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.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor