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F111 Chemistry (Industrial Route) MChem Undergraduate  2016


UCAS code F111
Degree MChem
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 4 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A-Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 2118

Course Content


Year 1

All students study 120 credits per academic year. In the first year there are 80 credits of chemistry modules that teach the basics of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, consolidating and building on pre-university courses. Core Chemistry 1B contains courses that develop mathematical and physical concepts as tools for chemistry, and also some background biology. Practical Chemistry is introduced in two cross-disciplinary modules, concluding in a short project.

Compulsory modules

  • Core Chemistry 1A
  • Practical Chemistry 1A
  • Core Chemistry 1B
  • 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

All Chemistry students study compulsory modules to the value of 100 credits. These extend the 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 study with a timetable-compatible module of another subject. You will study one 20-credit module.Modules have previously included:

  • Biological Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • A module from another subject.

Year 3

There is one compulsory module, and the remaining modules allow you to study all areas of the subject or to specialise.

Compulsory modules

  • Core Chemistry 3, and
  • Either Chemistry Research Perspective, or Chemistry Literature Perspective

At least two 10-credit modules from:

  • Inorganic Concepts and Applications
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Molecules and their Interactions

At least two 10-credit laboratory modules. Modules have previously included:

  • 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:

  • Biological Chemistry (if not taken in second year)
  • Computational Chemistry (if not taken in second year)
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Advanced Computational Chemistry.

Year 4

Chemistry MChem programmes

The final choice of where to carry out your Research Project may be delayed until the third year.

MChem with industrial project

During your third year you apply for a placement with an industrial company, and in your final year you carry out a Research Project on placement, following some taught material by distance-learning. Placements are typically ten or 12 months and the company will normally pay you.

  • Core Chemistry 4D (20 credits)
  • External Research Project (100 credits).

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 programme is delivered through a mixture of double “Core” modules and single “add-on” modules using lectures, tutorials, problem classes and laboratory practical work, culminating in a major research project in the fourth year conducted on placement at an industrial research laboratory.

Lectures provide the key information on a particular area, and form the main basis by which students learn the fundamental concepts and facts of the subject. Tutorials are a further means by which students acquire subject-specific knowledge, and also develop problem-solving skills embodying the concepts from lectures in a formative environment. Workshops are used in first year as revision sessions in preparation for end of year examinations, in later years they are used to consolidate factual knowledge and develop problem-solving skills. Problem classes are used in first year to develop mathematical and other quantitative skills in a problem-solving environment. Laboratory classes are used to teach, develop and refine the subject-specific experimental skills of synthesis, measurement and characterisation that characterise a competent chemistry graduate, whilst applying concepts from lectures in an experimental environment.

For the first three years of the programme, students 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 chemistry modules first year students attend 7 hours of lectures, 2 hours of tutorials or problem classes and 6 hours of laboratory work each week. Additionally a third of the year’s credits are from elective modules which involve between 2 and 6 hours of lectures and laboratories each week. Individual learning forms an important part of academic study.

In the second and third years, students typically attend 12 hours of lectures or workshops per week and 10 hours of laboratory work. The laboratory work in the programme 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 three.

The major element of the fourth year is an industrial placement, carrying out research with a chemical company, normally in the UK. Students apply to company industrial trainee schemes at the start of their third year, and the department provides guidance and interview training. The department assists students in finding placements, but students may also arrange their own. Research is carried out under the supervision of the company, and a member of Durham staff will maintain regular contact. Placements are typically paid 10 or 12 month full-time employment, and culminate in a project report which is assessed by Durham staff. The assessment also includes a poster and an oral presentation, and training is provided in these skills. In addition, students study for a sixth of their final year credits in a module of distance learning academic study which is based on one of the lecture courses delivered in Durham, and supported through our virtual learning environment. The independent learning skills developed at earlier levels are enhanced by this mode of study.

All students are allocated an academic adviser at the start of the programme, who normally delivers some first year tutorials, provides feedback on examination performance, and remains with the student throughout the programme. Meetings between students and their adviser are timetabled three times a year, but students may always request further meetings. All members of teaching staff are available to meet students on an “open office” basis.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

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
  • Grade A in Chemistry and Mathematics at A-level or equivalent is required as part of an A*AA offer
  • We require a full A-level in Mathematics and do not accept Mathematics at AS level
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer
  • International Baccalaureate applicants for 2016 entry will be asked for 38 points to include 6, 6, 6 at HL including Chemistry and Mathematics
  • We will be reviewing our entry requirements for 2016 entry in the summer of 2015 and will publish finalised entry requirements for 2016 entry before 1 September 2015
  • English qualifications are not required from native speakers
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,000.00
Home Student £9,000.00
Island Student £9,000.00
International non-EU Student £20,900.00

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities


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......

Of students that left in 2014:

- 90% are in employment or further study

Of those in employment:

- 92% are in graduate level employment
- Median salary £23,900

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2014/15 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:

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.

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:

Campus Tours

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information



Synthesise your future with an introduction to the key elements of this dynamic and fundamental science.

We are among the very best chemistry departments in Britain, consistently ranking highly in a number of key league tables, and you will be taught by internationally renowned academics with a wide range of expertise. You will be provided with a solid underpinning of key theoretical and practical knowledge before progressing to more specialised material, according to your interests, in later years. Our degrees cover the latest developments in polymer science, structural and materials chemistry, bioactive chemistry, medicinal and biological chemistry, catalysis, nanochemistry, supramolecular chemistry, synthetic methods, theoretical and computational chemistry, giving you relevant and cutting-edge knowledge, supported by detailed scientific understanding.

You will also gain advanced practical skills through modern spacious laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment, and develop a wide range of transferable skills, making you one of the most employable chemistry graduates around.

  • Ranked 1st in the UK for World-leading research impact (REF 2014).
  • Ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015. 
  • 96% of our Chemistry students said that they felt intellectually stimulated in the National Student Survey 2014 (sector-wide average 90%).
  • 2nd in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2015.
  • 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2016.

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.


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