Chemistry

Focus on the industrial development, production and quality control of new drugs in a course that includes a year in industry.

Key information

Award

MSci

Duration

5 years

full-time

Typical offer

Three A-level offer: A*AA–A*A*A*

Four A-level offer: A*A*AA

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6 : 1

Based on 2015 application data

Professionally accredited

Read about this course's accreditation

  • UCAS course code: F125
  • ECTS: 300
  • Start date: October 2018

Summer School

Applications now open for 2017 Global Summer School.

Overview

Chemistry at Imperial is designed to produce chemists of the highest calibre, who are capable of pursuing a career in the chemical sciences.

All of our Chemistry courses are professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry and cover modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry in all years of study.

This degree combines our Single Honours MSci Chemistry degree with modules that focus on the identification, development and production of new drugs. It is ideal for students intending to work in the pharmaceutical and similar industries, and for those interested in biomedical research.

Years one and two of all of our chemistry courses follow the same core lecture module content supplemented by two ancillary modules. These modules are not always chemistry modules, and have been chosen to support specific degree programmes.

This high level of shared content allows many of our students the opportunity to transfer to a different course within the Department at a later stage providing they have studied the appropriate ancillary modules in years one and two.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the fourth year. Our wide choice of advanced topics makes it possible for you to follow a broad or specialised programme to suit your individual interests. You will also complete a substantial research project.

Year in industry

This degree allows you to gain paid experience of using chemistry in an industrial context. It is one year longer than its standard counterpart to accommodate the year in industry between your third and final year, while still achieving the same comprehensive chemical content.

Finding a placement will be your responsibility however help is available:

  • The Careers Service advertises placement vacancies on its online vacancy system, JobsLive.
  • The Department of Chemistry has a dedicated Industrial Liaison Officer who advertises opportunities and provides support with the application process.

Application procedures vary from company to company. They can include CV and cover letter submissions, online tests, Skype interviews, technical interviews and assessment centres.

Laboratory experience

Students in a chemistry labAll of our Chemistry courses include a high level of laboratory experience, designed to develop the practical, analytical and theoretical skills required to work in the sector.

You will take part in a wide range of laboratory-based activities in the Department, which vary from year two depending on which course you choose.

As well as traditional synthetic chemistry labs, you will also be trained in measurement science, analytical chemistry and molecular modelling, helping you gain confidence in applying a large number of different experimental techniques.

You will also take part in theoretical and mathematical methods laboratories, workshops and IT laboratories.

White City Campus

The Department of Chemistry is currently based at Imperial's South Kensington Campus. From 2018, it will also occupy the Molecular Sciences Research Hub on the College's brand new White City Campus. This will provide us with state-of-the-art research facilities and exciting opportunities for collaboration with industry.

Final-year undergraduate projects and some third- and fourth-year lectures will take place at White City. A free shuttle bus service runs between the campuses.

BSc or MSci?

We offer both Master in Science (MSci) degrees and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees.

Our MSci degrees cover more in-depth chemistry study than our BSc degrees, making them more suited to students who are considering a career in research or who may wish to progress to further study such as a PhD.

Our MSci degrees also include a substantial individual project in the final year, which gives you the chance to work in a research environment; you also engage with more advanced research-led lecture modules.

Transfer between degrees

Years one and two of our Chemistry degrees follow the same core course content, supplemented by optional modules designed to match your chosen course of study. This structure offers you the opportunity to transfer between degrees at a later stage providing you have studied the appropriate optional subjects.

You may need to meet a certain academic standard to be eligible for placements in industry or abroad.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Chemistry Coursework 1
  • Inorganic Chemistry 1
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry 1
  • Organic Chemistry 1
  • Physical Chemistry 1

Year 2

Core modules

  • Chemistry Coursework 2 for Medicinal Chemists
  • Inorganic Chemistry 2
  • Medicinal Chemistry 2
  • Organic Chemistry 2
  • Physical Chemistry 2

Year 3

Core modules

  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Advanced Chemistry Research Topics for Medicinal Chemists
  • Chemistry Coursework 3 for Medicinal Chemists

Industry Year

You spend this year on an industrial placement, normally for 12 months. During this time you remain registered as an Imperial student and usually pay reduced tuition fees to the College (see Tuition Fees and Funding). You also receive a salary from your host company.

Our strong industry links means we have an extensive list of firms willing to host our students, some of them in Europe. Alternatively, you can arrange your own placement in consultation with the Department.

The work you do during your placement must be predominantly related to chemical research.

You will complete a formal research project report on the work you have carried out. This will be assessed by your academic and industrial supervisors.

Year 5

Core modules

  • Chemistry Coursework 4 for Medicinal Chemists
  • From Molecules to Medicine

Optional modules

You choose two modules from below.

  • Advanced Catalysis
  • Advanced Stereo-Chemistry, Synthesis and Biosynthesis
  • Chemistry of Nanomaterials
  • Membrane Biophysics
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Plastic Electronics from Materials Chemistry to Device Applications
  • Renewable Energy from Solar Cells to Fuel Cells
  • Robot Chemistry

Professional accreditation

This degree leads to a Master’s level qualification and is professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

In the global market, chemistry graduates are increasingly mobile with employers looking for the best graduates across international markets. The Royal Society of Chemistry accreditation is respected around the world and helps students, parents and advisers choose high quality degree programmes which address the needs of both employers and students.

Our MSci degrees fully satisfy the RSC's academic requirement for professional registration as a Chartered Chemist (CChem). A CChem is an internationally recognised qualification earned by professionals working in the chemical sciences, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Our accreditation agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry is renewed every five years.

The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2020–21 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.


Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS) on completion of this course.

The Royal College of Science is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical workshops and guided laboratory work.

There will also be group work, literature reports and research projects in order to ensure our degrees provide a strong set of additional skills, such as presentational and communicative skills.

Assessment

Our Chemistry degrees use a variety of assessment methods, the below list provides a guide to what you can expect:

  • Written examinations
  • Oral presentation
  • Written reports
  • Coursework
  • Academic posters

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats Key Information Set (KIS).

You can use the KIS to find out how this course compares in areas such as the proportion of time spent in timetabled teaching and independent study, how the course is assessed, student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*AA–A*A*A*

Four A-level offer: A*A*AA

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • A* in Chemistry and/or Mathematics
Preferred subjects
  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Physics

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

GCSE mathematics or equivalent

You are expected to achieve a pass mark in GCSE Mathematics, or an equivalent qualification. Typically, you are expected to achieve a grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 40–42 points overall.

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

  • 7 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in a preferred subject at higher level
Preferred subjects
  • Biology
  • Economics
  • Physics

GCSE mathematics or equivalent

You are expected to achieve a pass mark in GCSE Mathematics, or an equivalent qualification. Typically, you are expected to achieve a grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics.

Advanced Placements

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in another subject

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant.

Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2016 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

Post-application open day and interview

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College you will be invited to visit the Department.

After a talk by the admissions tutor about the College, the structure of the course and other opportunities available you will experience a lecture given by one of our academics, highlighting the breadth and depth of research being conducted in the department and the way in which undergraduates have contributed to this research. You will have the chance to talk to current undergraduates over lunch and will be taken on a tour of the department and College.

Each applicant will be interviewed individually in the afternoon. The interview will comprise a discussion with two academics who will be looking to assess an applicant’s motivation for studying chemistry and their potential for the future. Although the discussion may begin with topics mentioned in the UCAS personal statement, the conversations will likely expand to cover topics that the applicant may not be so familiar with, this enables the panel to observe how an applicant things and how they reason their way through a problem.

The interview teams are highly experienced and are able to see through nerves and silly mistakes so you should not worry about answering the questions, there are no trick questions, if an answer seems obvious it might be just that.

Admissions test

As part of your visit you will be required to complete an admissions test. The admissions test sits alongside the interview and provides the admissions team with additional information concerning the way in which you think and approach problems designed to evaluate skills in logic, critical thinking and creativity. The admissions test is not a technical test so it does not matter which subjects you are currently studying and no advance preparation is necessary.

Decisions will not be made solely on the basis of either the admissions test or the interview, rather both pieces of information will be used in combination with the information from the UCAS form when making offers.

Applicants may request their Chemistry Admission Test (CAT) result from April 2018 onwards. A request must be made by the applicant, in writing to ch.admissions@imperial.ac.uk confirming your full name and UCAS ID.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Department of Chemistry have put together a list of frequently asked questions that often arise during the admissions process.

English language qualifications (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2017 entryYear in Industry (Erasmus)Year in Industry (Non-Erasmus)
£9,250 per year 15% of the relevant fee for that year  20% of the relevant fee for that year

Read more about funding for year in industry placements.

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. This is the maximum rate of tuition chargeable by institutions that achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award under the first year of the UK government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

In its TEF: Year Two specification guidance document, the government confirmed that all institutions achieving a Bronze rating or higher in Year Two will be able to charge the maximum capped amount. These ratings will be announced in spring 2017.

You should expect the fee to increase for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

We expect EU students will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition as long as the UK remains in the EU, and for the duration of their course, provided this remains lawful.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course. You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU students entering university in the UK in 2017 also have access to the Tuition Fee Loan for the duration of their course. The government has not yet confirmed arrangements for EU students starting university in 2018.

Tuition fees (Islands and Overseas students)

2017 entryYear in Industry
£28,000 per year 20% of the relevant fee for that year

Read more about funding for year in industry placements.

The above fee applies to the academic year 2017–18 only. The fee for the 2018–19 academic fee has not yet been set by the College. We will update this page as soon as this fee information is available so please check back before submitting an application for 2018 entry.

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Additional course costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (course materials) Mandatory Provided
Personal Protective Equipment Mandatory Provided
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Lab equipment and materials

The Department provides the materials you will need in the laboratory, such as glassware (with no replacement charge for breakages), printed laboratory manuals and chemicals.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, the Department of Chemistry will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge to ensure you can undertake lab work safely. This includes:

  • Gloves
  • Lab coat
  • Safety spectacles*

* we do not usually provide prescription spectacles

Lost items

If you lose an item, such as your lab coat, you will be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of its replacement.

We will charge you the same amount that we originally paid for the item. This fee is donated to ChemSoc, the student-run departmental society, to help to support their activities.

You will not be charged for a replacement if it is for another reason, such as theft or as a result of the item becoming worn out.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Careers

Chemistry graduates are recruited into practically every branch of industry. About half of our graduates pursue a PhD, while others work in roles as diverse as industrial development, production and quality control of processes, marketing, and teaching. Importantly, our MSci programmes ensure that our degrees are recognised throughout Europe, where longer undergraduate degree programmes are the norm.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • API Process Chemist, Aesica Pharma
  • Research Scientist, Merck
  • Graduate Scientist, Ministry of Defence
  • Consultant, Accenture
  • Management Consultant, Deloitte

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: F125
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2018 for entry in October 2018.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2018 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2017.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Chemistry students

Got a question?

Dr David Mountford
T: +44 (0)20 7594 5721
E: ch.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Read more on the Department of Chemistry website.

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