Undergraduate study
Chemistry

BSc (Hons) Chemistry

UCAS code: F100 BSc/Chem

Chemistry is essential in modern society. The electronics at the heart of your mobile phone, the fibre optics which bring you high-speed broadband, most of the fabrics and dyes in the clothes you wear – none of these would exist without a thorough understanding of the chemical properties of substances.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 5 years if entering in Year 1, 4 years if entering in Year 2

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information

 

Chemistry is essential in modern society. The electronics at the heart of your mobile phone, the fibre optics which bring you high-speed broadband, most of the fabrics and dyes in the clothes you wear – none of these would exist without a thorough understanding of the chemical properties of substances.

Teesside University is located in the North East of England - home to some of the most advanced chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the world. The employment-focused nature of our BSc (Hons) Chemistry degree takes full advantage of the industries in our region to develop the skills and knowledge that employers seek in chemistry graduates.

Professional accreditation

Royal Society of Chemistry This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In the first year, the modules build on pre-existing knowledge and ensure a solid foundation in fundamental chemical principles. The Introduction to Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry modules include weekly laboratory sessions, illustrating concepts from lectures while providing a thorough grounding in the techniques and habits of chemical experimentation. In the group project module Chemistry in Practice, you learn how to carry out COSHH and risk assessments before trying out your own experiments. Core Skills for Chemical Sciences delivers the mathematical, statistical and software skills needed for processing experimental data.

In the second year you study the three traditional branches of chemistry in greater depth. In the Integrated Laboratory module all-day practical classes and extended exercises help prepare you for your final-year project and the working environment in an industrial, analytical or research laboratory. Science Research Methods and Proposal has a direct link to your final-year project – you prepare a mock grant application which includes aspects of literature searching, costing and written communication aimed at different audiences.

In the final year you continue your study of all of the traditional academic branches of chemistry in the modules Advanced Physical and Analytical Chemistry, Advanced Organic Chemistry and Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. Some specialisation is also available – you can replace one of these modules with options in medicinal, biological or environmental chemistry.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Analytical Chemistry

Analytical measurements are required in a range of applications in the chemical, biochemical and pharmaceutical industries. You learn about the introductory principles of a range of analytical techniques and instrumentation that provide qualitative and quantitative information about the composition of a sample.

You cover the fundamentals of chemical analysis including different methods for calibrating and validating analytical methods. You also cover the most important analytical techniques including chromatographic (TLC, HPLC, GC) and spectroscopic techniques (UV-visible, luminescence, FT-IR, atomic absorption, flame photometry), mass spectrometry, electrochemical analysis, extraction methods and analysis of biological samples (electrophoresis). You also develop a range of skills in analytical laboratory techniques and operating analytical instrumentation, as well as data analysis and performing analytical calculations.

This module is delivered through a series of lectures, laboratory sessions and tutorials. It is assessed through a laboratory notebook (50%) and an exam (50%).

Chemistry in Practice

This is a group project module. You investigate, develop and carry out a practical exercise (such as a chemistry demonstration lecture), culminating in an intensive group project week. As a group you need to plan your work by considering, choosing, risk-assessing and developing the experimental procedures to ensure the project is completed on time. You develop skills in working with others – communication, negotiation and time management. Each group is expected to present their investigation through a short presentation at the start of the intensive week and to deliver or perform the practical exercise at the end of the intensive week.

Module delivery includes lectures and seminars, but you are also expected to self-manage as a student group to meet and work independently.

You are assessed through a group technical presentation moderated by your individual contribution as evidenced by an online portfolio (30%) and a practical exercise with a tutor-moderated self and peer assessment (70%).

Core Skills in Chemical Sciences

Knowledge of the degree subject is not the only thing you learn whilst at university and it’s not the only thing that potential employers are looking for after graduation. You also need to develop a range of skills applicable for a variety of career pathways These include your ability to articulate yourself clearly, confidently and effectively to different audiences; to work independently or on your own initiative demonstrating creativity and adaptability when tackling problems where you don’t have all the necessary information available; to locate information and critically assess its usefulness; and to make efficient and effective use of the latest information technology.

You also learn to assess your own performance, giving you the chance to recognise and build on your strengths, and identify and improve your weaknesses as a way to raise your aspirations. This module also introduces you to basic principles and good practice in collecting, recording and evaluating data, and using information resources and referencing. You also consider the assessment and handling of scientific errors. You review a range of basic mathematical skills and introduce statistical methods that are essential in a wide range of scientific endeavour. Emphasis is placed on using spreadsheets for data recording, presentation and statistical analysis.

General Chemisty and Biochemistry

This module reviews and extends your knowledge of fundamental chemical concepts, and demonstrates how they are applied to enable you to understand biological molecules. It is delivered through a series of lectures and associated tutorials, along with six laboratory sessions focusing on basic practical techniques in chemistry and biochemistry. It is assessed through a laboratory report (50%) and a two-hour end exam (50%).

Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

This module introduces you to a range of key physico-chemical principles. You develop your knowledge and understanding of the relationships between electronic structure, chemical structure and chemical reactivity. You learn about the quantum mechanical nature of matter and how this relates to the chemical and physical behaviour of materials. You develop an understanding of periodicity to be able to use the periodic table and electronic theories of bonding to predict molecular shape and reactivity. The periodic table also provides the basis for studying descriptive chemistry of the main group elements and first row transition metals. You are introduced to the principles of thermodynamics and electrochemistry.

The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratories. It is assessed through a laboratory notebook (50%) and a two-hour exam (50%).

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

In this module you are taught the key foundations to organic chemistry. You learn to combine multiple sources of information, for example pKa and electronegativity, to predict and explain organic reactivity, and how to apply spectroscopic techniques, for example nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratories. It is assessed through a laboratory notebook (50%) and a two-hour exam (50%).

 

Year 2 core modules

Inorganic Chemistry

Many of the metallic elements in the d- and f-blocks of the periodic table are of considerable industrial importance, and their compounds often possess useful optical or magnetic properties. This module explores the periodic trends, reactivity and practical applications of d- and f-block metals, as well as the chemistry of coordination complexes.

Organometallic compounds are important as reagents in organic synthesis and as homogeneous catalysts in the large-scale manufacture of simple organics such as acetic acid. You cover the structure, properties and reaction mechanisms of a range of organometallic compounds here.

This module is delivered through a combination of lectures, laboratories and tutorials. It is assessed through a laboratory report and results (40%), and a two-hour exam (60%).

Integrated Laboratory

A series of detailed chemical practicals in which you synthesise and analyse organic and inorganic compounds, and investigate physicochemical phenomena are carried out in this module. The laboratory sessions introduce you to more advanced synthetic techniques (such as inert-atmosphere manipulation for air-sensitive compounds) and analytical tools (such as hyphenated chromatographic techniques) and strengthen existing laboratory skills. The module culminates in an extended exercise running over several weeks, providing realistic experience of industrial practice and academic research.

The module is delivered through laboratory sessions. Assessment is based on the quality of experimental results, such as yield and quality of samples synthesised, accuracy and precision of analyses, linearity of calibration graphs (70%), and on a report in the form of a journal article (30%).

Organic Chemistry

You build on your prior knowledge of organic chemistry and learn the concept of retrosynthetic analysis and develop the skills you need to synthesise molecules. You also learn strategies to combat or control regio- and chemoselectivity. You consider more advanced areas of organic chemistry, for example pericyclic processes and the synthesis and reactions of heterocycles.

The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, laboratories and tutorials. It is assessed through a laboratory report and results (40%), and a two-hour exam (60%).

Physical Chemistry

Physical chemistry is essential for our understanding of reaction chemistry and chemistry in the world around us. The extent, speed and mechanism of chemical reactions and the nature and structure of the products of reaction are all explained by modern chemists through our understanding of physical chemistry. In this module you explore the important role that the fundamental ideas in quantum mechanics have in developing and understanding spectroscopic techniques. You are also introduced to the methods used by physical chemists to describe and model chemical change to arrive at a deep physical understanding of chemical processes.

This module is delivered through a combination of lectures, laboratories and tutorials. It is assessed through a laboratory notebook (40%) and two-hour exam (60%).

Science Research Methods and Proposal

You will take this module if you are studying a science degree and complete a hypothesis-driven research project at Level 6 of your degree studies. It is delivered though lectures, tutorials and workshops.

You develop a proposal for your research project, which includes an explanation of the project targeted at both a specialist audience and the general public, and details of experimental design and statistical analysis to be employed. The proposal considers academic beneficiaries and economic, environmental and societal impacts. Project costs are estimated on the basis of a full economic costing model. In addition, the proposal is supported by a targeted CV.

A short lecture series at the start of the academic year provides you with an introduction to the module and advice on completing the research proposal documentation, followed by a series of assessment centre-style workshops and tasks which help assign you to a specific research project area and supervisor. These tasks familiarise you with the type of activities you might face during the application, interview and selection procedures.

You must produce a research proposal for your individual project. You are supported by a series of meetings with your supervisor to provide feedback on your progress.

For the proposal to be considered you must acquire ethical clearance from the School Research Ethics Committee. Once you are allocated a project you join discipline-based tutorials with other students. Each discipline operates tutorial sessions, which are used to provide academic guidance and support for completing ethical clearance documentation and the proposal. A series of research methodology-based workshops introduce you to various experimental designs and statistical techniques relevant to your discipline. These sessions also demonstrate how you can use software such as Minitab, SPSS and Excel to present and analyse datasets. These workshops help you decide on the design and analysis of the data associated with your project.

The module is assessed by you successfully acquiring ethical clearance (pass/fail) and submitting a completed research project proposal and supporting CV (100%).

Structure Determination

All research, analytical and industrial laboratories require a range of techniques that allow you to determine and predict the chemical structure of molecules and biomolecules. This module covers the most significant molecular structure determination techniques including nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, UV-visible and infrared spectroscopies, elemental analysis and crystallography.

This is a group project module – you select and use appropriate techniques to determine the composition, purity and molecular structure of a series of organic and inorganic samples.

The module is assessed by an oral presentation (30%) and a written report (70%). The individual marks of each member of the group are moderated by peer-assessment and by the module tutors by observing formal group meetings.

 

Final-year core modules

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Knowledge of fundamental principles of inorganic chemistry are applied to develop an understanding of advanced topics, such as the role of metals in biochemistry, the mechanisms of inorganic reactions, alternative models of chemical bonding, and the structure and properties of solid-state compounds with applications in electronics or solar energy conversion.

The module is delivered through a series of lectures and tutorials. It is assessed through a problem-solving exercise and a short essay (30%), and an exam (70%).

Advanced Organic Chemistry

You build on prior knowledge of organic chemistry, focusing on the chemistry of carbenes, organometallics, rearrangements and fragmentations and asymmetric synthesis. You also consider the synthesis of natural products and drug molecules with examples of the current state of the art in organic chemistry.

The module is delivered through a series of lectures and tutorials. It is assessed through a problem-solving exercise and a short essay (30%), and an exam (70%).

Advanced Physical and Analytical Chemistry

You extend and apply your understanding of physical and analytical chemistry to intellectually demanding topics, and selected areas of current research in physical and analytical chemistry.

The module is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. It is assessed by an oral defence of a presentation (30%) and a three-hour exam (70%).

Environment and Sustainability

A group work project-approach addresses the impact of industrial and human activities on the environment and the need for a sustainable approach to future developments. You specifically consider sustainable remediation strategies for air, water and land pollution and alternative fuel and energy technologies towards zero carbon emission.

This module addresses key concepts and skills essential for an exploration of environment and sustainability. It also instils a broad and deep understanding of environmental problems. You are assessed by a group poster presentation (40%) and an academic paper (60%). Individual marks for this piece of group work are moderated according to evidence of your engagement with the process, including self and peer assessment.

Science Research Project

You bring together a range of practical and academic skills, developed in previous years of study, to interrogate a particular aspect of your field of study. You specialise in a particular area of science, supported by an appointed research supervisor who will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

You are required to present a poster and abstract at the School’s annual Poster Day event, which is attended by academics of the School, external examiners, and professionals from the region. The poster contributes to your final project mark. Throughout the project you are expected to maintain systematic and reliable records of your research which are reviewed on a regular basis by your supervisor and assessed at the end of the project. You submit your research in the style of a paper which could be submitted to an appropriate scientific journal related to your discipline.

The module is assessed by a poster presentation (20%) and the submission of a journal paper supported by a research diary and/or laboratory notebook (80%).

 

and one optional module

Biosensors and Bioelectronics

You are introduced to the design of biosensors which are analytical devices that combine a biological or biomimetic sensing element with a signal transducer system. Their applications range from medical treatment and biological research to environmental monitoring. You learn about the engineering of the sensing component and how it can be linked with various transducers.

You learn through robust discussion around the need for point-of-care testing in comparison to economies of centralised laboratory testing, contextualising detection limits of various transduction systems in terms of real-world applications and scenarios. You are introduced to concepts such as specificity and sensitivity through the discussion of carefully curated case studies on medical devices such as glucometers, point-of-care blood analysers (for example, i-STAT system by Abbott) and low-cost diagnostics (for example, liver function test from Diagnostics for All).

Assessment is through a presentation (30%) which requires you to identify knowledge and skills which have been developed during the module and a written exam (70%).

Green and Environmental Chemistry

Chemical science plays a key role in understanding and responding to the sustainability challenges faced by the global community. In this module you develop an understanding of the earth as a chemical system and appreciate the chemistry (and chemical complexity) of the clean and polluted environment. As the global community places increasing burdens on resources and ecosystem services such as the capability to regulate climate, chemists are central to the development of technological solutions to ensure prosperity throughout the 21st century.

The module is delivered through a series of lectures and supported by tutorials and seminars. Assessment is through two components – a three-hour closed-book examination (70%) and a written assignment (30%).

Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

You develop your understanding of the concepts of a drugable target and of the toxicity effects of a drug. It takes a case study approach to develop your understanding of specific drug targets and therapeutic agents, following the lifecycle of a drug from discovery to clinical trial. The module will emphasises the differences between small molecules, biologics and therapies based on stem cells.

Assessment is through two components – a technical presentation (30%) and an exam (70%)

Trends in Biochemistry and Biotechnology

Biological sciences is probably the most researched area in the world. This module, by connecting you with researchers in the field across the globe working in various areas of life sciences, allows you to stay at the forefront of the latest innovations and trends. You learn through robust discussion around various developing areas in biochemistry and biotechnology.

Assessment is through a presentation (30%) and a three-hour written exam (70%).

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You have a range of lectures, small-group tutorials and hands-on laboratory sessions. Some modules are largely student centred, you learn by carrying out independent tasks rather than attending lectures. Part of your course also involves a substantial research-based project.

Each year of full-time study consists of modules totalling 120 credits and each unit of credit corresponds to ten hours of learning and assessment; typically six or seven of these ten hours should be personal study time outside the classroom.

One module in each year of your study involves a compulsory one-week block delivery period. This intensive problem-solving week, provides you with an opportunity to focus your attention on particular problems and enhance your team-working and employability skills.

How you are assessed

Your course involves a range of assessments including problem-solving assignments, essays, presentations, laboratory results and record keeping, report writing, group work and examinations.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

Work placement

We produce graduates with the problem-solving and leadership skills necessary to forge successful careers.

This programme allows you to spend an optional year - in-between your second year and final year - learning and developing your skills through work experience. You have a dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service to help you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking. Employers are often invited to our School to meet you and present you with opportunities for work placements.

By taking a work placement year you gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment. Transferable skills include communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Throughout this programme, you get to know prospective employers and extend your professional network. An increasing number of employers view a placement as a year-long interview and, as a result, placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process.

Potential benefits from completing a work placement year include:

  • improved job prospects
  • enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
  • a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
  • a better degree classification
  • a richer CV
  • a year's salary before completing your degree
  • experience of workplace culture
  • the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

Career opportunities

In addition to a solid grounding in chemistry, a chemistry degree provides you with a range of skills, such as numeracy, data handling and analysis, teamwork and problem solving, which are highly valued by employers.

The chemical industry is one of the most important contributors to the UK economy and provides excellent career prospects for our chemistry graduates. But graduates can seek employment in a wide range of industries and organisations, ranging from pharmaceuticals, environmental agencies, processing industries, food, manufacturing and product development, to surprising areas such as publishing and journalism, automotive and aerospace industries, IT and telecommunications, law and business, teaching and healthcare.

Entry requirements

Year 1 entry
If you live in the UK you may be invited to attend an interview. The interview helps us tailor your offer to your individual circumstances. The interview process also enables us to consider applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and those with non-traditional qualifications, including individuals who may be returning to study after a period of employment.

When you visit the University for your interview you will be offered a tour of our fantastic campus, a visit to our excellent laboratory and teaching facilities, and an opportunity to meet our staff. You will also learn more about your course and the range of scholarships, bursaries and grants you might be eligible for.

If you can't come for an interview, we will consider making you an offer based on the information you provide in your application.

Eligibility for entry to Year 1 of this programme requires study of the following essential subjects at Level 3:
• chemistry (or another related subject)

The most common acceptable Level 3 qualifications are (typical minimum grades are shown in brackets):
• A levels (grades BBC)
• BTEC Extended Diploma (grade DMM)
• Access to HE Diploma (with 30 Level 3 credits from science units awarded at merit or higher)

You also need to have numeracy and literacy skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4.

If the qualification you are studying for is not listed, please contact our Admissions Office for advice. We accept many alternative UK and international qualifications.

If you don't meet the entry criteria for Year 1 entry, you may wish to consider joining one of our degree courses with an integrated foundation year. The recommended extended route for this course is BSc (Hons) Chemistry (Extended).

Secure a guaranteed course place now*
Guaranteed Place Scheme (for UK/EU students only)

If you have completed Level 3 qualifications (for example AS Levels, BTEC Nationals) and have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Mathematics, you may be eligible for a guaranteed place on an Extended degree course in your chosen subject whilst still working towards meeting the conditions required for a course with higher entry requirements.
Find out more and check your eligibility

Direct entry to later years
Applicants qualified to BTEC Higher National Certificate (HNC) or BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) level may request direct entry to Year 2 of this degree. Applicants qualified to BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) level may request direct entry to the final year of their degree. To be considered for advanced entry you must provide a full detailed transcript of your previous studies with your application.

English language requirements
Entry to a degree programme requires you to have a good command of spoken and written English. An example of an acceptable qualification is GCSE English Language at grade 4 or above.

Non-EU international students who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years with work placement)

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 5 years if entering in Year 1, 4 years if entering in Year 2

More part-time details

  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 738800

Contact details

Further information