UCAS code: F100
Duration: 4 years
College: Science and Engineering
Chemistry is the science of molecules – their structures, properties, synthesis, and how they interact with each other to create new molecules. Its range and compass are enormous, from the simplest compounds like methane and sodium chloride up to huge and complex biological molecules such as DNA and proteins which form the basis of life itself. An understanding of every facet of science, technology and engineering is therefore informed by knowledge of chemistry.
Furthermore a 21st century chemist can make significant contributions to a sustainable, secure and healthy future for the coming generations through the development of efficient renewable energy sources, smart materials and devices, and targeted medicinal therapies.
A chemistry degree from Edinburgh provides the intellectual framework for understanding the properties of molecules from fundamentals to the frontiers of current research. It also focuses strongly on the wide range of analytical and experimental skills necessary to practice the subject and provides insight into research via a final-year research projects in research groups working at the cutting edge of the subject.
The BSc(Hons) Chemistry degree programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
The BSc degree programme covers topics in all branches of the discipline from their fundamentals to the frontiers of modern chemical knowledge. In the early years, in addition to the core chemistry and courses in mathematics, there is a flexible curriculum to suit personal interests, allowing courses in other sciences, arts or humanities to be combined with the core chemistry content.
This flexibility also enables students to maintain options to transfer to an alternative degree programme within science or engineering at the end of the first year.
There is scope for specialisation, in materials or environmental chemistry for example, through appropriate choice of optional courses in Years 2 and 4 and research project topic.
Throughout emphasis is placed on providing a broad and varied syllabus that not only reflects the multi-faceted nature of this science but also prepares students for future careers in industry, teaching or research. In the final year, direct experience of research is engendered by an in-depth individual research assignment.
Alternatively, a final-year science education project and placement may be undertaken.
You will spend approximately a third of your first year in chemistry lectures, laboratory classes and small-group tutorials. For all students a mathematics course is also required. The remainder of your curriculum can be chosen from a broad range of courses from across the University.
You continue with your chemistry course, which again takes up about a third of your time. Additional courses such as Environmental Chemistry, Materials Chemistry, Chemical Pharmacology or courses in physics or mathematics may be required or recommended for your specific programme but most programmes still allow considerable choice of option subjects at this stage.
The range of option courses available over the first two years allows real flexibility to maintain options to transfer between different programmes within the College of Science & Engineering.
You will study compulsory chemistry courses that provide a foundation for the remaining honours years. If you are studying the Chemical Physics programme you will take a combination of chemistry and physics courses.
In the final year of your BSc, or the penultimate year of your MChem or MChemPhys, you will take compulsory courses from your programme and will choose from a range of other advanced chemistry courses. Students on the BSc programmes will have the choice between a final year research project or a science education placement with a local school, the latter providing ideal preparation for future study towards a teaching qualification.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
In modern teaching and research laboratories. In first year your lectures take place in the Central Area and thereafter all teaching and laboratory work is at the University's King's Buildings campus.
The BSc(Hons) Chemistry degree programme has the option of undertaking a Science education placement in a local high school in place of the final year research project. This provides valuable experience for students who wish to pursue a career as a teacher.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, laboratory classes, workshops and small-group tutorials.
In your first two years you will undertake 20 hours per week of timetabled study. Normally an additional 15 to 20 hours is dedicated to preparing for tutorials, writing lab reports or private study. Later years include more practical learning and research project work.
Acquisition of knowledge and understanding is achieved mainly through lectures, laboratory classes, tutorials/workshops and project work. Lectures are assessed via formal 'unseen' examinations.
In all courses understanding is reinforced by small group tutorials and/or by problem solving workshops.
Written communication, report writing and IT skills are developed via laboratory reports, posters, essays and project reports.
Oral presentation skills are acquired via formal presentations.
Practical skills and an awareness of the safety aspects of laboratory work and risk-assessment are developed progressively over the first four years of the course and through a substantial research project in the final year conducted either in an academic or industrial context.
You will be assessed through a combination of coursework, reports on laboratory practicals, presentations, exams and performance and reporting on your final year research project.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
The majority of chemistry graduates find careers in chemical or pharmaceutical companies, or utilise their broadly-based numerical, problem-solving and analytical skills in other areas such as business, banking, accountancy, marketing, advertising, or the IT sector.
All our programmes include training and practice in communication skills, team working, and in the technology of scientific information retrieval and organisation.
The typical offer is likely to be:
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
For direct entry to second year the minimum requirements must be exceeded, including the following:
Entry to many degrees in Science & Engineering is possible via other qualifications (eg HNC/D, Access, SWAP).
You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:
For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.
Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.
You will require a white lab coat, which cost £10 in 2016. You must also purchase three core text books in Year 1, which cost £120 in 2016.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.