Chemistry is a partnership between practical work and theory. This accredited degree programme 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. Currently under construction, the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory will bring over 6500 square metres of state-of-the-art teaching laboratory space and hands-on access to the latest instrumentation in 2018/19.
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
Core modules (60 credits in Years 1-3) are taken by all students enrolled on both single honours and major/minor degree programmes and cover those fundamentals of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry that we deem essential. Year 1 also includes a self-paced maths module.
The remaining 60 credits in Years 1-3 comprise optional material and laboratory modules (with embedded communications and employability skills) designed to support these core courses, allowing you to develop your practical skills and techniques as well as consolidate the associated theory from your lectures.
There is significant flexibility in your fourth and 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. For many students, their final-year project is the most exciting and enjoyable part of their degree and often influences the career pathway they choose to follow after graduating.
In Year 1, you will take core modules in the traditional sub-disciplines of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, all of which are supported by two additional modules comprising an extensive laboratory work programme. Your remaining 20 credits are chosen from a wide range of non-chemistry option courses from across the University, including a number of foreign languages spanning a range of abilities.
Those of you who do not have A-level maths – don’t worry! We provide a self-paced introductory maths module in Semester 1, which will bring you up to speed with the common mathematical techniques needed for chemistry. All students take this module, whether they have A-level maths or not, since not all A-level maths syllabuses cover the same material.
In Semester 2, additional mathematics is embedded in the physical chemistry module, as you begin to apply your mathematical skills to chemical problems. All of the maths material is 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.
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 a chemistry options module, choosing from a range of courses, which include analytical chemistry, computational chemistry and biological chemistry.
Marjana Khanom, MSci Chemistry.
"After completing my second year, I was given the opportunity of undertaking a Summer research project in Dr Anna Peacock’s peptide design group."
In Year 3, core chemistry modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are accompanied by further choice in optional subjects, which focus on some of the most exciting aspects of current chemistry research. Two modules of advanced laboratory work and project skills training will prepare you for the major research project that you will undertake in your fourth year.
Significant flexibility in this, your final, year, means you can specialise in a particular sub-discipline should you wish. You will choose from a range of courses that 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 modules, 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 your project to your particular interests and ensure you develop those research skills that you feel will be most beneficial to you after completing your degree. Many students enjoy their research project so much that they choose to go on to study for a PhD after graduation.
Gemma Bullen , MSci Chemistry.
"Largely due to the enjoyment I got out of my final-year research project, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in research, and am now undertaking a PhD at Birmingham."
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 MSci course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our Chemistry BSC F100 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% overall mark and pass all core modules in Year 2 in order to remain on the MSci programme.