School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

MChem Analytical Chemistry

The MChem Analytical Chemistry programme at Plymouth provides a pathway for progression through a broadly based undergraduate degree in Chemistry with increasing specialisation in Analytical Chemistry from levels four to seven. Plymouth University is the only university which requires students to work in ISO9001:2015 certified laboratories.

Practical work to the ISO 17025 standard is a requirement at level seven for obtaining the MChem Analytical Chemistry qualification. The programme focuses on producing practical professional chemists through a hands-on approach to learning.

More courses like Analytical Chemistry...

Artistic image of crystals of citric acid. These are synthetic crystals and displayed on a microscope glass slide. Photographed through microscope. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Key features

  • This four year programme (five with the optional placement year) provides a pathway for progression through a broad-based practical undergraduate degree in chemistry, with increasing specialisation in analytical chemistry throughout to masters level. 
  • The programme will develop the theoretical and practical skills, and provide training necessary for employment as an analytical chemist with experience of working to ISO 17025, the international standard for all testing and calibration laboratories.
  • Equip yourself for successful employment in a competitive job market – our focus on practical, professional skills means you graduate primed to enter the workplace and research fields.
  • Benefit from an intellectually stimulating course taught by staff who are enthusiastic about what they are teaching, offering good 'advice and support' to students during their studies and with excellent staff contact.
  • You will learn to become a practical, professional chemist through a hands-on approach to learning.
  • The course places the professional skills of communication, problem solving, information and data retrieval, laboratory work and project management at its heart.
  • Maximise your hands-on laboratory time and learn through doing – this course is structured to be as practical as possible.
  • 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.
  • You will develop the theoretical and practical skills necessary for employment as a professional chemist in a range of chemical and allied fields, including research, teaching and industry.
  • Experience chemistry in the real world and boost your employability by taking a placement or work-based project in your stage 3 year, or working alongside PhD, post-doctoral and internationally recognised researchers in our high specification laboratories.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • 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.

    • MATH1604PP Symmetry and Space

      This module introduces 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 are 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

      We investigate our evolving view of the Universe from ancient times to recent exciting discoveries such as dark matter and dark energy. The module also introduces the phenomena of the Quantum World and develops an initial 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
  • 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.

  • Year 4
  • Core modules
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • CHM3017 Physical Chemistry

      This module 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.

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    • CHM5001 MChem Analytical Chemistry Project

      A laboratory based research project, which may also include fieldwork, on a topic relevant to advanced analytical chemistry. Independent research, project management and collaborative team-work is linked to the development of skills necessary to work to ISO9001 standard necessary for success in the professional workplace.

    • CHM5004 Quality Assurance and Accreditation

      This module introduces the fundamental concepts of Quality Management, ISO9001 certification for analytical chemistry, and training in ISO17025 application.

    • CHM5005 Analytical Chemistry Advanced Problems and Practice for MChem

      This module allows students to apply their knowledge and practical skills to solve case studies and practical problems in analytical chemistry

    • GEES514 Research Skills for Science

      This module reviews research methods relevant to professional and academic scientific research. It encompasses the complete lifecycle of research: genesis of a research idea; planning; experimental design; execution; data collection; data analysis; information retrieval and management; critical analysis and synthesis; knowledge dissemination and application.

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:

MChemAnalyticalChemistry ProgrammeSpecification September 2017 5846

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 levels

A typical offer will be 112 points, minimum three A levels including grade B 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/science, psychology, design technology – product design or economics, engineering. Excluding general studies.

18 units BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

DMM – DDM in a science related subject 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 at higher level chemistry, plus one other science subject. 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 (science based) 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 / 4 or above or equivalent.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £12,500 £13,000
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Part time (International) To be confirmed 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.