Undergraduate study
Chemistry (with Foundation Year)

BSc (Hons) Chemistry (with Foundation Year)

UCAS code: F190 BSc/ChemFY

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


  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year

More full-time details


  • Not available part-time

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.

In the Extended year your understanding of basic chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology is consolidated. You also develop your numerical, communication, practical and learning skills.

Professional accreditation

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

The first year is made up of six modules, which provide an excellent preparation for our science-based degree studies. You enhance your understanding of maths and science to prepare you for the remainder of your course.

The remaining years of this course are the same as the BSc (Hons) Chemistry degree.

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Experimental Methods for Science

Practical skills are important to virtually all scientific and engineering disciplines, and are one of the keys to success as a professional. Additionally, many of the skills developed, such as time management, and the accurate recording and analysis of information, are also important in wider contexts, and are valued by employers. This module introduces students to a range of different laboratory situations and techniques.

The module is based around four practicals, each delivered in a three week block. The first practical emphasises important basic skills, such as how to work safely in a practical environment, and how to properly document practical work. The remaining three practicals are based on the student’s wider academic ambitions. For example, students interested in biology will investigate the basics of microscopy and the handling of microorganisms. Student interested in crime scene analysis will be introduced to the fundamentals of how crime scenes are examined. Students interested in other academic disciplines will be given similar opportunities to explore practical situations relevant to their aspirations.

Fundamentals of Biology

Biology is arguably the most dynamic and rapidly-growing of all the sciences. Its key principles underlie diverse fields such as medicine, nutrition, biotechnology, forensics and crime scene science. The module develops your understanding of cell structure and function, the basic principles of genetics and protein synthesis, biochemistry, human anatomy, disease-causing microorganisms, environmental management and the role of biology in the forensic and crime scene disciplines.

Fundamentals of Chemistry

Chemistry is a key science that underpins many areas of science, and contributes hugely to our quality of life. Without chemistry we would have no pharmaceuticals or plastics, perfumes and paints, and numerous other materials that we take for granted. You develop an understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry, including study of the structure of elements and compounds, how they interact with each other, and how new chemical compounds are formed. Building on these foundations, you study the basics of organic and biological chemistry.

Fundamentals of Mathematics for Science

This module refreshes and enhances your maths skills as you prepare to study science at undergraduate level. It introduces the mathematical notation and techniques relevant to studying science, developing the skills you need to analyse and solve science problems. You study numerical and algebraic manipulation, solving equations, solving triangles, and introducing probability and descriptive statistics.

You are assessed by an in-course assignment (40%) focusing on the practical application of statistics to scientific data. You also sit an end examination (60%).

Fundamentals of Physics

You develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physics, and their application in science. Concepts from physics and physical measurement underpin nearly all other areas of scientific endeavour. You develop an understanding of the fundamental ideas, particularly common units of measurement.

Learning Skills for Science

The module aims to develop an understanding of the learning skills required for successful study at undergraduate level in science. Students will be encouraged to reflect on and manage their own learning. Time management and good learning practices will be emphasised during the module.
The first few weeks of the module are delivered in the library, and will focus on effective use of information resources.
Later in the module, you will develop your understanding of essay form, referencing, and how to avoid plagiarism.
Professional skills are also emphasised in this module, including how to effectively plan and manage your personal and professional development.


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

The first year of this course provides a number of contact teaching and assessment hours (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, projects, examinations), but you are also expected to spend time on your own. This self-study time is to review lecture notes, prepare coursework assignments, work on projects and revise for assessments.

One module in each year of your study, excluding your first year (Level 3), 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 types of assessments including research assignments, laboratory work, presentations and tests.

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

Career opportunities

A chemistry degree provides you with, in addition to a solid grounding in chemistry, 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.

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.

Entry requirements

Depending on the Level 3 subjects previously studied, typical offers are normally in the range 32-88 tariff points. The points can be accumulated from any combination of Level 3 qualifications. We also consider a range of alternative qualifications and relevant work experience.

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

There are no mandatory Level 3 subjects required for entry to this course, but we normally expect students to provide evidence of English language and mathematical skills equivalent to GCSE grade 4 or higher. We consider wide range of English and maths qualifications alternative to GCSEs. Please contact our admissions staff for advice.

If you are in the UK you may be required to attend an interview before we make you an individual offer tailored to your background, experience and qualifications. During your visit you also have the opportunity to see our campus, get more information on your course, tour our facilities and meet our staff.

Secure a guaranteed course place now*
Guaranteed Place Scheme (TUSSE-GPS)

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

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

What is Unistats?

How to understand the Unistats data

Course information


  • Length: 4 years (including a foundation year) or 5 years with additional work placement year

More full-time details


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information