Undergraduate study
Chemistry (with Foundation Year)

Chemistry (with Foundation Year)
BSc (Hons)

 

Course overview

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.

You can complete an optional work placement year as part of this degree course at no extra cost.

This course includes an integrated foundation year – ideal if you need additional preparation in the fundamental sciences and/or if you don’t have sufficient tariff points to join Year 1 of the degree directly. Apart from the foundation year, the remainder of this degree is identical to the BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme and leads to the same level award.

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 this 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.

 

Course details

If you take advantage of the optional work placement year during your third year, you get further valuable work experience that will really help you to stand out when applying for your first graduate job. It is your chance to apply your academic knowledge in the work environment – and, in the process, improve your career prospects. A placement could lead to a permanent job with your placement employer.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Big Data

Big data – it’s a phrase that a lot of people would argue is overused, or at least not always used in the appropriate context. So what is it really? How is it made and how do we make sense of it?

In this module you learn how big data is not just abundant but a growing field in so many aspects of our society from policing and conservation to health and bioinformatics. You explore how groups and communities use and share big data to help keep themselves safe in disaster zones around the world. You begin to value the role data plays in helping to make sense of community relationships in society, from uncovering criminal networks, tracking disease outbreaks to developing a deeper understanding of our ecology.

Data might end up in a data-frame spreadsheet format but it doesn’t begin there. It is often created with people and animals engaging with each other and technology. You explore how search engines collate and store the data we need to help make predictions, enhance decision making, or simply to better understand society’s needs.

Chemical Science and the Environment

This module provides an overview of fundamental concepts in chemistry and their application in the context of environmental and life sciences

Chemistry is the study of the structure, properties and reactivity of elements and compounds, and plays a key role in all physical, life and applied sciences. The topics covered include the structure of the atom, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical reactivity, environmental science, biogeochemistry, pollution, green chemistry and climate change.

Experimental Methods for Life Science

This module is based around a series of laboratory sessions. The first sessions emphasise important foundation skills, such as how to work safely in a practical environment and how to properly document practical work. These are followed by a series of sessions based on your wider academic interests including the basics of microscopy, handling microorganisms, safe handling food, using volumetric glassware and investigating acid base titrations.

Global Grand Challenges

This module focuses on how science can help address some of the biggest global Grand Challenges that face society. This reflects the University’s focus on externally facing research that makes a real, practical difference to the lives of people and the success of businesses and economies.

You work on a project in a group, to enabling you to develop innovative answers to some of the biggest issues of our time based on five thematic areas – health and wellbeing, resilient and secure societies, digital and creative economy, sustainable environments and learning for the 21st century.

Life on Earth

This module explores the diversity of life on earth and the concept of evolution. You consider Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection to demonstrate relationships between species, the principles of taxonomy and speciation, and how they relate to the evolutionary tree.

You are introduced to the physiological processes, cellular organisation, homeostasis, metabolism, growth, reproduction, response to stimuli and adaptation - all hallmarks of living organisms equipping diverse species to survive and thrive.

Life Science

This module focuses on the life sciences from a human perspective. While developing an understanding of human biology you explore the role of different but interconnected life science disciplines in modern life.

While reviewing life science from an interdisciplinary context, relatable to a variety of backgrounds, you examine the major human body systems – cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, endocrine, nervous, digestive, skeletal and reproductive. This module enables you to appreciate how such knowledge is relevant to issues in health, disease and modern society.

 

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 Chemistry 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.

 

Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Environment and Sustainable Processing

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 at least two modules from

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%).

 

and no more than one module from

Advanced Structural and Functional Biochemistry

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%)

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You have a range of lectures, seminars 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

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Examples of typical entry qualifications include:

  • any combination of Level 3 qualifications (for example, A/AS levels, BTEC Certificates/Diplomas, Access to HE)
  • a High School Certificate/Diploma with good grades completed after at least 12 years of primary and secondary education
  • demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of relevant post-school work experience.

Any Level 3 subject is acceptable for entry to this course. Students are expected to provide evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to at least GCSE grade 4. We consider a wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

Interviews
You may be invited to attend an interview to help us reach an offer decision. Your interview session is designed to help you by giving you the opportunity to showcase your individual strengths and qualities that define your potential to succeed on your chosen course. You may receive a more flexible offer following a good interview performance.

It is important to us that you reach an informed decision on where to study so we make every effort to provide you with information, guidance and advice to help you make the right choice. During your visit you will have the opportunity to learn more about your course, see our excellent facilities, meet staff and students, and learn more about studying at Teesside University. We receive very positive feedback from visiting students and we are confident you will find your visit a useful experience too.

Alternative progression routes
If you are not eligible to join this course directly then we may be able to help you prepare for admission by studying appropriate pre-degree Summer University modules.

Please contact us to discuss the alternative progression routes available to you.

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

 

Employability

Work placement

You have the opportunity to spend one year learning and developing your skills through work experience. A dedicated work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service 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 course, 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 preselection 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.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£11,825 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year
  • UCAS code: F190 BSc/ChemFY
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 

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Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus

 

Campus

Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment

 

Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

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Find your ideal degree course here at Teesside University and feel welcomed, supported and prepared for the career you want.

 
 
 

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