MChem Chemistry with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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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

Undertaking a placement in industry will allow you to develop real-world expertise and earn a salary whilst completing the third year of your degree. The transferable skills that you gain will prove invaluable in helping to shape your future career.  In recent years companies our students have undertaken placements with include GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser, AstraZeneca, Roche, AzkoNobel, Lucozade Ribena Suntory and Cancer Research UK.

Special features

Chart showing time spent in labs, weekly and in relation to other contact hours.
Chart showing time spent in labs, weekly and in relation to other contact hours.
A range of study options

It's possible to broaden your degree by taking units from the University College , Business and Management for all Programmes in exchange for a few units from your degree.

Foundation Year available

You can prepare for the full degree course if you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry by undertaking our foundation course first.

Flexibility to transfer between courses

You can transfer between most of our chemistry degree courses (apart from Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry) up to Year 3.

Additional course information

Your industrial placement year

You'll undertake your industrial placement in Year 3 and also complete the 4th year research project, so you gain both industrial and academic research experience.

You'll spend your third year gaining valuable paid experience in the chemical industry. An Academic Tutor will keep in contact throughout the year and visit you at your placement. You'll undertake core chemistry modules by distance learning over the web, for which tutorial support is provided. Assessment will involve a report and presentation marked by the Academic Tutor and a performance assessment provided by the industrial supervisor.

We will charge less than the standard half fee for students taking up a year in industry and offer to waive or significantly discount this fee for students from less well-off backgrounds. Further information about the University's extensive programme of scholarships and bursaries can be found on our Student finance page, under University support .

Community

ChemSoc is a student-run society with the aim of giving chemistry students the complete experience whilst at The University of Manchester. The year begins with the infamous lab coat pub crawl and concludes with a fantastic annual ball! In between ChemSoc hosts socials alongside other societies, allowing your inner passion for your subject to come out and show everyone that chemistry is the best subject.

The society has two successful sports teams, football and netball, with the football team winning the league last year! Teams comprise of first years right through to PhD students, so you will be able to meet lots of new faces!

Besides the social side the society has reinvented its academic aspects; ChemSoc hosts research talks accessible to all students featuring our high level of research from Manchester. Finally, the society encourages students to think about their employability, and have worked closely with the Careers Service to run events throughout the year, such as a LinkedIn workshop.

Our blog

You can read about our students' experience in studying chemistry, work placement and study abroad diaries, as well as alumni profiles in our department blog .

Teaching and learning

Undergraduates have around 20 hours contact time per week and are expected to spend around 30 hours in private study.

Your week will be made up of:

  • Lectures
  • Small group tutorials
  • Laboratory classes
  • Group work
  • Individual research projects
  • Computer-based tuition - A range of ancillary mathematics, data handling, presentation and IT skills, and computer based chemistry are taught on the dedicated computer cluster.
  • Workshops
  • PASS session - student-led peer-assisted study sessions where second and third year students help you to develop learning strategies and techniques.

Personalised learning support

Chemistry at Manchester offers a high level of learning support. You will have weekly tutorials in small groups of no more than 6.

You'll have three Academic Tutors, one each for Organic, Inorganic and Physical chemistry. You'll also be allocated a Personal Tutor to oversee your personal welfare - reflect on your academic and personal development, discuss future goals and agree action plans.

PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) and Peer Mentoring

We are also proud of our innovative PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) and Peer Mentoring 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.

The Peer Mentoring scheme is exclusively for second year students applying for industrial placements and the mentors are fourth-year students who have experienced the whole industrial placement process.

Additional maths support

We offer additional Maths support to all our students. In Year 1 this is by means of a programme of online, self-directed study with weekly support clinics if you need additional support or advice.

Practical chemistry

Practical chemistry is important in all areas of the subject, and is a key part of all our programmes. Throughout your degree you'll 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. As well as providing the opportunity to do interesting chemistry our practical courses train students to work safely and effectively in the laboratory.

Year 4 research project

Your extended individual project will be 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.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is by a mixture of traditional examinations, coursework, laboratory practical and workshops.

Assessment methods vary widely to suit the nature of the course unit and each level of study. 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.

During your placement year

Whilst on placement you will be supported by a visiting academic tutor, who will keep in contact with you and your placement supervisor, as well as visiting you twice during the year. There will be a small element of core chemistry material to keep you up to speed with organic and inorganic topics, taught by online distance learning units and supported remotely by specialist subject tutors. At the end of your placement, you will submit a written report and make an oral presentation which your academic tutor will mark. Your overall performance during the year will be also be assessed by your industrial placement supervisor.

Course content for year 1

Your 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 - see the list of optional course units below.

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
Structure and Reactivity 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
Displaying 10 of 16 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.

Students on the Industrial Experience programme are responsible for finding their own placement.  You will be supported in this by our Careers Service, the programme director and our employability intern, who will offer advice on CV preparation, the application process and interview/assessment centre preparation.  Our annual careers fair involves many placement providers and you will also have the opportunity to receive advice from students who have been successful in obtaining placements in previous years.

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 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
Information Visions: Past, Present and Future 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
Communicating with Confidence UCIL21301 10 Optional
Communicating with Confidence UCIL21302 10 Optional
Digital Society: Your Place in a Networked World UCIL26002 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 24 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Your third year will be spent undertaking a year-long placement. You will find yourself in the role of a real employee within a company with some chemistry-related activity, doing things like chemical synthesis, analytical chemistry, product formulation and quality control. During your placement, you will be paid as a normal employee would be and will be subject to the internal structures and normal pressures of the workplace.

Whilst on placement you will be supported by a visiting academic tutor, who will keep in contact with you and your placement supervisor, as well as visiting you twice during the year. There will be a small element of core chemistry material to keep you up to speed with organic and inorganic topics, taught by online distance learning units and supported remotely by specialist subject tutors. At the end of your placement, you will submit a written report and make an oral presentation which your academic tutor and industrial placement supervisor will mark.

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
MChem Placement CHEM30640 100 Mandatory
Core Chemistry 4 (Distance Learning) CHEM31312 10 Mandatory
Core Chemistry 1 (Distance Learning) CHEM31411 10 Mandatory

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
Core Chemistry 3 (level 4) CHEM40221 10 Mandatory
Core Chemistry 2 (level 4) CHEM40341 10 Mandatory
MChem Yr4 Project Report CHEM41600 40 Mandatory
MChem Yr4 Project Execution CHEM42600 20 Mandatory
MChem Yr4 Project Presentation and Viva CHEM43600 10 Mandatory
MChem Project Planning & Literature Review CHEM44600 20 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 13 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 .

What our students say

Read our blog to find out what our current students on work placements are up to, and gain a unique insight into their placement year.

Facilities

The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Our modern teaching laboratories are equipped Our modern teaching laboratories are equipped with a wide range of specialist facilities including:

  • State-of-the-art synthetic labs for project work.
  • Dedicated NMR spectrometer for exclusive use by undergraduates.
  • A suite of dedicated analytical instrumentation.
  • The undergraduate teaching labs also have 3 HPLC and one HPLC-MS instruments to help you learn the fundamentals and applications of measurement and of separation science.
  • Ten spectrophotometers and a suite of infra-red spectrometers for measuring solids, liquids and gases.

You will also have access to:

  • Open access research laboratories for Separations, EPR, NMR and Mass Spectrometry.
  • Cutting-edge X-ray diffractometers.
  • Research Computing Facility to support teaching & learning in computational and theoretical science.

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