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 ground-breaking 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 21st century, 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.
Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have 15-21 hours of lectures and classes/labs per week, plus possible timetabled extra support classes for some students.