Can you see yourself working abroad or using a foreign language at some point in your career? As the world becomes smaller and boundaries dissolve, such opportunities will be increasingly available for the next generation of scientists. If you enjoy languages, but your main interest lies with chemistry, then our Chemistry with a Modern Language programme might be for you.
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).
Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, which is delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
In the first three years, you will take 60 credits of core chemistry courses, which cover the fundamental aspects of the subject. These courses include a significant practical component, which not only allows us to develop your practical skills and techniques in a range of experiments, but also to consolidate the theory you will have covered in associated lectures.
You will also take 20 credits of language modules each year, which develop both communication skills and cultural awareness. These courses are delivered by staff in the University’s the Department of Modern Languages.
The remaining 40 credits in Years 1-3 comprise 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.
This degree programme does not require you to spend time abroad. However should you wish to spend some time at a foreign university, for example to carry out a Summer research project, we can make enquiries on your behalf using the contacts, we have set up through our Chemistry with Study Abroad programme (F106).
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.
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.
In Year 3, core chemistry modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are accompanied by advanced classes in your chosen modern language. An advanced laboratory course will also prepare you for the major research project that you will undertake in your fourth year.
You will study just chemistry in this, your final, year during which, significant flexibility allows you to 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 chemistry 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.
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.
MSci or BSc?
The first two years of this MSci course are interchangeable with, and identical to, our corresponding BSc programme (F1R9), which means you can delay your final choice of degree (MSci or BSc) until the end of Year 2. MSci study is dependent upon performance: you will need a 60% overall mark and passes in all core modules in Year 2 in order to remain on the MSci programme.