F105 Chemistry MChem Undergraduate 2022
Please note: 2022-23 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.
|Mode of study||Full Time|
|Duration||4 years full-time|
|Typical Offers||A Level|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|Contextual Offers||You may be eligible for an offer which is one or two grades lower than our standard entry requirements. Find out more.|
|More information||Still have questions?|
|Department(s) Website|| www.durham.ac.uk/chemistry
This is a four-year MChem degree accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. You will spend the first three years developing an understanding of a broad range of modern chemistry covering organic and inorganic synthesis, physical characterisation methods, and chemistry at the interfaces with biosciences, engineering and physics. You will also gain a broad range of practical skills in synthesis, physical measurement and data analysis. In your final year, you will carry out an individual research project addressing a novel area of contemporary chemistry, whilst following lectures at the research forefront. Throughout the degree, you will develop your chemical understanding, problem-solving and practical skills. Graduates of this course are well-prepared for higher level study, work in the chemicals sector, and roles requiring problem-solving and numeracy skills.
You will study 120 credits per academic year. In the first year there are 80 credits of chemistry modules that teach you the basics of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, consolidating and building on pre-university courses. Mathematical and Experimental Tools Required in Chemistry (METRiC) contains courses that develop mathematical and physical concepts as tools for chemistry, and also some background biology and physics. We introduce Practical Chemistry in two cross-disciplinary modules, concluding in a short project.
- Core Chemistry 1
- Practical Chemistry 1A
- Mathematical and Experimental Tools Required in Chemistry
- Introduction to Materials Chemistry
- Practical Chemistry 1B.
Examples of optional modules:
You will take 40 credits of modules from those offered by other departments in science and the other faculties. Modules have previously included:
- Biology and languages are popular
- We offer an elective Chemistry module ‘Molecules in Action’.
You will study compulsory modules to the value of 100 credits. These extend your knowledge of inorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry from the first-year introduction, and develop further practical skills.
- Core Chemistry 2
- Chemistry of the Elements
- Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry
- Properties of Molecules
- Practical Chemistry 2– Inorganic
- Practical Chemistry 2 – Organic
- Practical Chemistry 2 – Physical.
Your final second-year module provides you with an opportunity to specialise or to continue to study with a timetable-compatible module of another subject. You study one 20-credit module. Modules have previously included:
- Biological Chemistry
- Computational Chemistry
- A module from another subject.
There are two compulsory modules, and the remaining modules allow you to study all areas of the subject or to specialise.
- Core Chemistry 3
- Chemistry Literature Perspective.
At least two 10-credit modules:
- Inorganic Concepts and Applications
- Advanced Organic Chemistry
- Molecules and their Interactions.
At least two 10-credit laboratory modules:
- Practical Chemistry 3 – Inorganic
- Practical Chemistry 3 – Organic
- Practical Chemistry 3 – Physical.
Examples of optional modules:
These 20-credit modules provide you with the opportunity to further develop your interest in specialised areas of the subject. Modules have previously included:
- Advanced Biological Chemistry (if Biological Chemistry was taken in the second year)
- Computational Chemistry (if not taken in the second year)
- Materials Chemistry
- Advanced Computational Chemistry.
MChem with Durham-based project
The final choice of where to carry out your Research Project may be delayed until the third year, and the majority perform their project work in Durham. Research projects may be in biological chemistry, materials synthesis and structure, optical and molecular electronics, soft matter, sustainable chemistry and catalysis or theory and dynamics.
You study two modules of lectures, specialising in your chosen areas of the subject, and you devote the major part of your final year to a project carrying out novel research alongside other researchers. Modules have previously included:
- Core Chemistry 4
- Advanced Research Concepts in Chemistry or Advanced Computational Chemical Physics
- Chemistry Research Project.
You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Course Learning and Teaching
Chemistry is a linear, quantitative subject containing a significant volume of factual material. It is an experimental science where practical work, and development of practical skills, is important. This four-year course is delivered through a mixture of “Core” and “add-on” modules using lectures, tutorials, problem classes and laboratory practical work, culminating in a major research project in the fourth year.
Lectures provide the key information on a particular area and form the main basis by which you will learn the fundamental concepts and facts of the subject. In tutorials and workshops you will acquire and consolidate subject-specific knowledge, and also develop problem-solving skills embodying the concepts from lectures in a formative environment.
Revision classes in the first year prepare you for the end of year examinations. Problem classes are used in the first year to develop mathematical and other quantitative skills in a problem-solving environment. Laboratory classes are used to teach, develop and refine subject-specific experimental skills of synthesis, measurement and characterisation that characterise a competent chemistry graduate, while applying concepts from lectures in an experimental environment.
For the first three years of the course, you are expected to spend a minimum of one subsequent hour per hour of lecture contact on private study, reading and problem-solving using textbooks and other resources. Additional private study is directed at preparing for tutorials, workshops, writing reports of laboratory work and revision for examinations. In the four compulsory first year modules, you will attend seven hours of lectures, two hours of tutorials or problem classes and six hours of laboratory work each week. Additionally, a third of the year’s credits are from elective modules which involve between two and six hours of lectures and laboratories each week. Individual learning forms an important part of academic study.
In the second and third years, you will typically attend 12 hours of lectures or workshops per week and 10 hours of laboratory work. The laboratory work in the course moves from a defined set of practicals in the first year towards a more open-ended course, providing choice and some element of project work in Year 3.
The major element of the fourth year is an independent individual research project, carrying out novel chemistry research embedded within a research group within the Department of Chemistry under the supervision of a member of academic staff with who you will meet weekly or more frequently. Project work can be in collaboration with researchers in other universities or other disciplines in Durham, e.g., Biology and Physics. You will typically work for 20 to 30 hours per week for 19 weeks, and prepare a project report describing your findings. The assessment also includes a poster and an oral presentation, and training is provided in these skills. In addition, you will study for a third of your final year credits in two lecture modules, where there is a choice of topics, and the learning environment can be more focused on independent learning than in earlier years.
You will be allocated an academic adviser at the start of the course, who normally delivers some first-year tutorials, provides feedback on examination performance, and remains with you throughout the course. Meetings between you and your adviser are timetabled three times a year, but you may always request further meetings. All members of the teaching staff are available to meet students on an “open office” basis.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A level offer – A*AA including Chemistry and Mathematics.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – D*DD and A level requirements as above.
IB Diploma score – 38 with 666 in higher level subjects, including Chemistry and Mathematics (either Analysis and approaches HL or Applications and interpretations HL).
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:
- We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study. For more information contact our Admissions Selectors.
- We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry, but encourage a short statement of gap year plans in your personal statement.
Science A levels
Applicants taking Science A levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A levels with an English examination board.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Information relevant to your country
Fees and Funding
The tuition fees for2022/23 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.
The tuition fees shown for home students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.
The tuition fees shown for overseas and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Of those students who graduated in 2018:
- 87% are in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation across all our programmes
Of those in employment:
- 96% are in a professional or managerial job
- Average salary of £26,000.
(Source: HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey. The survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing 15 months after graduation. Further information about the Graduate Outcomes survey can be found here www.graduateoutcomes.ac.uk)
Open days and visits
Pre-application open day
Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.
Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
Discover Durham Tours
Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.
Overseas Visit Schedule
Chemistry is a linear, quantitative subject, containing a significant volume of factual material. It is an experimental science, where development of practical skills is important. From a coherent and integrated core of theoretical and practical knowledge, you will progress to more specialised material. Our academic staff include internationally renowned academics with a wide range of expertise. In addition to developing your practical skills, they will help you to establish problem-solving, team-working, communication and leadership abilities, while you take responsibility for your own learning.
- 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2021.
- 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2020.
- 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
We have superb facilities for undergraduate teaching, including three new or refurbished teaching laboratories equipped with a wide range of modern instrumentation. During your first three years you will be trained in modern synthetic methods for molecular and solid-state chemistry and be introduced to the more advanced research instrumentation, such as NMR and mass spectrometry. The fundamentals of computational methods in chemistry will also be introduced, using state-of-the-art software.
In your fourth-year Research Project you will work in one of our research laboratories, with access to a comprehensive range of instrumentation, spectrometers, diffractometers and analytical services.