Chemistry with Year in Industry (MChem)
This four-year MChem programme takes you to the heart of modern science and technology, embracing mathematics and physics on one hand, and medicine and the life sciences on the other.
MChem Chemistry with a Year In Industry aims to give you a detailed understanding of the requirements for a successful chemistry career, and a real competitive advantage by experiencing one year in a work placement.
Our flexible four-year course incorporates a major research project worth 60 credits in the final year, and a year spent working at an industrial laboratory in the UK or elsewhere. During this time, you will continue with your studies as well as undertake work assigned by the industrial host. The entire year is assessed as part of your degree.
A solid grounding across the whole subject of chemistry will be delivered, before you focus in depth on your specific areas of interest. This culminates in a major research project, working alongside subject experts within the School in your final year.
With more emphasis on analysis, synthesis and problem solving than BSc degrees, as well as significant opportunities to develop transferrable professional skills and gain invaluable work experience, you can acquire all the attributes needed to be a self-sufficient working chemist.
- This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry
- MChem graduates are eligible for full membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC), and may apply for the title of Chartered Chemist (CChem) after further experience in a relevant job
- students who are interested in a placement abroad may request a transfer to the MChem with a year abroad
- availability of opportunities to undertake summer research projects in Cardiff under academic staff supervision.
|Next intake||September 2016|
|Mode||Full time with sandwich year|
|Accreditations||Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)|
|Typical places available||The School typically has around 170 places available.|
|Typical applications received||The School typically receives around 600 applications.|
|Typical A level offer||AAB including grade B in Chemistry. Ideally at least one other science or mathematical subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for entry. Also grade C or higher in GCSE Maths and English or Welsh (as appropriate).
Also grade C or higher in GCSE Maths and English or Welsh (as appropriate).
|Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offer||WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding Chemistry.|
|Typical International Baccalaureate offer||34 points to include 10 points in total from Higher Level Chemistry and another science or Mathematical subject. Chemistry is to be at least 5 points within this total.|
|Other qualifications||Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online. Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course|
All our Chemistry degrees share a common first and second year. At the end of year one or two it is possible to transfer to the MChem Chemistry with a year abroad, or MChem Chemistry.
This four-year MChem course builds on the strong platform of the common first two years to explore particular areas in greater detail later on. This gives an enhanced level of insight and deeper knowledge on which to base your research and further study.
This course has met the Royal Society of Chemistry requirements for accreditation, which means that MChem graduates are eligible for full membership of the society (MRSC), and may apply for the title of Chartered Chemist (CChem) after further experience in a relevant job.
Our year one modules aim to stimulate your interest in the subject, whilst giving a solid knowledge base to build upon in the following years. Our core chemistry modules are based around three principal subject areas, including coverage of key skills for chemists. These are complemented by a range of optional modules, allowing you to exercise choice over your studies and extend your breadth of experience.
You can also take optional modules in disciplines such as Biological Sciences, Physics or Modern Languages.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Introduction To The Solid State and Applications of Spectroscopy||CH3104||20 credits|
|Foundations of Organic and Biological Chemistry||CH4103||20 credits|
|Techniques and Methods in Chemistry||CH3105||10 credits|
|Foundations of Physical Chemistry||CH3101||20 credits|
|Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry||CH3102||20 credits|
In year two, core material is rigorously developed across all of the main areas of chemistry through compulsory modules.
If a placement abroad appeals to you, you need to register an interest by the start of year two, and transfer to the MChem Chemistry with a year abroad course by the start of year three. You may transfer to the three year BSc Chemistry course or the four year MChem Chemistry course at any point prior to the start of year three.
There are also opportunities for several students to undertake summer research projects in Cardiff under staff supervision.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Key Skills For Chemists||CH3206||10 credits|
|Reactivity and Properties of The Elements and Their Compounds||CH3201||20 credits|
|Organic Chemistry of Multiply Bonded Systems||CH3203||20 credits|
|Chemical Biology II: Introduction To Enzyme and Nucleic Acid||CH3216||10 credits|
|Applications of Molecular Spectroscopy||CH3202||20 credits|
|Symmetry, Spectroscopy and Quantum Mechanics||CH3204||20 credits|
|Thermodynamics and Kinetics||CH3205||20 credits|
Year three: Sandwich year
Year three is spent working for a host employer, giving you real working experience as part of the course. The School will help you to find a placement related to your interests and strengths, and we maintain close contact with you throughout your placement.
A research project supervised by the host employer but assessed primarily in Cardiff will form a significant part of the year. You will also take a number of modules by 'distance learning' in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. This ensures you have covered the same core material as students spending year three in Cardiff.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Advanced Physical Chemistry (for distance learners)||CH3313||20 credits|
|Placement Experience||CH3309||60 credits|
|Advanced Organic Chemistry (for distance learners)||CH3312||20 credits|
|Advanced Organometallic and Coordination Chemistry (for distance learners)||CH3311||20 credits|
A substantial year-long research project in an area of your choosing gives you the chance to develop and demonstrate new skills through research. There are currently no compulsory theory modules in year four which will enable you to select available modules that match your interests.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Frontiers in Ligand Design and Coordination Chemistry||CH3402||10 credits|
|Bio-imaging Applications of Coordination Chemistry||CH3403||10 credits|
|Asymmetric Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals and Natural Products||CH3404||10 credits|
|Advanced Techniques in Organic and Biological Chemistry||CH3405||10 credits|
|Molecular Modelling||CH3406||10 credits|
|Advanced Materials||CH3407||10 credits|
|Modern Catalytic Processes||CH3408||10 credits|
|Chemistry at Phase Boundaries||CH3409||10 credits|
|Advanced Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Principles and Applications||CH3410||10 credits|
|Catalytic Materials for Green Chemistry||CH3411||10 credits|
How will I be taught?
We aim to provide an exceptional environment for chemical education and undergraduate degrees reflect our current research strengths and interests, with final-year projects fully integrated in research groups. Your course of study has been carefully designed to enable you to realise your maximum potential. We aim to deliver expert teaching, state of the art laboratory facilities, and comprehensive pastoral care.
Teaching is undertaken through a series of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. These are currently supported by material hosted on Learning Central, the University’s virtual learning environment.
The major element of staff teaching is through lectures, typically 10-12 per week of 50 minutes duration. Subject matter is supported in various ways depending on the topic. This can include slides, computer presentations, overhead transparencies, handouts and course summaries.
The second part of teaching involves practical classes, again typically averaging about 10-12 hours each week. In year one the emphasis is on basic techniques and simple but accurate recording of observations. Skills are taught by practical demonstrations and supported by a range of e-learning resources freely available and readily accessible to all students.
Self-testing offers insight into different practical techniques, and the chance to correct mistakes before attending laboratory sessions. Electronic resources will help you to understand theory and practical application of spectroscopic techniques.
Laboratory work progresses towards substantial experiments which need careful planning, analysis and interpretation of results, as well as professional standard reporting. Practical work is currently integrated into each core module in the first two years, providing experience in all the main laboratory procedures and techniques. Training is designed progressively to extend your level of proficiency in practical chemistry, preparing you to undertake an independent research project at the end of your degree.
Harnessing the newest technology available to the School, you will learn how to use software and molecular modelling packages. All your work is expected to be presented in a professional fashion, especially towards the end of your degree, and there are facilities to enable this in the form of numerous well-equipped computer suites across the University.
You will spend much of year three in activities related to your placement and research project, but you will also study modules remotely. This involves regular work directed by the appropriate tutor, and includes the study of digital course material through literature, regular marked assignments and a final examination in Cardiff in August.
Small group tutorial classes are given in the first three years, allowing practice, discussion and analysis of the lecture material, as well as the development of communication skills. Sessions are delivered by three allocated staff members, typically with one specialist in each of the areas of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. The same tutors usually remain assigned to each group throughout your degree.
All our Chemistry courses have a major element of independent, supervised research. In MChem Chemistry with a year in industry, you undertake two research projects. One is conducted during the year in industry and the second takes the form of a 60 credit year four module. This takes about two full days each week of both semesters, including planning, experimental work, analysis of results and reporting in a thesis. Working under the guidance of an expert in the field, you will present results of your work orally and in writing. In the past, this has even led to undergraduates co-authoring published papers.
How will I be supported?
Every student has a number of academic tutors, one of whom also acts as your Personal Tutor. You will see one of your tutors each week in the first two years, either as part of a small tutorial group or on a one-to-one basis in a personal tutorial. All staff operate an open door policy, meaning you can always approach staff with issues, academic or otherwise. Personal Development Planning is based around maintenance of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Undergraduate Skills Record. This will be discussed in personal tutorials.
You will be given access to a comprehensive handbook appropriate to your year of study, containing details of the School’s procedures and policies.
We make extensive use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (Learning Central) to share information. Marks for in-course assessment will be available via Learning Central within three weeks of the deadline.
You will receive regular oral and written feedback on your progress throughout the course. Feedback is usually given on coursework such as practical scripts, workshop and tutorials. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your results and feedback with your tutor in more depth at weekly tutorials and regular personal tutorials.
How will I be assessed?
Formative and summative assessments are carried out during each year of study. This gives a measure of performance to inform you, us as staff and potential future employers about your progress and achievement. It can also help the learning process by highlighting areas of success and areas needing more attention. Assessment for the MChem degree involves methods which are selected to suit the particular outcomes of each module and the course as a whole. These methods include the following.
- Formal examinations with fixed time-limits
- class tests
- reports on laboratory work
- planning, conduct and reporting of project work
- problem-solving exercises (as workshop assignments)
- oral presentations
- preparation and display of posters.
Activities involving group work allow your work to be judged as a group member, rather than in isolation as an individual student.
What skills will I practise and develop?
- Communication skills, covering written and oral communication
- problem-solving skills relating to qualitative and quantitative information, with extension to situations where evaluations have to be made based on limited information
- numeracy and computational skills including error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation electronically and in current research journals
- information-retrieval skills relating to primary and secondary information sources, including information retrieval through on-line computer searches
- technology skills such as word processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, web communication and using chemical drawing packages
- interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and engaging in team-working
- time-management and organisational skills, evidenced by the ability to plan and implement effective modes of working towards a goal relevant to current chemical understanding and/or industrial targets
- Study skills needed for continuing professional development.
In year one and two you take compulsory “key skills” modules, during which you will learn and practise some or all of the above skills. You also receive training in CV writing, completing application forms, and interview techniques, delivered in collaboration with the Careers Service.
Graduate chemists have an array of career options. Many join the chemical industry, while others enter academia or government establishments. A number of graduates use the logical and practical training they have gained to enter marketing, sales, management or finance.
Scientific journalism, publishing and teaching are all realistic potential destinations. Equally, the specific skills gained in laboratories can provide a stepping stone to roles in the manufacturing industry.
In 2014 90% of the School’s graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduation, Employers of BSc graduates included Intertek, Jones Environmental Forensics, One Scientific and Spofforths. Career destinations included development chemist, production technician, laboratory shift technician, portfolio manager, technical productions support, trainee accountant and science communicator.
- Research Scientist
- Associate Consultant
- PhD Researcher
UK and EU students (2016/17)
EU students entering in 2016/17 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2017/18 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Students from outside the EU (2016/17)
Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.
Costs for sandwich years
During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.
The School covers the cost of everything that is an essential part of the programme, this will be clearly detailed in all programme information and in any verbal instructions given by tutors. You may be required to cover additional costs that are either not essential or are basic costs that a student should be expected to cover themselves. This includes but is not limited to laptop computers, calculators, general stationery, text books (assumed to be available in the library), and basic copying/ printing.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
You do not need any specific equipment. We will provide you with a lab coat, a pair of safety glasses, a laboratory notebook and a molecular modelling kit, usually at enrolment. Chemical drawing software, ChemDraw is available on all university computers, and you will be able to download it to your own computers for free.
Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.