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Chemistry (BSc)

  • UCAS code: F100
  • Next intake: September 2020
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry Year

Why study this course

Chemistry is a fundamental and exciting discipline, and one that plays a significant role in many areas of science and in everyday life.

This three-year course aims to give you a flexible and dynamic education in the knowledge and skills needed to advance into a successful chemistry career.

You will study a broad introduction to the main areas of chemistry with the opportunity to specialise in topics that are interesting or important to you through optional modules and a research project. Plus, you will spend many hours in our labs gaining hands-on experience and developing your research, mathematical and computational skills.

Our graduates are employed as chemists working in research, process development and analysis, as well as in broader areas such as teaching, marketing, environmental control, patents and finance.

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Professionally accredited

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Great students experience

You'll be welcomed by your personal tutor and student mentors, who'll help with everything from studying to social life.

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Study abroad or in industry

Students may request a transfer to the MChem, Year in Industry or Year Abroad schemes.

Take a tour

Take a 360 tour of our School and facilities.

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Practical sessions

Develop your practical skills in the lab and gain experience of problem solving, group working and report writing.

Where you'll study

School of Chemistry

We are focused on tackling the important scientific challenges of the 21st century though internationally recognised education and research.

Entry requirements

AAB-ABB including Grade B in Chemistry with (where applicable) a pass in the practical element of the A-level. Please note that General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for entry.

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DDM - DMM in BTEC Applied Science.

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Chemistry admissions criteria pages.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE Maths Grade C or Grade 4 and GCSE English or Welsh Language at grade C or grade 4.   Typical IELTS offer: At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
££

Learn about our tuition fees

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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 (2020/21)

Tuition feeDeposit
££

Learn about our tuition fees

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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.

Additional costs

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, textbooks (assumed to be available in the library), and basic copying/ printing.

Course specific equipment

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. Chemical drawing software, ChemDraw is available on all University computers, and you will be able to download it to your own computers for free.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

Each year is made up of modules totalling 120 credits

In year one you take compulsory chemistry modules worth 110 credits, including 30 credits of practical, and an optional module worth 10 credits, which may be in chemistry or any other subject.   

In year two you will take compulsory chemistry modules in various different subject areas, including a 30 credit practical module.

In year three you will undertake practical work in the autumn semester (20 credits). This is followed by a specialised research project in the spring semester (30 credits).  You will also take a compulsory theory module in each branch of the subject in the autumn semester (40 credits) and choose from a range of optional modules in the spring semester (3 x 10 credits).   

 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

In year one we aim to stimulate your interest in the subject, whilst giving you a solid knowledge base to build upon in the following years. Our core chemistry modules are based around five principal subject areas: analytical inorganic, organic, physical and solid state chemistry. They include training in key skills for chemists. These core modules are complemented by a range of optional modules, allowing you to exercise choice over your studies and extend your breadth of experience. You may also take optional modules in disciplines such as biological sciences, physics or modern languages.

Year two

In year two you will take more advanced compulsory modules that enable you to practise and consolidate new skills through application to a wide range of problems.

If you achieve at least 55% overall in year two, you have the opportunity to transfer to a MChem course before the start of year three. If a placement is attractive to you, you need to register your interest by the start of year two, and transfer to the BSc Chemistry with a Year in Industry or BSc Chemistry with a Placement Year Abroad courses by the start of year three.

Year three

In year three a substantial research project is undertaken in the spring semester. You will take a compulsory theory module in four branches of the subject and select from a range of optional modules.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Chemistry student in laboratory
Lectures are supplemented with practical work in our well-equipped laboratory facilities..

Learning and assessment

We aim to provide an exceptional environment for chemical education and our undergraduate degrees reflect our current research strengths and interests, with final-year projects fully integrated into our research groups. Your course of study has been designed to enable you to realise your maximum potential. We aim to deliver expert teaching and comprehensive pastoral care.

Teaching is undertaken through a series of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. These are supported by material hosted on Learning Central, the University’s virtual learning environment.

Lectures

One major element of 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, handouts and course summaries.

Laboratory work

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.

Laboratory work progresses towards substantial experiments that need careful planning, analysis and interpretation of results, as well as professional standard reporting. Practical work provides experience in all the main laboratory procedures and techniques, and is designed to extend your level of proficiency in practical chemistry, preparing you to undertake an independent research project in the final stages of your degree.

Small-group teaching

Small group tutorial classes are given in all 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, one specialist in each of the areas of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. The same three tutors usually remain assigned to each group throughout your degree.

Project

All our Chemistry courses have a major element of independent, supervised project work. In the final year of the BSc course you will work on a project in your preferred area of chemistry, and be allocated a topic to investigate or develop. 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 led to undergraduates co-authoring published papers.

How will I be supported?

Every student has three academic tutors, one of whom also acts as your personal tutor. You will see one of your tutors each week, 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.  

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. 

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate systematic knowledge and a critical comprehensive understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject area of chemistry. Specifically:

  • Chemical terminology, nomenclature, conventions and units.
  • The structural feature and chemical behaviour of chemical elements and their compounds, including group relationships and trends within the Periodic Table.
  • The principles and procedures used in chemical analysis and the characterisation of chemical compounds, including the application of spectroscopies to the determination of structure and properties of chemical entities.
  • Theories describing structure, bonding, reactivity and chemical change and the relationship between microscopic and bulk properties of matter.
  • The properties and major types of chemical reaction of inorganic, organic, biological, organometallic and coordination compounds.
  • Mathematical knowledge in basic algebra and calculus and numerical manipulation appropriate for the analysis and evaluation of chemical problems.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The application of knowledge and understanding of the subject areas identified above to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature.
  • Recognition and analysis of problems and strategies, criticise techniques applicable to their own advanced scholarship, and plan strategies for their solution.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Plan and safely carry out standard laboratory procedures for preparation, purification, and analysis of a range of substances, and use appropriate instrumental techniques for their study.
  • Monitor chemical and physical properties or changes across a wide range of chemistry, by observation and measurement, and record, in a systematic and reliable fashion, documentation relating to these events in a manner appropriate for a professional chemist working in an academic or industrial situation.
  • Research, review and execute a project, selecting appropriate procedures from literature and knowledge, and proceed from the problem-recognition stage through to the evaluation and critical appraisal of outcomes.
  • Interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements in terms of their current significance and the theory underlying them, to assess their significance and place in context.
  • Present scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences including peer-reviewed chemistry journals, seminars and colloquia.
  • Demonstrate computational, data-processing skills and electronic searching skills, relating to chemical information, data and the primary literature.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Communicate orally and in writing.
  • Apply information technology such as word processing, spreadsheets, data-logging and storage, web communication and chemical drawing packages.
  • Interact with other people and engage in team-working.
  • Plan and implement projects working towards a goal.
  •  Independently identify and undertake study needed for continuing professional development

 

 

Group of students working in laboratory
We encourage group working during our laboratory practicals..

Careers and placements

Career prospects

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 2016/17, 95% of our graduates were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. Employers of BSc graduates included Hichrom Ltd, Johnson Matthey, Patent Seekers and Price Bailey LLP.

Career destinations included product development chemist, technical graduate, patent analyst, trainee accountant and quality control scientist.

Graduate careers

  • Development chemist
  • Chemistry teacher
  • Science communicator
  • Trainee accountant

Placements

All students on this course will undertake a one-semester research project within a Cardiff Chemistry research laboratory.

There are additional opportunities for students who are interested in a placement abroad or in industry to transfer to the BSc Chemistry with a Year in Industry, the BSc Chemistry with a Placement Year Abroad, the MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry, or the MChem Chemistry with a Placement Year Abroad courses.

Finally, there are a variety of opportunities to undertake summer research projects in Cardiff under academic staff supervision.

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