School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Foundation Year

If you are interested in chemistry but don’t have the qualifications to apply for a degree, this could be the pathway for you. Build your skills and knowledge on this new four year degree route, which incorporates a foundation year. Successful completion of the foundation year will enable you to progress onto Year 1 of our chemistry degree.

You’ll 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. You will stand out from the crowd with professional recognition through our accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Guardian University Guide 2021 league tables

Chemistry ranked 14th out of 53 in the Guardian University Guide 2021 league tables. Chemistry came top in ‘satisfied with feedback’, joint 2nd in both ‘satisfied with teaching’ and the ‘value-added score’, and 6th on ‘satisfied with the course’.

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

Key features

  • 92 per cent of our students say our course is 'intellectually stimulating' and with 92 per cent ‘overall satisfaction’ in the 2018 National Student Survey.
  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the professional body representing chemistry in the UK.
  • Benefit from a course with excellent 'staff contact': 93 per cent of our students say so, as stated in the 2016 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 percent of assessment based on coursework.
  • Experience chemistry in the real world and boost your employability by taking a work-based placement 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.
  • The foundation year is an integral part of the extended degree. Completion of the foundation year will not lead to a separate award or qualification its own right but will provide access to Year 1 of your degree.

Course details

  • Foundation Year
  • We introduce you to the world of chemistry, applying the principles across a wide subject area. We focus on practical, hands-on learning. You will also gain study and mathematical skills for science - from scientific writing and time management to mathematical skills and independent study.

    Core modules
    • BIO012 Biology 1

      This module introduces students to the study of biology and its fundamental importance as a cornerstone of modern science. No prior knowledge is required or assumed. The emphasis is on understanding some of the core principles of biology, and applying these across the breadth of the subject. To ensure that key practical skills are developed, the module will incorporate many hands-on learning experiences.

    • CHM001 Applications of Chemistry

      This module develops a more detailed understanding of the application of Chemistry to real world scenarios through a series of case studies which instil in students a critical appreciation of the science and the challenges and opportunities surrounding it.

    • CHM009 Chemistry 1

      This module introduces students into the world of chemistry and its fundamental importance as a cornerstone of science. No prior knowledge of science is required and the emphasis is on applying the principals of chemistry across a wide subject area, with many hands-on learning experiences.

    • CHM010 Chemistry 2

      This module is designed to build on the knowledge, understanding and skills inculcated in CHM009 and to provide an introduction to the fundamentals of organic Chemistry at a level sufficient for entry to the degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering, including the Chemistry Degree programmes.

    • GEES001 Study and Mathematical Skills for Science

      This module is designed to enable learners to adapt to the Higher Education Learning Environment by the development of a more independent, reflective and self-managed approach to study, learning, scientific writing, time management and mathematical skills for the study of science.

    Optional modules
    • BIO013 Biology 2

      This module builds on the core ideas introduced in BIO012, introducing a range of additional biological concepts. There will be a strong emphasis on applying scientific principles to a wide range of topics in biology, including many hands-on learning experiences to ensure that key practical skills are developed.

    • MATH019 Mathematics and Statistics for Science

      This module provides the basic mathematical background to enable learners to progress to honours degree programmes in science.

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 with Foundation Year Programme Specification September 2017

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

UCAS tariff

32 - 48

Approximate cohort size is 20 students per year.

A levels: from a minimum of 2 A levels to include at least one pass in a science subject. Excluding general studies.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: PPP – from a science related subject. 
12 Unit BTEC National Certificate/QCF Diploma: MP – from a science related subject. 

BTEC National 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.

Access courses: pass Access course (preferably from a science/combined studies/natural sciences/nursing subject) (including GCSE English and mathematics grade C/4 or above or equivalent). For candidates that do not have a science, electrical or technology background please contact: for further advice.

GCSE: mathematics and English at grade C/4 or above.

International Baccalaureate: 24 overall to include 3 at Higher Level science subject. English and mathematics must be included.

Mature students with appropriate work experience are encouraged to apply. For those who do not meet the requirements, please enquire for further details.

Progression onto chemistry F100 - achieving 120 credits in the specified course and an average of at least 50 per cent across all 120 credits.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home/EU) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

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


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

Find out about the award winning teaching on our chemistry degree

Find out more about 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.

Find out where a degree in chemistry can take you

Chemistry with the University of Plymouth

Find out just a handful of brilliant reasons why our students choose to study chemistry with us.

Adam Stokes – BSc (Hons) Chemistry student

Bradley Davey – BSc (Hons) Chemistry student

Current students Adam Stokes and Bradley Davey talk through some of the reasons why they chose to study chemistry at the University of Plymouth.

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Discover Uni is updated annually in September.