MChem Chemistry / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course description

Choosing to study chemistry can open the door to an exciting range of career options. From practical scientist through research technologist to academic specialist, all can be reached, in part, through this contemporary, multi-disciplinary degree programme. Our innovative skills-based curriculum will give you the tools to succeed in your degree and our award-winning careers service will assist you in making choices for your future.

Our courses will equip you with an armoury of skills to take into the world of work, including the ability to analyse problems, to work collaboratively as part of a team, and to develop laboratory, numeracy and communication skills. You will also gain an appreciation for a subject which links so many scientific disciplines through applications and examples as well as practical work and learning through research. In lectures the topics and examples you discuss will be taken from the latest research, much of which is carried out right here by our academics. 

MChem (Hons) Chemistry offers you a four-year degree programme.

Special features

  • We take good care of our students and have multiple tutors to oversee the process. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is in overall charge, and you will have Academic Tutors in all branches of the subject, and a Personal Tutor.
  • MChem Chemistry is a highly flexible degree involving courses from the Department of Chemistry and a range of other Departments. For full details of all the courses see below.
  • We are also proud of our innovative PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) scheme. The PASS scheme provides additional support in the area of the current week's tutorial. It is entirely voluntary and second, third and fourth year students help first years to tackle problems defined by the content of the current tutorial. The emphasis is on showing students how to think about the problems, how to develop problem-solving skills and how to get the most from the educational resources available.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered by a mixture of the following: 
  • Traditional lectures
  • Small group tutorials
  • Laboratory classes
  • Group work
  • Individual research projects
  • Computer-based tuition
  • Workshops

A range of ancillary mathematics, data handling, presentation and IT skills, and computer based chemistry are taught on the dedicated computer cluster. There are also some group-based activities.

The Department offers a high level of learning support. You will have weekly tutorials in small groups of no more than 6. Each student has three academic tutors, one each for Organic, Inorganic and Physical chemistry. You will have your own Personal Tutor to oversee your personal welfare - each member of staff has no more than six personal tutees per year.

Practical chemistry is important in all areas of the subject, and is a key part of all our programmes. In Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 students carry out practical work in our modern well-equipped undergraduate laboratories, built to a high specification.  Our practical courses are designed to provide experience of the wide range of chemical techniques for measurement and synthesis necessary for the study of modern chemistry.  An important requirement for a chemist in the laboratory is the ability to work safely with a wide range of chemicals and equipment.  As well as providing the opportunity to do interesting chemistry our practical courses train students to work safely and effectively in the laboratory.

Finally we have the innovative PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) which meet weekly in Years 1 and 2.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is by a mixture of traditional examinations, coursework, laboratory practicals and workshops. Examinations take place in January and May each year, with around one third of the marks from continuous assessment. The first year is a simple pass/fail, but from then on a percentage of each year's assessment counts towards your final degree classification.

Course content for year 1

First-year topics include: molecular orbital approaches to chemical bonding, chemical reaction mechanisms, molecular spectroscopy; coordination chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics.

You will also attend course units that cover a range of presentational, mathematical and analytical and IT skills. Finally, you have the opportunity to study subsidiary subjects from another department.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introductory Chemistry CHEM10101 30 Mandatory
Energy and Change CHEM10212 10 Mandatory
Coordination Chemistry CHEM10312 10 Mandatory
Reactivity and Mechanism CHEM10412 10 Mandatory
Chemists' Toolkit CHEM10520 20 Mandatory
Practical Chemistry CHEM10600 20 Mandatory
Fundamentals of Biochemistry BIOL10551 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Management BMAN10011 10 Optional
Fundamentals of Finance BMAN10552 10 Optional
Environmental Processes and Change: The Global System GEOG10401 10 Optional
Dynamic Earth GEOG10422 10 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10272 10 Optional
Mathematics 1Q1 MATH19641 10 Optional
Mathematics 1E2 MATH19682 10 Optional
Entrepreneurial Skills MCEL10002 10 Optional
Properties of Medicines PHAR10102 10 Optional
Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology PHYS10191 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

The second year continues developing the core and extends topics from your first year, introducing new areas such as bonding and reactivity, chromatography, organometallic chemistry, molecular symmetry, metal-ligand bonding, polymer chemistry, advanced spectroscopy, biological and heterocyclic chemistry.

In addition to the core units you will have the opportunity to study course units introducing some of the contemporary themes of modern chemistry, as well as green and environmental chemistry. Alternatively, you may choose to study a course from the University's College for Interdisciplinary Learning , including our innovative Leadership in Action course, which combines study with volunteering and personal development.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Core Physical Chemistry CHEM20212 10 Mandatory
Group Theory: Fundamentals and Applications CHEM20311 10 Mandatory
Inorganic Chemistry CHEM20312 10 Mandatory
Organic Synthesis CHEM20411 10 Mandatory
Structure and reactivity of organic molecules CHEM20412 10 Mandatory
Chemists' Toolkit II CHEM20500 10 Mandatory
Integrated Spectroscopy and Separations CHEM20611 10 Mandatory
Practical Chemistry CHEM22600 30 Mandatory
Contemporary Themes in Chemistry CHEM20711 10 Optional
Environmental and Green Chemistry CHEM20712 10 Optional
Biomolecular Structure and Function CHEM20722 10 Optional
Leadership in Action Unit UCIL20021 10 Optional
Leadership in Action Unit UCIL20022 10 Optional
Leadership in Action Online Unit UCIL20031 10 Optional
Leadership in Action Online Unit UCIL20032 10 Optional
AI: robot overlord, replacement, or colleague? UCIL20122 10 Optional
Trust and Security in a Digital World: From Fake News to Cyber Criminals UCIL20132 10 Optional
From Antarctica to Outer Space: Surviving and Thriving in Extremes UCIL20142 10 Optional
Are We Alone? The Search for Extraterrestrial Life UCIL20211 10 Optional
The Information Age UCIL20282 10 Optional
Creating a Sustainable World: 21st Century Challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals UCIL20311 10 Optional
Current Topics in Biology UCIL20882 10 Optional
Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science and Biomedicine UCIL21202 10 Optional
Communicating with Confidence UCIL21301 10 Optional
Communicating with Confidence UCIL21302 10 Optional
Essential Enterprise UCIL22001 10 Optional
Essential Enterprise UCIL22002 10 Optional
Global Citizenship and Intercultural Understanding UCIL22501 10 Optional
Digital Society: Your Place in a Networked World UCIL26002 10 Optional
Understanding The Universe: The Grand Challenges of Today UCIL29002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 30 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

In your third year you will study advanced core units covering areas such as computational chemistry, organic and inorganic synthetic methods, surface chemistry and catalysis, molecular structure determination and photochemistry.  You will be also choose from options which cover topics that cut across the traditional subject areas (e.g. nuclear, environmental and biological chemistry), as well as some areas outside chemistry such as the History of Science or Enterprise and Innovation. You'll also take your practical chemistry and independent learning to a higher level with extended, advanced experimental and theoretical experiments, as well working with a small team to plan a short project tackling a contemporary chemistry problem.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Core Chemistry 3 CHEM30211 10 Mandatory
Core Chemistry 2 CHEM30311 10 Mandatory
Core Chemistry 4 CHEM30312 10 Mandatory
Core Chemistry 1 CHEM30411 10 Mandatory
Advanced Practical Training CHEM30620 40 Mandatory
Personalised Learning Unit 1 CHEM30111 10 Optional
Personalised Learning Unit 2.10 CHEM30112 10 Optional
Personalised Learning Unit 2.20 CHEM30122 20 Optional
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry CHEM30432 10 Optional
Biosynthesis and Bioenergetics CHEM30712 10 Optional
Biomolecular Structure and Function 2 CHEM30722 10 Optional
Environmental Radioactivity and Nuclear Power EART30252 10 Optional
The Nuclear Age HSTM31212 10 Optional
From Sherlock Holmes to CSI: a history of forensic medicine HSTM32011 10 Optional
Climate Change & Society HSTM33201 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30011 10 Optional
Advanced Technology Enterprise MCEL30012 10 Optional
Interdisciplinary Sustainable Development MCEL30022 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 3

Course content for year 4

In your final year you will undertake an extended individual project based within one of the research groups in our Department.  This will give you the opportunity work on a current problem in your chosen area of chemistry under the supervision of one of our academic staff.

You will study enhanced core course material and also choose from our extensive list of specialist optional course units, which cover cutting-edge developments in chemistry and are taught by world-leading scientists, giving you the opportunity to tailor your final year to the areas of chemistry which most inspire you.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
MChem Yr4 Project Report CHEM41600 40 Mandatory
MChem Project Planning & Literature Review CHEM41611 20 Mandatory
MChem Yr4 Project Execution CHEM42600 20 Mandatory
MChem Yr4 Project Presentation and Viva CHEM43600 10 Mandatory
Personalised Learning Unit 1.10 CHEM40111 10 Optional
Personalised Learning Unit 1.20 CHEM40121 20 Optional
Computational Modelling Techniques CHEM40241 10 Optional
Radiochemistry and Nuclear Chemistry CHEM40311 10 Optional
Advanced Organic Synthesis CHEM40411 10 Optional
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology CHEM40711 10 Optional
Advanced Bioorganic Chemistry CHEM41411 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 4

Scholarships and bursaries

For information about scholarships/bursaries/sponsorship please see our undergraduate fees pages and go to Department and university scholarships .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk