Chemistry with a Modern Language BSc

Start date
September
Duration
3 years
UCAS code
F1R9
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
£21,180 (International)
Further information

Can you see yourself working abroad or using a foreign language at some point in your career? If you enjoy languages, but your main interest lies with chemistry, then our Chemistry with a Modern Language BSc programme might be for you.

Chemistry with a Modern Language BSc

The unique feature of this particular three year, single-honours Chemistry with a Modern Language BSc course is the opportunity to improve your modern language skills at the same time as studying chemistry. It is relatively unusual for university graduates to have expertise in a science and also be fluent in a modern language. Graduating with a Chemistry with a Modern Language degree will therefore help you to stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for a job; indeed, global corporations who have a presence outside of the UK will likely view a bilingual applicant in a very favourable light.

You can currently choose to study one of five languages a Birmingham: French, German, Japanese, Mandarin or Spanish. Chinese and Japanese are only available from beginner level. French, German and Spanish have 8 levels available (from beginner to post A level).

At Birmingham you’ll learn first-hand from world-renowned researchers who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge in areas from nanoscale chemistry and chemical biology to green polymers and chemical imaging. By the time you graduate, you’ll be able to analyse problems and interpret complex data, propose innovative solutions and design new molecules and materials to solve many of the challenges facing society. You will also be equipped with highly developed lab skills, including meticulous analytical work, the measurement of physical properties and the ability to carry out multi-step synthetic procedures.

We’ve been at the forefront of chemistry teaching and research for more than 100 years, producing several Nobel Prize-winners along the way, and we have some of the best facilities and equipment in the country. No wonder our students regularly place us among the top chemistry departments in UK for student satisfaction (95% overall student satisfaction, NSS 2018). What are you waiting for?

Why study Chemistry with a Modern Language BSc at Birmingham?

Chemists at Birmingham adopt a broad, multi-disciplinary outlook to their subject, which is vital if we are to solve the problems of the 21st Century in healthcare, medicine, sustainability and the environment. Birmingham has a leading research rating and is committed to excellence in teaching: your lecturers are not only experts in their fields but also passionate about chemistry and committed to inspiring you!

Read more about why you should study Chemistry at Birmingham

I have very fond memories of my undergraduate days at Birmingham and the quality of teaching was outstanding. I currently work at Nature Publishing Group in London and after spending a couple of years as an associate editor at Naturetechnology, I have been made chief editor of Nature Chemistry.

Stuart Cantrill, Editor-in-Chief, Nature Chemistry

Modules

Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules that are typically worth 20 credits.

Core modules (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 inorganic, organic and physical chemistry that we deem essential. Year 1 also includes a self-paced maths module.

You will also take 20 credits of language modules each year, these courses are delivered by staff in the University’s Department of Modern Languages. The remaining 40 credits in each year comprising laboratory or project 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.

Year 1

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.  The remaining 20 credits is your chosen modern language.

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.

  • Inorganic Chemistry I - 20 credits
  • Organic Chemistry I - 20 credits
  • Physical Chemistry I - 20 credits
  • Practical Chemistry Ia - 20 credits
  • Practical Chemistry Ib - 20 credits
  • Year 1 Summer Skills Laboratory *
  • Fundamental Mathematics **

In addition you must select ONE language module, examples listed below:

  • IWLP Mandarin Level 1 - 20 credits
  • IWLP Japanese Level 1 - 20 credits
  • French Module according to IWLP - 20 credits
  • German Module according to IWLP - 20 credits
  • Spanish Module according to IWLP - 20 credits

* Year 1 Summer Skills Laboratory is a zero credit module which provides training in the fundamental skills of separation, measurement, analysis, calculation and the interpretation of data. Satisfactory completion is assessed by maintenance of a laboratory notebook, the quality of the data produced in the laboratory and its interpretation. Satisfactory completion of this module is normally required for progression to Year 2.

** Fundamental Mathematics is a zero credit module which is student centred and self paced, providing training in the fundamental skills and concepts of mathematics that underpin the rest of the programme. Satisfactory completion of this module is normally required for progression to Year 2.

Year 2 

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 modules in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry and the associated laboratory work, you will continue to develop your language skills.

  • Inorganic Chemistry II - 20 credits
  • Organic Chemistry II - 20 credits
  • Physical Chemistry II - 20 credits
  • Practical Chemistry IIa - 20 credits
  • Practical Chemistry IIb - 20 credits

In addition you must select ONE language module, examples listed below:

  • IWLP Mandarin Level 2 - 20 credits
  • IWLP Japanese Level 2 - 20 credits
  • French Module according to IWLP - 20 credits
  • German Module according to IWLP - 20 credits
  • Spanish Module according to IWLP - 20 credits

Year 3 

Alongside lecture courses in the three core chemistry sub-disciplines, you will also take advanced classes in your chosen modern language. 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.


Core modules

  • Inorganic Chemistry III - 20 credits
  • Organic Chemistry III - 20 credits
  • Physical Chemistry III - 20 credits

Options

Choose 40 credits of options, examples listed below:

  •  Research Projects - 40 credits
    OR 
  • Year 3 Research Methodology I - 20 credits
  • Year 3 Research Methodology II - 20 credits

In addition you must select ONE langauge module, examples listed below:

  • IWLP Mandarin Level 3 - 20 credits
  • IWLP Japanese Level 3 - 20 credits
  • French Module according to IWLP - 20 credits
  • German Module according to IWLP - 20 credits
  • Spanish Module according to IWLP - 20 credits

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2019/20

UK/EU £9,250
International £21,180

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

At Birmingham we ensure that fears about finance do not constrain prospective students from considering university and that excellence is rewarded.

 

Tuition fees for placement years

There is a reduced tuition fee for the academic year spent in industry or whilst studying abroad (where available). Fee information and further clarification is available on the University fees and funding page.

 

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code F1R9

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

Number of A levels required:
3 , offer will depend on subject combination.
Typical offer:
AAB–ABB
Required subjects and grades:
A level Chemistry. Minimum Mathematics requirement: GCSE grade 6/B. GCSE Grade 7/A in a relevant language. You must also pass the practical element of any reformed science A levels which include Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught from 2015.

General Studies, Critical Thinking and Use of Maths are not accepted. 

International Baccalaureate Diploma

6.6.5-6,5,5 at Higher Level, including Chemistry at Higher Level, with a minimum of 32 points. One or more additional science subjects at Higher Level is advantageous. A minimum of 5 in Standard Level English and 4 in Standard Level Mathematics is required for those students who do not have a minimum of grade C in English at GCSE and of grade B in Mathematics at GCSE.

BTEC

Only considered when combined with other qualifications.

Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements.

Foundation Year

Would you like to study for one of our degrees but lack the entry qualifications we require? Consider a Foundation Year programme which can lead to entry onto one of our courses.

International Students

We accept a range of international qualifications, please contact the admissions tutor for more information.

 

Standard English language requirements apply, learn more about international entry requirements.

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages.

We have benefited from significant investment in our teaching and research laboratories and analytical facilities. The newly opened £40m Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) hosts all our lab teaching, while £2.5m has been spent on state-of-the-art equipment dedicated for chemistry teaching, making the CTL better equipped than most research environments, both in academia and industry.

There are many reasons to study chemistry at Birmingham: Our groundbreaking research has an international reputation for excellence, and this cutting-edge research informs our teaching and course content; we boast world-class facilities and state-of-the-art equipment; we put great emphasis on multidisciplinary working to meet the challenges of the 21stcentury, and we have strong collaborative links with industry. We’re also getting a new £80 million home for the School of Chemistry, which will house sector-leading research facilities to take us even further to the cutting edge and beyond.

How you will learn

Our teaching is guided by the latest research, and we employ many teaching innovations to enhance students’ learning. We have developed an innovative, skills-based curriculum to turn you into highly skilled practical chemists.

You will learn in a range of settings, including lectures, workshops, small-group tutorials, self-study, peer-group learning sessions and through laboratory and project work. Lab-based practical work is an integral part of the School’s degree programmes: in your final year, you’ll also complete a research-related project, while MSci students will carry out a major research project, joining a research group and conducting novel scientific experiments.

Away from the lab, you’ll be able to join our vibrant chemistry society, known as ‘ChemSoc’, which organises a range of social and charity events, guest lectures, industrial trips and an annual ball.

How you will be assessed

Each module is assessed independently. Most contain a component of continuous assessment, which usually contributes a quarter to one-third of the module mark. Methods of assessment are tailored to best assess the learning outcomes of the module and can include end-of-year examinations, written assignments, oral and poster presentations, computer-based tests and/or laboratory and project reports. Some modules are assessed completely by coursework.

Your personal tutor

 As soon as you join us, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will remain with you throughout your studies. They will meet with you at least once every semester to assess your academic progress and how to develop your transferrable skills. You can also talk to your personal tutor or one of our welfare tutors about anything that is troubling you.

Seminars and tutorials

Small-group tutorials run alongside our lecture courses, providing a chance to discuss specific problems with your tutor and to consolidate and test your understanding of lecture material through problem-solving exercises.

Enquiry-based learning (EBL) provides an environment where the learning process is driven by enquiry, with the lecturer acting purely as a facilitator. EBL is especially useful for teaching aspects of chemistry, such as the use of spectroscopic techniques in structure elucidation.

Lecturers and world-leading researchers

Our School is home to many internationally leading researchers working in a wide range of areas including synthesis of therapeutic molecules, functional nanomaterials and hydrogen storage and fuel cells. Birmingham chemists are leading the development of new materials to provide for our ever-increasing energy needs in an environmentally sustainable manner, as well as working with environmental scientists to understand the likes of pollution and climate change. Crucially, our research influences our teaching: our academics draw upon their scientific findings to inform their teaching and provide the cutting-edge content for our degree programmes.

Contact Hours

Year one and year two have around 15 hours per week of lectures, tutorials, workshops and lab classes. 
Year three consists of approximately 12-17 hours per week of lectures, workshops and lab classes.
These figures may vary due to module choice.

As a chemistry graduate from Birmingham, you’ll be in great demand from a variety of industries. Many of our graduates go on to become professional scientists, but the problem-solving and transferrable skills you develop on our programmes – from written and spoken communication to complex data analysis – mean the career possibilities are numerous.

Birmingham Chemistry has strong research links with many chemical companies, which we can exploit to help you to gain industrial experience whilst studying. Whilst you may choose to undertake a Summer placement as part of your degree, our  Chemistry with Industrial Experience MSci programme is a more popular degree choice should you wish to gain experience of working during your degree. On this programme, you spend your third year in paid employment. Working and studying in an industrial setting provides you with valuable experience, whilst at the same time improving your career prospects.

Graduates who have studied our courses:

Example employers

  • Astrazeneca
  • Johnson Matthey Akzonobel
  • Glaxosmithkline
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Ernst & Young
  • Reckitt Benckiser
  • Severn Trent Water
  • RBS
  • HSBC

Example careers

  • Analytical scientist
  • Chemist
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant
  • Business retailer
  • Marketing executive
  • Public service manager
  • Web designer
  • Computing and IT expert
  • Investment analyst
  • Publisher

I have very fond memories of my undergraduate days at Birmingham and the quality of teaching there was outstanding. I currently work at Nature Publishing Group in London and after spending a couple of years as an associate editor at Nature Nanotechnology, I have been made chief editor of Nature Chemistry.

Stuart Cantrill (Chemistry and Bioorganic Chemistry BSc) Chief Editor, Nature Chemistry

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning  Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details

Internships

Our multi-award-winning work experience team has dedicated internship officers to help find the right work experience for you. Make the most of these opportunities and apply for our Work Experience Bursary Scheme, the Birmingham Undergraduate Internship Programme or one of our successful mentoring schemes. 

The video below talks to students, staff and employers about their internship experience:

Professional Accreditation

Graduates are eligible for professional membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry