Is a degree in Chemistry for me?
Chemistry is a core science with many applications, and to some degree you can shape the course you study by choosing among the huge number of optional modules available either in the second or the third year . These include: quantum chemistry, medicinal , materials , biophysical or analytical chemistry – to name but a few. The first year is normally devoted to the principles of chemistry, theories of chemical behaviour, and the dimensions of chemistry and their applications. You will be introduced to experimental chemistry and research techniques, and the latest advances in this science of molecules and materials – for example, in antibiotics or semiconductors . You will also learn how to put theory into practice through extensive laboratory work, where you will improve your practical and problem-solving skills, evaluate theories and design your own experiments.
Some courses last four years, since students take up a one-year placement to gain practical experience in a commercial or industrial environment, and many are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemists – check whether the course you wish to follow is accredited in the prospectus.
Courses cover organic, physical, biological and polymer chemistry, chemical kinetics, spectroscopy and polymer science. Group work is organised around projects, to complement individual lab and research work. Chemists are highly sought after and can work in many fields on graduating, including drug development, environmental protection, food chemistry, the petroleum industry, materials development and forensic science. Over 33 per cent of chemistry graduates decide to take a postgraduate degree before moving into their chosen professional field.