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Durham University

Courses

F105 Chemistry MChem Undergraduate  2020

Essentials

UCAS code F105
Degree MChem
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 4 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A Level
A*AA
BTEC
D*DD
International Baccalaureate
38
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications
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

Course Summary

Description

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.  

Year 1

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Core Chemistry 1
  • Practical Chemistry 1A
  • Mathematical and Experimental Tools Required in Chemistry
  • Introduction to Materials Chemistry
  • Practical Chemistry 1B

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:

  • Mathematics
  • Biology and languages are popular
  • We offer an elective Chemistry module ‘Molecules in Action’.

Year 2

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.

Compulsory modules

  • 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

Optional modules

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.

Year 3

There are two compulsory modules, and the remaining modules allow you to study all areas of the subject or to specialise.

Compulsory modules

  • 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

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.

We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2020 entry from September 2019.

Placement Year

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 somefirst-yearr 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.

Admissions Process

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.

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

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/apply

Information relevant to your country

www.durham.ac.uk/international/country.information/

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £25,800.00 per year

The tuition fees shown for home and EU 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 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

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/finance 

Career Opportunities

Chemistry

Of students that left in 2017:

- 80% are in employment or further study

Of those in employment:

- 89% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £24,500

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2016/17 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:www.hesa.ac.uk/support/definitions/destinations)

Examples of high profile recent employers include GSK, Infineum, Institute of Cancer Research, Proctor and Gamble, BP and Akzo Nobel.
A significant number of students progress onto higher level study following their degree in Chemistry, notably at Durham but also other prestigious institutions including Oxford, Kings College London, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Nottingham and Manchester.

Preparing you for a career

Throughout your chemistry degree we will help you acquire key skills that are essential to you in your future studies and career, such as:

  • Communication and presentation
  • Logical thinking
  • Report writing
  • Problem solving
  • Time management
  • Data handling and analysis
  • Team work and leadership
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Instrumental and experimental

These skills will enable you to pursue a range of different careers.

Careers for a lifetime

 A chemistry degree will prepare you for a career in chemistry either in industry, research or academia and will lead to a wide range of career opportunities including:

  • Archaeology
  • Biotechnology
  • Drug discovery
  • Environmental science
  • Food technology
  • Forensics
  • Innovation technology
  • Marine chemistry
  • Nanotechnology
  • Sport development
  • Sustainability
  • Teaching

Chemistry is also excellent training for careers in:

  • Business and finance
  • Central and local government
  • Consultancy
  • Journalism
  • Information technology
  • Law
  • Patent Law
  • Publishing
  • Sales and marketing

And much more......

It pays to do Chemistry

According to independent research, the average chemistry graduate earns substantially more over a lifetime than graduates of many other disciplines:

  • £60,000 more than most other graduates
  • £190,000 more than those with no degree

Employment development opportunities

The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works with closely the department in facilitating student access to job and work experience opportunities, careers and employability events, employer workshops and presentations, skills programmes and tailored individual careers guidance.

The department delivers a number of events in partnership with the Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre including mock interviews for year in industry students, careers presentations and a chemistry careers evening. 

Professional endorsement and recognition

Our M.Chem. and B.Sc. degrees in Chemistry are accredited to the Royal Society of Chemistry. See accreditation for further details.

Opportunities for summer placements

Through our extensive contacts with industry we can help you obtain industrial experience by working with a chemical company in the summer vacation.

During the summer vacation undergraduates can also obtain research bursaries enabling work experience within a research group in the Department or overseas.  These include the "Tanner Research Internship" scheme and bursaries funded by the sale of a successful Departmental spin out.

Meet potential employers

The University, colleges and Department all host a variety of careers events where you can meet potential employers. For example, the Chemistry Department holds a regular CV workshop where industry and other employers will discuss your CV with you, and give you advice on how to present yourself when applying for jobs.

Our 4th year students undertaking a research project in Durham have the opportunity to take part in a business game run by personnel from industry or visit a local chemical company. We also run a 'perspectives from industry' course in which senior industrial chemists from a variety of organisations give lectures illustrating the interplay of research and development, technology and economics.

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.

www.durham.ac.uk/undergraduate/live/visit/discoverdurham

Overseas Visit Schedule

www.durham.ac.uk/international/office/meetus

Department Information

Chemistry

Overview

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.

Rankings

  • World Top 100 in The QS World University Subject Rankings 2019.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide 2019.
  • 4th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the Chemistry Department web pages.

Facilities

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.

Website
www.durham.ac.uk/chemistry

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