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.
The remaining 60 credits in Years 1-3 comprise maths and data analysis modules in Year 1 and optional material in later years, along with 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.
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 will give you a solid grounding in the maths and data analysis techniques you will need during your degree.
Those of you who do not have A-level maths or an equivalent – don’t worry! In the Fundamental Maths for Chemists module you can learn at your own pace, supported by lectures and workshops to 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.
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 courses in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, you will also take two chemistry options modules, choosing from a range of courses, which include analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and biological chemistry.
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.
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.
Your final year with us will embed you in Birmingham’s School of Chemistry research. You will join one of the School’s internationally-recognised research groups, and become a member of the Research School as you undertake a major research project (worth 60 credits). You will contribute to the School’s efforts to solve global challenges in the areas of health, energy or sustainability. 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. You’ll be given training and access to the School’s state-of-the art equipment, expert guidance from our academics and their research teams and the opportunity to contribute to our efforts to make the world a better place! Many students enjoy their research project so much that they choose to go on to study for a PhD after graduation.
Your 60 credit research project is complemented by 60 credits of taught material. 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.
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 2024. 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.