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.

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month

Day In a Page

Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall