Our courses are designed to offer maximum flexibility, and students can freely transfer between F100, F102, F105 and F111 degrees any time up to the start of year 3. If you are uncertain which course to choose, F105 will keep your options open. There are limited numbers of overseas and industrial placements, and there may be a selection process during 3rd year for F102 and F111 placements. In recent years all students have been given their first choice.
Transfer between Chemistry and Natural Sciences degrees is normally possible at the end of the first year, provided that appropriate core courses have been taken.
B.Sc. or M.Chem.- which should I take?
The B.Sc. and M.Chem. courses are identical in the first two years of study, and it is possible to transfer between them.
The B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) degree involves studying for three years and does not involve a research project. It provides excellent training in the chemical sciences and it is intended for those whose careers will develop into a wider area than chemistry, though the subject base will often still be of considerable relevance to them. For example, careers in science-based industry as part of a management team or marketing division would be accessible, as would school teaching (following a PGCE). The numeracy, analytical and problem solving skills that chemists possess lead to many other jobs, such as banking and accountancy.
The M.Chem. (Master of Chemistry) degree is a four year course and provides a more in-depth study of chemistry. It offers more opportunities to develop skills such as problem solving, time management, presentation and communication. In the 4th year you will carry out a novel research project within a research group at Durham (F105), in industry (F111) or overseas (F102). It is appropriate for students wishing to seek a career in scientific research and development. It is also the normal route to the Ph.D. degree, which leads on to openings at senior levels in universities, industrial or government research laboratories. The 4th year gives you the opportunities to put all you've learnt into practice by tackling a cutting-edge research problem. You'll work alongside world-leaders, and the majority of our 4th years find their research leads to an original publication in the scientific literature. You will make a difference!
If you are unsure whether to follow a three or four year route we'd recommend four years. Feedback from our current undergraduates shows they enjoy this enormously. The added experience of working in a research group, the new skills you'll learn and the insight into how science and scientists really work will help you make future career choices and enhance your employability. You've the chance to become the world-expert in your chosen research area!
What's the difference between M.Sci. and M.Chem.?
Both M.Sci. (Master of Science) and M.Chem. (Master of Chemistry) are 4 year integrated master courses. M.Sci. indicates the course contains more than one academic subject (e.g. joint Chemistry and Maths) whereas M.Chem. is a pure Chemistry degree. In Durham, as most other universities, the 4 year chemistry courses are M.Chem., and the Engineering, Mathematics and Physics courses are M.Eng., M.Math. and M.Phys. In some universities these might all be M.Sci. degrees.
The Durham Natural Sciences courses are M.Sci. since they contain more than one academic subject.
An M.Sc. is a postgraduate degree, typically a one year course which can be either a taught or research programme. Durham chemistry currently offers M.Sc. courses by research only.
F100 is a three year B.Sc. degree.
F102 is a four year M.Chem. degree with a 4th year research project overseas.
F105 is a four year M.Chem. degree with a 4th year research project in Durham.
F111 is a four year M.Chem. degree with a 4th year research project in industry.