Applied Chemistry MChem
COURSE INFORMATION (2013 ENTRY)
4 years full-time or 5 years sandwichHealth and Life Sciences
Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus
Chemistry is the science that underpinned most of the major discoveries of the 20th century and will continue to do so throughout the 21st, as emphasis moves towards the understanding of biological approaches and more eco- friendly synthetic systems. Applied Chemistry concentrates on the uses of chemistry in modern society, in areas such as nanotechnology, drug delivery systems, new materials, computer designed molecules, biotransformations and cell factories, to emphasise just a few.
The Applied Chemistry MChem is an enhanced undergraduate course which is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It is specifically, but not exclusively, designed for those who wish to make a career in research and to achieve professional status. This four year course, (five years if you choose to do an optional work placement), places a strong emphasis on 'hands-on' laboratory work and applications, supported by a thorough grounding in theoretical aspects, providing you with the skills and knowledge required for a successful career in industry, teaching or research. At least 40% of the curriculum involves laboratory or computer based experimentation and access to modern instrumental techniques will be paramount in your development. The final year involves the selection of advanced topics as well as an extensive (six modules) research exercise.
The course aims to:
- provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of chemistry
- provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the applications of chemistry to selected areas
- enable you to develop and apply your skills and methodology to a study a range of techniques used in chemistry and applied chemistry
- develop your professional transferable skills as exemplified by communication, information technology, problem solving and teamwork
- help you understand chemistry and chemistry-related subjects
- give you an appreciation of the importance of chemistry in an industrial, economic, environmental and social context
- provide you with challenging and innovative teaching and learning
- equip you with the advanced knowledge and expertise required to undertake a research career in chemistry or a related discipline
- develop your critical faculties and problem solving skills to facilitate employment in non-scientific careers
- provide you with a grounding for continuing education and development, as well as encouraging your initiative, personal responsibility and the ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
- satisfy the requirements of the Royal Society of Chemistry for Membership and provide you with the basis for progression to Chartered Chemist status through further study
The distinctive aspects of the course include:
- A strong emphasis on the development of practical laboratory skills and hands-on experience of modern scientific instrumentation and method
- An optional sandwich placement year in industry
- A range of option modules including those based in medicinal, environmental, polymer and computational chemistry
- The option to transfer to the Applied Chemistry BSc (Hons) degree as a result of a common or equivalent programmes of study at early levels
- An M-level (level 7) study module concentrating on the acquisition of research-led and research-focused knowledge and skills
The first year will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the study of the key areas of chemistry together with the appropriate mathematical support. Your analytical and laboratory skills will be developed, and modern applications of chemistry introduced.
In the second year, the core themes of chemistry are developed further and a gradual change from comprehension to analysis and application is made. You will be able to practise higher laboratory, intellectual and transferable skills and you will look at statistics. Through an option module, you can choose a specialist focus of study, eg the application of chemistry to modern materials, analytical methodologies or to aspects of medicine.
Optional Placement Year
Between the second and third year of academic study, you can choose an optional, salaried industrial placement, thus enhancing your future job prospects and providing you with a valuable insight into the commercial applications of the chemical sciences.
Year 4 (Year 3 if work placement not undertaken)
In the fourth year, you will study core chemistry, developing the inorganic, organic, physical and analytical themes from earlier years and focusing on a selection of advanced topics from a wide pool. A research project will give you the opportunity to undertake a major investigation into a chosen area and a Scientific Literature Review module will fine-tune your abilities as an independent learner. At this level, you can develop your specialist expertise through further option modules.
In the final year, the focus is primarily on research-led or current and specialist topics within chemistry. You will complete a research project in an area different from that in your fourth year and this comprises half the programme of study. You will also study a selection of topics at the frontiers of research and the remaining time is devoted to specialist advanced topics relating to current staff research interests.
LEARNING AND TEACHING METHODS
The programme is delivered via a range of lectures, seminars, tutorials and IT sessions. These are complemented by practical and laboratory activity, which accounts for over 40% of the delivery.
This emphasis on practical laboratory analysis provides the student with a strong laboratory foundation in a wide range of methodologies and practical skills using state-of-the-art instrumentation.
The teaching practices are designed to develop the transferable skills expected of a science graduate, particularly with regard to communication and presentation of the results of investigations as well as IT skills. The final postgraduate year of the programme includes a major research project, which is of a particular advantage to students wishing to move into PhD study.
Your assessment methods will include exams, assignments, laboratory reports, problem-solving exercises, data analysis, presentations (oral and poster style), literature surveys and project work. The majority of these assessment methods are classed as coursework and many include laboratory or practical elements.
The different assessment methods in the programme provide wide diversity, incorporating the best techniques to fit both the particular subject under study and the depth of learning required at undergraduate and then, in the final year of study, at postgraduate level.
This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) as suitable for admission to Associate Membership of the Society (AMSRC). Graduates who are awarded an RSC accredited degree at Masters level (such as this programme) fulfil the academic requirements for the award of CChem from the RSC.
Transfer between many of the chemistry programmes within the School is possible at the end of either semester 1 or semester 2 of Year 1. It is also possible to step down to the BSc (Hons) Applied Chemistry programme at the end of the second year or to opt to leave with a BSc degree at the end of the third year of study.
Our graduates have progressed into a range of roles within the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, covering all aspects of chemistry from analytical to synthetic. The degree programme also leads to continued academic study to PhD level.
The optional placement year provides further development of an appreciation of science in an industrial, commercial, or service-based context whilst enhancing your abilities for independent and team work, communication skills, time-management as well as a range of other people- and life-skills.
Staff expertise covers all core areas of chemistry. Our staff also have direct involvement in research in a range of topic areas.
Upon successful completion, you may wish to carry on your studies by working towards an MSc, MRes, PGCE or PhD qualification.
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Northumbria University has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information published is accurate at the time of publication. However, the University gives no warranty or representation as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information.