Applied Chemistry BSc (Hons)


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About this course

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 BSc (Hons) is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It will provide you with a general core of chemistry together with a range of applied chemistry options, thus providing a degree of flexibility to your studies. It places a strong emphasis on 'hands-on' laboratory work and applications of chemistry to the modern world. At least 40% of the curriculum involves laboratory or computer based experimentation and access to modern instrumental techniques will be paramount in your development. A thorough grounding in theoretical aspects will provide you with the skills, knowledge and problem-solving abilities required for a successful career in industry, teaching, research and other careers where scientific skills are valued.

The programme aims to:

  • provide you with a knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of chemistry and its application to selected areas
  • enable you to develop and apply your skills and methodology to 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 learn more about chemistry and chemistry-related subjects
  • demonstrate the importance of chemistry in an industrial, economic, environmental and social context
  • provide you with challenging and innovative teaching and learning
  • satisfy the requirements of the Royal Society of Chemistry for Associate Membership and provide you with the basis for progression to Chartered Chemist status through further study.

The distinctive aspects of the programme include

  • A range of option modules including those based in medicinal, environmental, polymer, and computational chemistry as well the opportunity to participate in the 'Students into Schools' scheme as part of the assessed programme
  • the opportunity for a salaried industrial placement between the second and final years of academic study
  • a final-year undergraduate research project.

This is a full-time course with an optional year-long work placement after the second year of academic study.

Year 1
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. At this level there are no option choices.

Year 2
In the second year, the core themes of chemistry are developed further to give you more understanding of the subject. Higher laboratory, intellectual and transferable skills will be practised and enhanced, and an appreciation of statistics introduced. Through an option module you will be able to choose a specialist focus of study, e.g. the application of chemistry to modern materials, to 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 a valuable insight into the commercial applications of the chemical sciences. This optional placement year also provides further development and 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.

Final year
In your final year, you will study core chemistry modules, developing the inorganic, organic physical and analytical themes from earlier years and focusing on a selection of advanced topics from a wide pool. This year also features modules aimed at current chemical research and application involving predominantly an independent study approach. Option modules will be available to develop your specialist expertise.

You will also undertake, under the guidance of an academic supervisor, a year-long research project into a specific area of chemistry.

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.

Our graduates have progressed into a range of roles, including analytical chemistry positions in the pharmaceutical industry, and process engineering positions in the fine and bulk chemical sector.  Graduates have also used their chemical expertise to gain employment in technology companies, making products as diverse as paints, plastics and washing powder.

The degree programme also leads to continued academic study to MSc or PhD level study.  For those students considering teaching as a career, the final year offers a chance to take 'students into schools' modules as option choices, working in a school under the supervision of qualified teachers.

 90% in work or further study within six months of graduating (Unistats 2014)

Course info


Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years sandwich

Department Applied Sciences

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2015

Applied Chemistry BSc (Hons)