Chemistry

BSc (Hons)

Study chemistry with us and unlock your scientific curiosity supported by world-class facilities, cutting-edge research, and limitless career opportunities. 

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

3 or 4 years

UCAS code(s)

F100

Start date

Course overview

Our chemistry degree will develop your understanding of the molecular world through a dynamic syllabus of practical, hands-on learning. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with chemical engineering students, giving you the chance to acquire engineering skills and gain a broader perspective on chemistry's real-world applications. This dual expertise forms a robust foundation for career growth. You will receive comprehensive practical training, enhancing your skill set and preparing you for professional challenges, interdisciplinary learning, enriched perspectives, and hands-on expertise in the dynamic field of chemistry.

BSc Chemistry testimonial image

“The highlight of University for me personally was the laboratory sessions, as Aston has great facilities and equipment for it to be an immersive experience and to facilitate learning done in lectures."

Shameka McKoy
BSc Chemistry Graduate
Laboratory Analyst

Why Chemistry at Aston University?

Tef_gold
Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold- the highest possible rating for Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
Ranked 3rd in the UK icon
Excellent teaching quality
Chemistry was ranked 3rd in the UK for teaching quality in the UK 2023 Sunday Times
NSS 2023
100% of Chemistry students were happy with the academic support they received

Course description

BSc (Hons) Chemistry

Our chemistry degree is an innovative blend of chemistry and chemical engineering, highlighting the importance of collaboration to prepare you for working life. There is a strong focus on practical lab-based learning and we are renowned for research.

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What we will provide
You will have access to industry-standard laboratory spaces and accessibility to essential resources enabling you to develop a range of practical skills that will be vital to your career. You will be taught by research-active academics ensuring you are kept up-to-date.

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What you will provide 
It’s important you exhibit a passion for hands-on lab work, a thirst for learning, self-motivation, reflective engagement with feedback, problem-solving skills, and an appetite for continuous, experiential learning to thrive on our dynamic chemistry course.

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What skills we teach
Our curriculum will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and understanding needed to be a successful chemistry student. You will be covering practical lab skills, fundamental and enhanced chemical principles, and IT proficiency. The group projects will allow you to build on your teamwork skills, and your communication skills will constantly be developed. 

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Placement year
Undertaking a placement year on our chemistry degree allows students a glimpse of potential careers that lie ahead, helps build a network of industry contacts and provides a head start in a competitive job market upon completion of the course. Students who choose to embrace the opportunity of a placement year generally reap the benefits for years to come.

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Career prospects
Previous graduates have gone on to successful roles such as Laboratory Analysts, Science Technicians, Polymer Chemists, and Extraction Chemists in prominent firms like SOCOTEC, AkzoNobel, Molton Brown Ltd, and ALS Environmental. Our course equips students with practical skills and industry exposure, leading to diverse and rewarding career opportunities.

How you will learn

Our chemistry degree offers on-campus, practical teaching, complemented by pre-recorded lectures for additional learning. You will benefit from intimate group sessions that will guarantee a customised approach to education and support. Throughout your degree, you will encompass both traditional lectures and immersive laboratory experiences.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of industry and individuals, our course provides you with a comprehensive understanding of key chemistry concepts, alongside the opportunity to specialise in areas of chemistry that interest you.

First year

During your first year you will master essential mathematics for data analysis and lab safety protocols. Core subjects include Organic Chemistry, Chemical Analysis, Biological Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Periodic Table, and Inorganic Chemistry. These fundamentals will equip for comprehensive exploration and understanding.

Second year

For your second year you will build upon first-year knowledge, delving deeper into vital chemistry domains. You will explore diverse organic functional groups, NMR's analytical role, battery chemistry, quantum mechanics' insights in physical chemistry, extensive inorganic elements' chemistry, and life-sustaining biological chemistry. Additionally, you’ll engage with the chemistry of plastics and choose an optional module in business, chemical engineering, environment, or biology, to specialise in areas that most interest you.

Placement year

A placement will enrich your degree and knowledge, this immersive industry experience establishes connections and gains you a competitive edge for your career.

Final year

Finally, the last year of your studies will see you at the forefront of chemistry advancements. Core organic, physical, inorganic, and polymer modules ensure current knowledge in these domains to make you knowledgeable and industry ready upon completion. Tailoring your education, you choose from diverse optional modules spanning plant chemistry, advanced analysis, nanomaterials, catalysis, renewable energy, radioactive chemistry, and biomaterials. Depending on your choices, you will conduct laboratory-based research or analyse cutting-edge science through reports, analysis, or video demonstrations. This culmination at Aston University will prepare you for dynamic scientific futures in several fields.

chemical engineering

From BEng Chemical Engineering to Procter and Gamble

BEng Chemical Engineering student Georgina talks about her placement at Procter and Gamble and her future plans

Facilities

As a chemistry student, you'll enjoy a comprehensive array of resources. Our dedicated teaching spaces serve as the backdrop for hands-on practical experiments throughout every stage of your degree. You’ll have access to advanced equipment for the synthesis and refinement of chemical compounds. There is also a suite of high-value instruments, empowering you to meticulously analyse your creations, unravelling their structural intricacies and functional properties.

Course objectives

  1. Provides a comprehensive knowledge of key chemical concepts of both the main branches of chemistry (inorganic, organic, physical) and relevant interdisciplinary sections of the subject such as polymer chemistry, biological chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
  2. Provides you with detailed knowledge and critical evaluation of topics and developments at the forefront of chemical science.
  3. Produces graduates that can solve problems in chemical science and cognate subject areas.
  4. Produces graduates with a range of practical skills.
  5. Provides you with transferable and professional skills relevant to your future careers.
  6. Offers you the opportunity to obtain relevant industrial experience by providing the option of a sandwich year.
  7. Prepares you for a professional career, or for a research degree, in Chemistry.
     

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Mathematics for Chemists15
Sustainability, Design and Build15
Inorganic Chemistry I30
Organic Chemistry I30
Physical Chemistry I30
Total120

Year 1 outcomes 

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of the key concepts of the main branches of chemistry (inorganic, organic, physical).
  • Develop fundamental skills to support their chemistry learning, in particular use of appropriate software and mathematics.
  • Be able to work safely and appropriately in a chemistry laboratory.
  • Demonstrate the basic range of practical skills, relevant to the main branches of chemistry.
  • Be able to interpret, evaluate, and present both qualitative and quantitative data, in accordance with basic knowledge of the main branches of chemistry.
  • Be able to work effectively in a team or individually to complete tasks and assignments against a series of deadlines.
  • Communicate chemical information and data using appropriate chemical language, orally and visually

 

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Organic Chemistry II30
Physical Chemistry II30
Inorganic Chemistry II15
Biological Chemistry I15
Polymer I15

*You will choose one module from the below:

Module TitleCredits
Introduction to Chemical and Biochemical Engineering15
Introduction to Business Management15
Molecular Cell Biology15
Environmental Chemistry I15
Total120

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 2 outcomes 

On successful completion of the second year, you will be able to:

  • Have a broad knowledge of the key concepts, principles and theories of the main branches of chemistry (inorganic, organic, physical).
  • Have a basic knowledge of the key concepts and principles of relevant interdisciplinary sections of chemistry (analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry, biological chemistry).
  • Develop a broad range of practical skills, including the use of appropriate spectroscopic methods, to synthesise and characterise chemical products and measure chemical reactions.
  • Use established experimental techniques and fundamental skills to analyse and solve chemical problems.
  • Understand the significance and limitations of experimental data and observations.
  • Solve both qualitative and quantitative chemical problems of a routine nature.
  • Read and engage with scientific literature.
  • Communicate chemical information, data and arguments, and their analysis in a variety of forms and media to both specialist and non-specialist audience.

Placement year modules

If you opt for an integrated placement year, you will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement Year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year
 
120

Placement year outcomes

On successful completion of the placement year, you will be able to:

Work Placements 

  • Develop and understand their employers business and the relevant commercial environment and their role within it.
  • Understand key aspects of health and safety, equalities legislation, sustainably and associated good practice relevant to their employer.
  • Develop new knowledge and understanding appropriate to the industrial,business or research sector related to degree programme.
  • Communicate effectively in a variety of ways in a professional and industrial manner

Study Placements

  • Achieve at least a pass grade in a selection of modules of their choice.
  • Appraise and analyse aspects of the culture in which they have been living.
  • Reflect on experiences leading to personal development.
  • Use a portfolio system to record experience, reflection and development

Final year modules

In your final year, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Physical Chemistry III15
Inorganic Chemistry III15
Organic Chemistry III15
Polymer II15

*You will choose four modules from the below. Two choices must be from Group A and two choices from Group B. You will not be able to both Advances in Biomaterials Science and Renewable Technologies.

Group A

Module TitleCredits
Advances in Lipid Chemistry15
Advanced NMR Techniques15
Surfaces, Nanomaterials and Catalysis15
Environmental Chemistry II15
Advances in Biomaterials Science15
Renewable Technologies15

Group B

Module TitleCredits
Literature Research Project15
Demonstrating Chemistry15
Chemistry with Computers15
Total120

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Final Year Outcomes 

On successful completion of the final year, you will be able to:

  • Have a detailed knowledge of concepts and developments at the forefront of the main branches of chemistry (inorganic, organic, physical).
  • Have a broader knowledge of the key concepts of relevant interdisciplinary sections of chemistry and topics at the forefront of chemical science (e.g. polymerchemistry, biomaterials).
  • Successfully apply their detailed chemical knowledge to qualitative and quantitative chemical problems.
  • Select appropriate established experimental techniques to study problems in the main branches of chemistry as well as in more advanced topics.
  • Use the scientific literature to identify appropriate research problems and independently investigate advances and developments in a chosen field.
  • Understand the importance of ethics in chemistry and good research practice.
  • Effectively communicate chemical information, data and arguments, and its analysis using software where appropriate, in a variety of forms and media to bothspecialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Develop their independent learning and investigative skills for their own personal development.
  • Have an understanding of careers in the chemical and related industries.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBC, to include Chemistry at Grade B (standard offer)
    BCC, to include Chemistry at Grade B (with an EPQ or Core Maths at Grade B)
    BCC, to include Chemistry at Grade B (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma: DDM, plus an A-level in Chemistry at minimum Grade B
  • National Diploma and Diploma: DM (any subject), plus an A-level in Chemistry at minimum Grade B
  • Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Manufacturing Engineering: Distinction plus A-Level Chemistry at Grade B
  •  Foundation or 90 credits Diploma (any subject): DM, plus 2 A-levels, including Chemistry at Grade B
  • National Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma (any subject): M plus 2 A-levels, including Chemistry at Grade B
  • Certificate/ National Certificate Level 3: Not accepted.
  • 29 points overall and above with 5, 5, 4 at Higher Level including Higher Level Chemistry at Grade 5.

Subject related Access with at least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits at level 3 including at least 15 credits at Level 3 in Mathematics and 15 credits at Level 3 in Chemistry.

Non-standard qualifications

Degree: 

  • Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a 1st year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
     
  • Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme.

    Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 65% overall and 120 credits  on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
     
  • Year 3: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3.

T Levels are not currently accepted as an entry requirement for this course.

You may be able to access this course via our foundation programme route. 

GCSE Maths Grade C/4 and English Grade C/4 and above. 

 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£21,100
During placement year:£2,500

More information on fees

For Home students: Tuition fees for UK/Home students may change in line with government policy.

For International students: The International students fee is a fixed annual fee for the duration of the Programme, except whilst on placement when a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Explore our scholarships 

Assessment

For our chemistry degree you will primarily be assessed through on-campus exams, emphasising practical skills. You’ll write technical reports, deliver oral, recorded, and poster presentations as well as group projects. Online tests and quizzes will evaluate your knowledge.

Career prospects

Career prospects are vast and varied for chemistry graduates. Aside from specialised roles in research, development, formulation, and analysis in diverse companies, even finance, media, law, and communication sectors will seek your adaptable skills. Being in such high demand, graduates find opportunities as chemistry teachers too, showcasing the broad and valuable skill set acquired on this degree.

Graduation

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Chemistry at Aston?

If you’re interested in a career in chemistry, this course will equip you with academic knowledge and well-developed research abilities. You will also have the option to further develop your practical skills if you choose to take a year in industry. 

How will a placement year benefit me?

The optional placement year is available with all chemistry courses, giving you invaluable practical experience and enhancing your career prospects through a paid professional placement in the UK or abroad. We have excellent links with industry and will help to arrange this placement for you.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

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