Course structure

Your learning will be focused on shaping your abilities as highly skilled chemist: an all-rounder, equally at home analysis data or carrying out research in the laboratory. This means your studies will take place in a wide range of learning environments, including our innovative online course, workshops, small-group tutorials, lectures and peer-group sessions. Lab-based practical work is an integral part of your studies each year and in your final year you’ll complete a novel research-related project.

Year 1

Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules typically worth 10–20 credits. In Year 1 you will take Core Chemistry (60 credits), which cover the fundamentals for organic, inorganic, physical, analytical and theoretical chemistry. You will also take Laboratory modules (40 credits), which develop practical skills and consolidate fundamental theory, with embedded communications and employability skills. In Semester 1, you will take a Chemistry-focused Maths module (10 credits) and, in Semester 2, you will take a Data analysis and presentation module (10 credits).

If you take Chemistry with a Modern language, the Maths and Data modules are replaced by one language module, such as in Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish and German (20 credits).

If you take Chemistry with Business management, half of the Laboratory modules and the Maths and Data modules are replaced by business modules covering economics, finance, management and marketing (40 credits).

Year 2

In Year 2 you will build on the core theory and skills learnt in Year 1 with further Core Chemistry (60 credits) and Laboratory modules (40 credits). You can then choose Optional chemistry courses to further your understanding of particular subjects, such as Analytical, Bio-organic, Computational and Medicinal chemistry, Data analysis and Science communication (20 credits).

If you take Chemistry with a Modern language, the Optional modules are replaced by one language module, such as in Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish and German (20 credits).

If you take Chemistry with Business management, half of the Laboratory modules and the Optional modules are replaced by business modules in economics and either human resource management or marketing (40 credits total).

Year 3

Year 3 continues with Core Chemistry (60 credits) and advanced Laboratory/Research/Education modules that involve a Research project (BSc) and/or Methodology courses, which prepare you for the major research project in the MSci fourth year (40 credits). Our advanced Optional courses include Solid-state, Bio-organic and Computational chemistry (20 credits).

If you choose the MSci with Industrial experience degree, in Year 3 you will instead undertake an placement in industry (80 credits), supplemented by distance learning modules (30 credits) and an intensive lab course back in Birmingham (10 credits).

If you choose the MSci with Study abroad degree, you will take an intensive lab course (10 credits) and then spend the remainder of Year 3 at your chosen university to take 110 credits of modules.

If you take Chemistry with a Modern language, the Optional modules are replaced by one language module, such as in Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish and German (20 credits).

If you choose Chemistry with Business management, the Research Methodology and Optional modules are replaced by modules in corporate finance and supply chain management, and strategic and innovation management (40 credits).

Year 4 (Msci courses only)

In the fourth year, there is significant flexibility for you to take a range of courses pitched at the cutting edge of Chemistry, including Materials, Supramolecular, Bio-inorganic and Polymer chemistry, Natural products, Soft matter, Surfaces and interfaces, and Statistical mechanics (60 credits).

 In addition, you will perform a major research project in the group of one of our leading academic staff, which for many students is the most exciting and enjoyable part of their degree (60 credits).

I had always dreamed of studying at a prestigious and internationally acclaimed university and Birmingham was definitely my institution of choice. The course has a very good structure and each year we have a good mix of reasonably straight forward and more challenging aspects of Chemistry to cover. The staff are very friendly, helpful and brilliant individuals. Aisha Syed, BSc Chemistry