and Further Mathematics is highly desirable but not essential
General Studies: and 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.
International Baccalaureate Diploma: Typical offer 34–35 points including Chemistry at HL. One or more additional science subjects at HL is advantageous. A minimum of 5 in SL English and 4 in SL Maths is required for those students who do not have a minimum of grade C in English at GCSE and of grade B in Maths 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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