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.

Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn