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Chemistry Undergraduate Admissions

Your first year


Following the publication of your A level results in mid-August your place will be confirmed through UCAS. You must confirm whether or not you are taking up the offer by the end of August and then you will receive an information pack from the Chemistry department and guidance for the on-line pre-university study.


On-line enrolment commences in mid-September and you should also work through the pre-university guided study which is available through Durham University Online (DUO). You may also like to purchase the recommended books for your course.


You will arrive in Durham early October for the Induction week and go straight to your college to pick up your registration pack. There will be a variety of induction events to attend during the week ranging from talks in Chemistry and your chosen elective Departments, Freshers' Fair where you can sign up to a range of extracurricular activities,  mixer events organised through your college and registration for your chosen modules. You will attend a matriculation ceremony at Durham Cathedral which marks your formal entry and welcomes new students to Durham University.

Michaelmas term (10 weeks, October-December)

In most weeks during Michaelmas term you will have 7 hours of lectures, 2 tutorials and 6 hours of laboratory work in Chemistry. Your elective subjects will add between 2 and 6 hours of further contact. You will therefore typically have around 20 timetabled contact hours per week. We ask you to meet your academic advisor at least once a term. You will typically spend an hour or two per lecture on private study, reading textbooks and using on-line resources, to help you consolidate the lecture material. We also expect you to spend time preparing work for tutorials, workshops and preparing for labs by doing pre-lab work.

Throughout the term you will be set coursework, some of which will form part of your continual summative assessment and count towards your end of year mark. Other work will be formative, providing you with feedback of how your studies are progressing.

Epiphany term (9 weeks, January-March)

In the first week of term you will take a Progress test for each theorectical module in Chemistry, which will examine the previous term's lectures. The test will give you an idea of what to expect in a University examination and the style is as close as possible to the end-of-session examination paper in May/June. The rest of the term will take a similar format to the Michaelmas term.

Easter term (9 weeks April-June)

The first three weeks of Easter term are devoted to revision workshops and examination preparation. The examination period commences in the fourth week of term, lasting for three weeks. Examination results are released mid-June and you will be timetabled to meet your advisor to review your academic performance. You register for progression to the second year of your degree course towards the end of June.


There is an opportunity to re-sit examinations in August, about 90% of chemistry students pass their examinations at the first attempt in May.

Key facts

In most weeks you will have 7 lectures, 2 tutorials and 6 hours of laboratory work for 80 credits of chemistry.

You take 40 credits of elective modules.

Lecture sizes range from 30 to 220 students.

Workshop groups typically contain 20 to 30 students.

Tutorials are small group work sessions (5 or 6 students).

First year laboratory sessions are 2 x 3 hours per week.

Progress tests in January give you an idea of what to expect in a University exam.