Skip to main content
Undergraduate study

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.

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

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

Biochemistry and Chemical Science

You will develop an understanding of key concepts necessary to underpin subsequent studies in chemistry, biochemistry, biomedical sciences and molecular biology. Building of the underlying principles of chemistry is essential to understand complex biological systems. This module will introduce the fundamentals of chemistry and link them to the key biomolecules and biochemical processes which form the basis of life.

Chemical and Biochemical Reactivity

In this module you will take a close look at the basic ideas of kinetics and thermodynamics and explore how they apply to biochemical reactions, in particular to the function of enzymes. You will study the chemistry of the transition metals and consider some of their roles in proteins and pharmaceuticals.

Chemistry in Practice

Your practical, analytical and numerical skills develop in this laboratory module. You will gain familiarity with a range of analytical instruments in the chemistry laboratory and will enhance your data-handling skills and your awareness of risk management processes. The module culminates in a mini-project in which you are able to put your skills together to work creatively with others in the laboratory

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

You are introduced to the creative science of organic chemistry which mainly looks at molecules composed of, but not limited to, carbon and hydrogen. You will learn the principles of chemical reactivity and mechanisms necessary to understand how and why simple molecules as well as macromolecules react in a certain way. Additionally, you will learn the key concepts in synthetic organic chemistry that will enable you to develop an exquisite control over structure and reactivity with no limit on what molecules you can synthesise.

Structure and Bonding

This module will introduce basic concepts in chemistry related to structure and bonding. Topics include; atomic structure, quantum mechanics, chemical bonding, spectroscopy (UV, NMR, IR), inorganic chemistry (metals and main group) and introduction to symmetry.

Synthetic Laboratory Skills

You learn and practice the core skills of the chemical scientist in this module. From basic laboratory manipulations, separations and purifications to the synthesis and analysis of biomolecules and pharmaceuticals, you will become familiar with a range of laboratory and data skills that will underpin your practical work throughout your degree.


Year 2 core modules

Applied Chemical Laboratory

Through a variety of syntheses, physical chemistry investigations and analytical studies you will further develop your laboratory skills. Focussing on complex chemistry, synthesis of organometallic compounds, careful physical measurement and data analysis, you will work with an increasing level of self-direction in the laboratory to solve problems and analyse complex data to present accurate chemical information to a professional standard.

Chemical Information Processing

You will be introduced to the exciting world of cheminformatic and how to use technology to unravel the mysteries of chemistry and handle big data sets. You will develop an in-demand skill set combining a technical understanding of chemistry with expertise in computation which could support advancements in any branch of chemistry, with career opportunities rapidly expanding in the design of new drugs and materials. A key focus will be on the underlying rationale/theory, statistical methods, and data manipulation e.g. principle component analysis, coding, matrix algebra and database searching and quantitative structure activity relationships.

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.

Organic Chemistry

You will build on your prior knowledge of organic chemistry and learn the concept of retrosynthetic analysis, the art of synthesising any molecule however complex it is! You will also learn strategies to control regio- and chemoselectivity. Moreover, you will consider more advanced areas of organic chemistry, eg pericyclic reactions, heterocyclic chemistry and you will get introduced to organometallic chemistry that expands the range of chemical transformation beyond classical chemistry.

Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

You will apply the fundamental principles of chemistry – thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum mechanics, periodicity and electronic structure – to themes of considerable industrial importance. You will develop a deep physical understanding of chemical processes and reaction mechanisms, and will discover the important role that quantum mechanics plays in our application of spectroscopic techniques. You will also learn about the reactivity d- and f-block metals, their practical applications in industry and their useful optical and magnetic properties. You will study the structure, properties and reaction mechanisms of organometallic compounds, discovering their synthetic and industrial importance in homogeneous catalysis.

Through a variety of syntheses, physical chemistry investigations and analytical studies you will further develop your laboratory skills. Focussing on complex chemistry, synthesis of organometallic compounds, careful physical measurement and data analysis, you will work with an increasing level of self-direction in the laboratory to solve problems and analyse complex data to present accurate chemical information to a professional standard.

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.


Year 3 optional placement year

Final-year core modules

Advanced Organic Chemistry

You will massively expand your knowledge of organic chemistry, focusing on advanced synthetic methodologies involving the chemistry of enoid reagents (carbenes, nitrenes and ylides), in addition to in-depth study of various state-of-the-art organometallic transformations, and ultimately the applications of them combined in designing asymmetric syntheses. You also consider different modern strategies of chemical synthesis, eg combinatorial and parallel synthesis.

Advanced Physical and Inorganic Chemistry

This module aims to extend and apply your understanding of physical and inorganic chemistry to intellectually demanding topics, and to familiarise students with selected areas of current research in physical and inorganic chemistry.

Green and Environmental Chemistry

You will develop an understanding of the earth as a chemical system and an appreciation of the chemistry (and chemical complexity) of the clean and polluted environment.

You will see the central role that chemistry is playing in the development of technological solutions to the environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Science Research Project

You complete an in-depth, independent investigation into a specialist aspect of your field of study. In your project you will bring together a range of practical and academic skills developed in previous years of study. Regardless of the nature of the project, this process acts as a capstone experience requiring analysis and critical evaluation of data as well as critical reflection on the potential risks, moral and ethical issues. This piece of work will involve a significant individual contribution on your part. You will be supported by the appointment of an academic staff member as your research supervisor. They will act as a mentor and guide you through the development and completion of your research project.

Finally, you will communicate your independent research by producing a research poster and journal article to allow you to develop essential skills which mirror professional practice when research is presented at scientific conferences and for publication.


and one optional module

Chemical Frontiers and Functional Materials

This module will introduce you to some of the modern frontiers in chemical science, such as the application of chemistry to clean energy production, smart materials for advanced applications in electronics and soft matter, solid state catalysis and surface science, and biomaterials.

Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

You will combine your advanced chemistry knowledge in the context of applications in biological context. You will develop strong understanding of the concepts of drug molecules and drug targets, the process and strategies of drug development, and you will be able to appreciate the journey to bring a molecule from the laboratory bench to the pharmaceutical market following the lifecycle of a drug from discovery to clinical trials and approval. You will focus on certain essential classes of drugs, eg antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn through a range of teaching and learning methods including:

  • lectures

  • tutorials

  • seminars and workshops (including oral presentations and poster sessions)

  • laboratory work

  • computer laboratory-based sessions

  • group projects

  • research projects.

Each programme and module is supported by a specific virtual learning environment (VLE) site.

How you are assessed

You may be assessed through:

  • formal exams including 'unseen' exams

  • laboratory reports

  • computer-based assessments

  • problem-solving exercises

  • data interpretation exercises

  • critical analysis of case studies

  • oral presentations and technical interviews

  • essays, literature surveys, evaluations and summaries

  • collaborative project work

  • preparation and display of posters

  • planning, conduct and reporting of project work

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
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

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see our entry requirements

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



Work placement

A work placement officer and the University's award-winning careers service support you with applying for a placement. Advice is also available on job hunting and networking.

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.

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.


Information for international applicants


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 enrolment adviser



Entry to 2020/21 academic year

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

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: F100 BSc/Chem
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

Apply now through Clearing

Apply now

Please choose the relevant option below:

UK applicants
EU and International applicants



2020/21 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: 6 years if entering in Year 1, 4 years if entering in Year 2
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


Choose Teesside


Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and £300 credit for learning resources?



Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus



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


Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses


Get in touch


Open days