Chemistry

 

 

What courses? Chemistry; analytical chemistry; applied chemistry; archaeological chemistry; biological chemistry; biomedical chemistry; chemical technology; chemistry of materials; colour chemistry; computer-aided chemistry; computing chemistry; environmental chemistry ... you get the picture.

What do you come out with? A BSc, MChem or MSci, depending on length and level of study. BEngs and MEngs are offered in very few cases.

Why do it? "The study of chemistry is about understanding the intricate molecular processes that underpin everything on our fascinating planet (and beyond), then learning how to manipulate them for our future benefit, from designer medicines, to cleaner fuels, to nanotechnology. If you want to understand how things work, how they really work, and creating things in a laboratory sounds exciting, then a degree in chemistry is probably for you." - Dr Emily Flashman, University of Oxford's department of chemistry

Click here to read about what it's like to study Chemistry

What's it about? The science of matter, or ‘stuff’. It’s about the properties of materials and how they react with one another and change. Given that there is a fair bit of different stuff floating around on our planet, it’s no surprise that there are endless speciality courses available, from biomedical and pharmaceutical chemistry, to food and herbal medicine chemistry. It’s not all Bunsen burners and test tubes – there’s also the increasing use of computers and modeling (not the Kate Moss kind) as scientists pioneer new experimental methods. At Durham the first year is an introduction, bringing in elements of biology and physics as well, and establishing the fundamentals. There is also about 10 hours a week of lab work. Nottingham Trent is slightly different with the core subjects of inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistry being taught in first and second year before you specialise in the likes of nanomaterials and green chemistry. At Bristol, it starts with the core modules of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, before moving on to theoretical, analytical and environmental chemistry. At Cambridge, you study natural science, and are able to choose modules so you specialise in chemistry, while being able to explore wider options.

Study options: For a BSc you’ll be studying for three years. You’ll need to complete a fourth year to be awarded with an MChem or MSci, usually involving a research project or some kind of industrial experience.

What will I need to do it? Surprisingly, you’ll need to have studied chemistry at A-level or equivalent, and almost all universities ask for maths, and some for another science. Cambridge requires A*AA, with a minimum of two sciences, although most have three. That said, entry grades do vary between institutions.

What are my job prospects? Depending on your degree, chemistry sets you up for a wide range of careers in the chemical industry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental management or nanotechnology. Many graduates go into research or further study. Around a third go straight into graduate-level employment, according to The Times’ Good University 2012, with an average starting salary of just under £20,000.

Where’s best to do it? Cambridge topped this year’s Good University Guide, followed, predictably by Oxford and Durham. Students at Loughborough, Hull and Heriot-Watt said they were most satisfied with their course.

Related degrees: Chemical engineering; biological sciences; physics.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments