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.

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

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022*

The University of Plymouth has been named among the top 5% of universities globally in 2022 for its contribution to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals*, in particular, work on marine issues and on climate change. In the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, sustainability is at the heart of our research and teaching. From sustainable cities, affordable and clean energy, to climate policy, biodiversity, and natural hazards, our academic staff work with partners locally and overseas to help understand, communicate and solve fundamental and pressing sustainability challenges.

Careers with this subject

The skills you learn during your degree make you very attractive to employers across a range of sectors. Although you could use your chemistry skills directly, in areas such as research and development within the pharmaceutical industry or in other laboratory-based analytical roles (for example within the brewing or food industries), many of our graduates choose to move into multi-disciplinary teams across the science, engineering, healthcare, environmental and technology sectors. 
You could use your graduate-level skills in occupational areas as diverse as marketing, scientific writing, legal careers, IT, administration or finance. There may be opportunities to travel as many organisations, particularly those in the pharmaceutical industry, are global. A significant percentage of our graduates go on to postgraduate study, including masters and PhD positions, which can be a way of specialising and gaining valuable research skills. Teaching (both primary and secondary) is another option open to you.
 
Career opportunities 
You’ll be offered a work placement module as a final year option so that you can gain first-hand experience with employers - we see this as a key driver for employability of our graduates. Upon graduation, you will be eligible for the professional qualification of Chartered Chemist through our accreditation by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Key features

  • Benefit from award-winning teaching in small groups and be inspired by staff who are world-leading researchers.
  • Hone your practical problem-solving skills in our newly-refurbished laboratories, kitted out with the latest analytical instrumentation.
  • Our tutorial system ensures that you receive the support and guidance you need to reach your full potential.
  • 70% 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.
  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the professional body representing chemistry in the UK.
  • A diverse and respectful place in which to work and study is fundamental to everything we do. Find out more about equality, diversity and inclusion in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science.
  • In the 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’.
    • 6th on ‘satisfied with the course’.

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

    • Becoming a Successful Global Scientist (FYM001)

      This module will introduce learners to some of the major global environmental challenges facing society today and how science has a role in tackling them. It will help 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.

    • Essentials for Physical and Environmental Sciences (FYM002)

      This module introduces learners to the study of physical and environmental science. It covers the very small scale from atoms to large scale global systems. This module teaches the fundamental concepts and analysis methods for chemical, environmental and earth system sciences. No prior knowledge is assumed. Emphasis is placed on building understanding of core principles and confidence in essential practical techniques.

    • Our Changing Planet - Chemical and Geo-environmental Processes (FYM004)

      This module builds on the core ideas introduced in its partner module in the first semester (FYM002), introducing a range of additional physical, earth and environmental concepts. There will be a strong emphasis on applying scientific principles to a wide range of topics in earth, environmental and chemical sciences.

    • Sustainable Development Project (FYM006)

      This module will introduce the learners to group work. As part of a group, they will investigate one of the global environmental challenges facing society today. Each global environmental challenge will be investigated through its impact(s) in and around SW England. The learners will be guided in their investigation and present their findings at an end of year conference. This will be followed by an individual reflection upon the group work process.

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 2023 5474

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: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk for further advice. 
T level: Pass (D or E on the core) 72 points or above. Any subjects related to Science/Engineering/Health.
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

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,300 £18,100
Part time (Home) £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. More information about fees and funding.

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 admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Dr Roy Lowry, Associate Professor of Chemistry runs a YouTube channel designed to help teachers and students get to grips with the important concepts in chemistry. 

Here is Roy explaining 'The Peculiar Atom'