School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

BSc (Hons) Chemistry

Chemistry is a science that requires hands-on, practical professionals. Our course places problem solving, communication, and project management at the core of what we do, equipping you with the skills to stand out in the workplace. Our internationally respected research informs our teaching right from the start, so you’ll combine theory with laboratory time and real-world experience to become a professional chemist. Graduate ready to step into your career, inside or outside of the laboratory.

In the 2016 National Student Survey, 95% of students felt staff were good at explaining things; 95% agreed the course is intellectually stimulating and 100% said the library resources and services were good enough for their needs.

Shutterstock: Crystals of water ice under the microscope with a magnification of 80 times and in polarised light.

Key features

  • Benefit from outstanding teaching: in the 2016 National Student Survey 95 per cent of our final year students said that 'Staff are good at explaining things'.
  • Our students say our teaching is outstanding: they gave us 88 per cent on ‘overall satisfaction’ in the latest National Student Survey.
  • 95 per cent of our students say our course is 'intellectually stimulating' in the 2016 National Student Survey.
  • Our staff are 'enthusiastic about what they are teaching' say 86 per cent of our students in the latest National Student Survey.
  • Benefit from a course with excellent 'staff contact': 93 per cent of our students say so, as stated in the 2016 National Student Survey.
  • A course offering good 'advice and support' to students during their studies: 83 per cent of our students say in the latest National Student Survey.
  • Equip yourself for successful employment in a competitive job market – our focus on practical, professional skills means you graduate primed to enter the workplace.
  • Benefit from award-winning teaching in small groups and be inspired by staff who are world-leading researchers.
  • Stand out from the crowd with professional recognition through our accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Hone your practical problem solving skills in our newly-refurbished laboratories, kitted out with the latest analytical instrumentation.
  • Get the most out of your studies with our tutorial system, ensuring that you receive the support and guidance you need to reach your full potential.
  • Maximise your hands-on laboratory time and learn through doing – this course is structured to be as practical as possible, with 70 per cent of assessment based on coursework.
  • Experience chemistry in the real world and boost your employability by taking a placement, work-based project in your final year, or working alongside PhD and post-doctoral researchers in our high specification laboratories.
  • Graduate with in-demand skills for a range of career paths, from research and development in the pharmaceutical industry and lab-based roles in the food and energy industries, to positions in the science, engineering, healthcare, environmental or technology sectors.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll take part in workshops, lectures, tutorials and practical sessions, providing you with the essential skills and knowledge for a degree in chemistry. You’ll learn about core chemical principles and chemical problem solving, as well as IT and laboratory techniques. You’ll begin developing personal and professional skills to boost your employability in the science workplace. 

    Core modules
    • CHM1011 Practice of Chemistry

      This module introduces fundamental theoretical concepts and practical skills needed for degree level chemistry. It provides introductory training in practical techniques, embedding core chemical concepts and a robust foundation for good laboratory practice and scientific communication.

    • CHM1012 Organic and Inorganic Chemistry 1

      This module provides an introduction to fundamental theoretical concepts and practical skills in organic and inorganic chemistry. It also provides training in fundamental practical techniques and good laboratory practice.

    • CHM1013 Physical and Computational Chemistry 1

      This module provides an introduction to fundamental theoretical concepts in physical chemistry, practical techniques of experimentation, data acquisition and interpretation, and good laboratory practice. A variety of software applications will be used to assist with data analysis and presentation.

    • CHM1015 Organic and Inorganic Chemistry 2

      This module provides an introduction to fundamental theoretical concepts and practical skills in organic and inorganic chemistry. It also provides training in fundamental practical techniques and good laboratory practice.

    • CHM1016 Physical and Computational Chemistry 2

      This module provides an introduction to fundamental theoretical concepts and practical skills in physical and inorganic chemistry. It also provides training in fundamental practical techniques and good laboratory practice.

    Optional modules
    • CHM1014PP Solving Chemical Problems

      This module introduces the application of fundamental theoretical chemical concepts and practical skills to well-defined chemical problems. It provides training and application of practical chemical techniques, good laboratory practice and scientific communication.

    • FREX100PP French 1

      This module is designed for beginners in French, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of French, negotiate everyday needs in France / a French speaking country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • GERX100PP German 1

      This module is designed for beginners in German, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with German speakers, negotiate everyday needs in a German-speaking country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

    • MATH1604PP Symmetry and Space

      This module will introduce the foundations of the study of symmetries - group theory, and the study of the characteristics of shapes and spaces - topology and geometry. The topics covered, and geometry in general, will be placed in the context of the wider discipline of mathematics, introducing their historical development and their relationship with (for example) art and physics.

    • MATH1607PP The Quantum Universe

      This course is for non-science specialists who have an interest in understanding our Universe. We will investigate our evolving view of the Universe from ancient times to the recent exciting discoveries such as dark matter and energy. The module will also highlight the phenomena of the Quantum World and will develop a basic understanding of quantum effects and their applications.

    • SPNX100PP Spanish 1

      This module is designed for beginners in Spanish, or those whose previous qualification/experience is not equivalent to GCSE grade B. It develops communicative competence at a basic level, enabling students to establish and maintain adequate social relations with speakers of Spanish, negotiate everyday needs in Spain / a Spanish speaking country, and communicate using spoken and simple written language in a limited social or work setting.

  • Year 2
  • Building on the theoretical and practical areas covered in your first year, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry. You’ll be trained in the use of advanced instrumentation and develop the skills and knowledge to tackle chemical problems in real-life contexts; laying the foundations for more extended projects. You’ll continue your personal and professional development, gaining problem solving and teamwork skills essential to the workplace.

    Core modules
    • APIE218 Preparation for the Chemical Industry Work Placement

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a work placement and careers. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake the work placement to enhance both programme specific and employment-related skills during Stage 3 and preparation for future careers.

    • CHM2011 Inorganic Chemistry

      This module builds on the fundamental theoretical concepts and practical skills in inorganic chemistry that were initiated during Stage 1. It also provides further training in practical techniques related to the lecture material and good laboratory practice.

    • CHM2012 Organic Chemistry

      This module builds on the fundamental theoretical concepts and practical skills in organic chemistry that were initiated during Stage 1. It also provides further training in good laboratory practice and practical techniques of synthesis and structural elucidation in organic chemistry, related to the lecture, workshop and tutorial material.

    • CHM2013 Physical Chemistry

      This module builds on the theory and practical skills introduced in Stage 1. It concerns the way molecules behave: quantum mechanically, statistically, thermodynamically, electrochemically and as colloids and on surfaces. It is underpinned by mathematics and illustrated by practical exercises.

    • CHM2014 Analytical Chemistry 1

      This module introduces the fundamental theoretical concepts in analytical chemistry. It also provides further training in problem solving and teamwork.

    • CHM2015 Analytical Chemistry 2

      This module introduces practical laboratory skills in analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis. It also provides further training in task management, teamwork and information and data management.

    • CHM2016 Research Skills

      This module will develop research and professional skills within the context of chemical problems, including a business challenge, and prepare students for modules CHM3011 and CHM3012.

  • Optional placement year
  • Optional modules
    • APIE318 Placement in Chemistry

      This module provides an opportunity for professional training of at least 6 months in the chemistry sector, with an approved company or host organisation between Stages 2 and 4. While on placement, students will gain experience of how chemistry is used in the workplace, be able to apply and develop their chemical knowledge and expertise, and acquire additional skills relevant to the position and more generally.

  • Final year
  • Studying chemistry at an advanced level, you’ll explore contemporary chemical issues and focus on developing your skills to a professional standard. You’ll hone your practical skills and project management know-how by planning and undertaking a project with an internationally recognised research group, working with the latest instrumentation and paving your way for successful entry into your profession. There’s also an opportunity to experience a work-based learning placement within the industry.

    Core modules
    • CHM3013 Advanced Analytical Techniques

      This series of practical sessions (with supporting lectures) provides a theoretical and practical understanding of the operation and applications of modern instrumental analytical techniques. Emphasis is given to hands on experience of a range of modern instrumental techniques and their application to industrial, environmental, clinical and forensic samples.

    • CHM3014 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

      Students will apply knowledge and understanding to the solution of unfamiliar chemical problems in selected areas of inorganic chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on designing an experimental approach and relating key concepts from all four main branches of chemistry in a variety of contexts, both theoretical and practical in nature.

    • CHM3015 Advanced Organic Chemistry

      Students will apply knowledge and understanding to the solution of unfamiliar chemical problems in selected areas of organic chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on applying key concepts in a variety of contexts, both theoretical and practical in nature.

    • CHM3016 Advanced Physical Chemistry

      Advanced theoretical and practical concepts in physical chemistry and materials characterisation techniques.

    Optional modules
    • CHM3011 Chemistry Project

      A research project, normally involving laboratory work, but which may also include fieldwork, on a topic relevant to the degree programme. Both independent research and collaborative team-work is linked to the development of skills appropriate to the management of the project and entry and success in the professional workplace.

    • CHM3012 Chemistry Project incorporating Work Based Learning

      A work-based project, involving a Summer placement (minimum normally 6 weeks) on a topic relevant to the degree programme. Independent work is linked to the development of skills appropriate to the management of the project, the Summer placement, and entry and success in the professional workplace.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Chemistry Programme Specification Sept 2017 6177

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

A typical offer will be 104 points, minimum 3 A levels including grade B/C from chemistry and a second science such as mathematics, use of mathematics, physics, statistics, geology, environmental science/studies, biology or human biology, applied science, science in the environment, psychology, design technology - product design or economics, engineering. Excluding general studies.

18 units BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DMM – science related including chemistry units.  
 
BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.              

International Baccalaureate: 28 overall to include 5/4 at higher level chemistry, plus one other science subject from either: mathematics/use of mathematics, physics, statistics, geology, environmental science/studies, biology/human biology, applied science, science in the environment, engineering, psychology, design technology: product design or economics. English and mathematics must be included.          

If you are an international student and not studying English within IB, you must have IELTS: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in all elements.

Access courses: pass an Access to HE Diploma (for example, science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing) with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction and to include at least 15 credits in chemistry with merit. The remaining units should come from science related units. Including GCSE English and mathematics grade C or above or equivalent.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,500 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Teaching

Our staff are always on hand to provide guidance and advice.

Find out about the award winning teaching on our chemistry degree

Teaching

After your degree

A key drive for the employability of our graduates is direct experience with employers.

The skills you learn during your degree make you very attractive to employers across a range of sectors.

After your degree

Katie Jones - graduate profile

After graduating with a first class honours degree and being on the Dean’s List for my subject each year, I am now studying towards a PhD alongside working with spinout company PoreXpert Ltd, based at Plymouth University

Learn more about Katie's career

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences we recognise that our students are the future leaders in our subject disciplines and core to the development of a sustainable planet. We know that our applicants will thrive in the environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2017, any full-time undergraduate course within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, including chemistry. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.

Academic staff

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment

If you are a first or second year take the opportunity to study in a relaxed environment, along with other students on the same programme.

Find out more about how PALS can benefit your studies