Why Chemistry at Birmingham?

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.

Collaborative Teaching Laboratory

Our Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) has recently opened and our students are getting stuck into their first experiments.

Investment: The CTL is an impressive £40m investment by the University of Birmingham to revolutionise the School of Chemistry's ability to deliver an exciting and engaging practical course. This includes over £2.5m of state-of-the-art equipment dedicated for Chemistry teaching, making the laboratory better equipped than the majority of research environments in both academia and industry

New experiments: We are developing an innovative, skills-based curriculum to turn you into top-quality practical chemists. We are also designing brand new experiments in collaboration with our research groups in the School and with external industry collaborators.

Technology-enhanced learning: A brand new audio-visual system has been installed which allows the lecturers to interact in real-time with students on an individual basis, giving instantaneous help, advice and feedback. To integrate with the new AV system, we have produced online material to support before, during and after lab sessions to reinforce and support your learning.


Birmingham's School of Chemistry has an illustrious history: Nobel Laureates Sir Norman Haworth, Francis Aston and Sir John Vane all worked or studied here. To this day, the School remains home to researchers of international standing.


Choose Chemistry at Birmingham and you will learn first-hand from world-leading researchers working in such diverse areas as Nanoscale Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Hydrogen Storage and Fuel Cells, and Synthesis of Therapeutic Molecules.

Chemical Imaging is another key research strength with the School being home to the Research and Training Centre in Physical Sciences for Health , the only one of its kind in the country.


The School is home to around 400 undergraduates and has an excellent reputation for teaching; our lecturers are not only global experts in their field but also passionate about their subject. In the 2019 National Student Survey (NSS), 98% of students graduating from Birmingham Chemistry said they were satisfied with their degree.

All students in the School are provided with the following materials to support their studies throughout their time at Birmingham:

  • safety spectacles
  • laboratory book
  • all laboratory equipment required throughout your time with us is provided free of charge
  • a complete set of laboratory scripts in advance of all lab classes
  • access to the University’s web-learning platform on which we offer additional learning support for lab classes (and, of course, lecture courses), including video recordings of lab procedures, which can be accessed at any time should you need to learn a new technique or indeed refresh one that you might have not practiced for a while
  • your own ‘key skills’ framework is embedded within our laboratory course programme, which ensures you maintain a record of the techniques you acquire and develop during the course
  • lecture notes for all courses
  • chemistry data book
  • membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry in your final year of study when arguably it is most valuable as you will be considering your career options
  • free membership of the University’s Chemistry Society, ChemSoc, throughout your time at Birmingham
  • access to University-wide schemes which have been recently introduced to improve employability and skills training for Birmingham graduates (for full details, please see: http://www.as.bham.ac.uk/careers/index.shtml). Two particularly valuable schemes include the Personal Skills Award (see: http://www.as.bham.ac.uk/psa/index.shtml) and ‘Progress’ which is also aimed at developing your study skills.


Birmingham Chemistry has benefited from significant recent investment in its teaching and research laboratories, as well as its analytical facilities, which house state-of-the-art instrumentation that you will be exposed to throughout your studies.

Funding has come from a variety of sources including Higher Education Funding Council for England, the European Research Development Fund, the local Government Regional Development agency: Advantage West Midlands and most recently a £1.4M  Core Capability Funding Award from the EPSRC.

We continue to enhance the practical learning experience for our undergraduates, most recently through the installation of Video Teaching Facilities in our Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories.