Chemistry MSci

Start date
September
Duration
4 years
UCAS code
F101
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

Our stimulating Chemistry MSci degree enables you to develop a broad, multi-disciplinary outlook in this dynamic subject. At Birmingham you’ll learn 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.

Chemistry MSci

If you like creative problem solving and relish the opportunity to study a dynamic subject that is constantly evolving, then this Chemistry MSci degree has been formulated for you. It will provide you with a thorough grounding in all aspects of modern chemistry, as well as an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in cutting-edge research - and take part in it yourself for your final-year project. 

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 MSci 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

Interested in Computer Science?

Our ' Year in Computer Science'  offers students from non-computing disciplines the chance to gain in-depth knowledge of computing and enhance their work-based skills through the study of Computer Science. 


Please be reassured that the vote to leave the European Union does not mean there will be any immediate material change to the UK university sector's participation in EU programmes such as Erasmus and study abroad programmes. Visit our EU Referendum information page for more information.

Studying Chemistry at the University of Birmingham has been brilliant. Everyone in the department is always happy to offer support or a helping hand.

James Carr-Smith, MSci Chemistry

Modules

Course Structure

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.

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. 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.

  • 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
  • Widening Horizons - 20 credits
  • Year 1 Summer Skills Laboratory *
  • Fundamental Mathematics **

* Year 1 Summer Skills Laboratory is a zero credit module which fulfils the accreditation requirement of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 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 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.

  • 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
  • Year 2 Chemistry Options - 20 credits

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.

Year 3

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.

Core modules

  • Inorganic Chemistry III - 20 credits
  • Organic Chemistry III - 20 credits
  • Physical Chemistry III - 20 credits
  • Year 3 Chemistry Options - 20 credits
  • Year 3 Research Methodology I - 20 credits
  • Year 3 Research Methodology II - 20 credits

Year 4

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.

Core module

  • Masters Research Project - 60 credits

Optional modules

Select 60 credits of optional modules, examples listed below:

  • Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery - 10 credits
  • Materials Chemistry - 10 credits
  • Applications of Supramolecular Chemistry - 10 credits
  • Synthesis of Natural Products - 10 credits
  • Clusters, Surfaces and Interfaces - 10 credits
  • Chemical Dynamics, Spectroscopy and Symmetry - 10 credits
  • Bio-inorganic Chemistry - 10 credits
  • Modern Methods for Molecular Synthesis - 10 credits
  • Soft matter - 10 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.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code F101

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', including advice for UK, EU and overseas applicants.

Number of A levels required:
3 , offer will depend on subject combination.
Typical offer:
AAA–AAB
Required subjects and grades:
A level Chemistry. Minimum Mathematics requirement: GCSE grade 6/B. 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.
The decision to remain on (for MSci-registered students) or transfer to (an option for BSc-registered students) an MSci programme is made at the end of Year 2 and is based on your Year 2 mark.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

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

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 averages at 15 hours per week spent in lectures, tutorials, workshops and lab classes. 

Year three is around 19 hours of lectures, workshops and lab classes per week. 

Year four is approximately 22 hours per week spent in lectures, workshops and project work. 

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