Chemistry BSc

Love chemistry and want to study in a department renowned for its incredible research? Then Chemistry at Aston could be for you. This course introduces all the important knowledge and skills that enables a graduate to work in a wide variety of industrial, commercial and social sectors, playing an important role for society and its sustainable development.

 

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time (Hons)

Course format

Optional placement year

Duration

3 or 4 years

UCAS code(s)

F100

Start date

Overview
Explore Chemistry at Aston University

Watch Chemistry student Haleema Ayub talks about her experiences of studying at Aston.

Take a look at the laboratory spaces for chemical engineering and applied chemistry at Aston and the equipment our labs feature. 

Shameka McKoy

“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
Current position: Laboratory Analyst

Shameka McKoy

“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
Current position: Laboratory Analyst

Course outline and modules

Countless consumer and industrial products, medicines and pharmaceuticals are produced using processes developed from the fundamental principles of chemistry. Almost everything we do and use in our daily lives relies on Chemistry in some way! From the smartphone in your pocket to the soaps and shampoos you use every day or sanitary fluids used in our homes; Chemistry underpins all aspects of everyday life.

Our course will provide you with a fundamental understanding of Chemistry and equip you with the technical and scientific skills to work in exciting and groundbreaking areas of cutting-edge research and industry. We will refine and develop your professional personal, communication and management skills throughout your degree to ensure you are ready to compete in the global job market. You also have the opportunity to carry out a 12 month industrial placement before your final academic year. Students who take advantage of this opportunity find the experience extremely beneficial both for their development as a chemist and their final year performance.

Ultimately you will be equipped for a successful career in chemistry, the chemical industries or a vast range of alternative scientific, business and professional occupations such as teaching.

What you’ll learn

The modules you will study as students on the BSc (Hons) Chemistry course allow you to explore the industrial, pharmaceutical, technological and commercial dimensions of chemistry. You also share your first year with chemical engineers to gain a deeper insight into industrial processes. Initially, your studies will focus on the core chemistry subjects such as organic, inorganic and fundamental physical chemistry, with Mathematics for Chemists and elements of engineering design and build in the chemical industry. In the later years of the course you will cover exciting topics, first at core and then at advanced level, such as polymer synthesis and manipulation, biocompatibility, nanomaterials, environmental chemistry, sustainability, catalysis and advanced analytical techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) spectroscopy.

As a Chemist, you will undertake a literature research project in the final year. Working under the supervision of our academic staff, you will gain a deep understanding of cutting-edge research in important areas such as sustainability, renewable energy or the ageing society.

In addition to core modules, a range of optional modules are introduced that allow you to explore additional topics to help you make informed career choices and aid your further development as a Chemistry professional.

Modules

Year 1

Core Modules

•    Sustainability, Design and Build 
•    Organic Chemistry I 
•    Physical Chemistry I 
•    Inorganic Chemistry I
•    Mathematics for Chemists 

Year 2

Core modules

•    Organic Chemistry II 
•    Biological Chemistry I
•    Physical Chemistry II 
•    Polymer I 
•    Inorganic Chemistry II 

Choose one optional module:

•    Introduction to Business Management 
•    Introduction to Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
•    Molecular Cell Biology
•    Environmental Chemistry I
 

Year 3 - Optional placement year

Find out more about the Aston placement year.

•    EPS Study Placement Year
•    EPS Industrial Placement Year 
•    EPS Study/Work Placement Year  

Final Year 

Core Modules

•    Physical Chemistry III 
•    Organic Chemistry III 
•    Polymer II
•    Inorganic Chemistry III 

Choose 3 optional modules, with at least one choice from Group A, and a maximum of two from Group C:

Group A


•    Advances in Lipid Chemistry
•    Advanced NMR Techniques 
•    Biological Chemistry II
•    Surfaces, Nanomaterials and Catalysis

Group B

•    Advances in Biomaterials Science 
•    Renewable Technologies
•    Chemical and Forensic Toxicology 
•    Environmental Chemistry II
•    Frontiers of the Periodic Table

Group C

•    Literature Research Project
•    Demonstrating Chemistry
•    Chemistry with Computers

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 and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham, it’s also a great place to live.

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 and our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Choosing to start your Aston journey with one of our foundation programmes will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from academics and group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of peers who will share your university journey.

We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support and offer pre-sessional English language programmes.

For International Students intending to do a foundation year, visit ONCAMPUS.

Entry requirements

Typical offers:

A Levels
  • BBC including Chemistry at Grade B
     
  • BCC including Chemistry at Grade B (with an EPQ or Core Maths at Grade B)
     
  • BCC including Chemistry at Grade B (contextual offers*)
IB

29 points overall and above with 5, 5, 4 at Higher Level including Higher Level Chemistry at Grade 5.

BTEC
  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma (any subject): 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.
     
  • 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
Access & other

Access

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

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

Students completing T levels in 2022
T levels in the following subjects are not accepted for entry to this course: Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction; Digital Production, Design and Development; Education and Childcare.  Please note that where a T level is listed as 'Not acceptable' this is because the T level does not cover subject specific knowledge that we normally require at A level.  If you have taken both a T level and an additional A level or A levels please consult the admissions team for advice in relation to any degrees where T levels are listed as 'not accepted.'

Students completing T levels in 2023 and beyond
There are now an additional seven T Level qualifications in: building services; engineering for construction; digital business services; digital support and services; health; healthcare science; onsite construction and science. The first student cohorts from these subjects will complete their courses in the summer of 2023. We will publish details of the progression opportunities to our degree programmes from these T Levels by September 2022.

Further Requirements

GCSE requirements: Maths Grade C/4 and English Language Grade C/4
 
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation.
 

Our Admissions Policy

View our Admissions Policy

Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).

Entry onto our Foundation Year maybe offered as an alternative to the degree course if lower entry grades are achieved.

*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

International students

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Facilities, teaching and assessment

Our courses incorporate lectures, tutorials, plant visits and hands-on laboratory sessions. In the final year of study, you will conduct an independent project, developing essential problem-solving skills with specialist supervision from staff and industrial consultants, working on solving real world problems that address societal needs such as renewable energy, sustainability and health.

Assessment is by a combination of exams, literature research project delivery, practical laboratory work and coursework. Your final degree classification is determined by your performance in all years after the first year.

As part of our Chemistry degrees you will have access to our high quality laboratories. There you will learn the skills to design and build a process rig, work safely and effectively in a chemical laboratory and gain a broad range of skills in the synthesis and characterisation of molecular structures.

Alongside these practical skills, you will utilise the latest software packages to further develop your understanding of many of the important chemical and analytical concepts you learn in your lectures. Using programmes that simulate the behaviour of molecules you will plan chemical reaction pathways and analyse data to extract patterns and trends.

Chemical Engineering lab photo

 

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £9,250

During placement year: £1,250

International and EU students (2023/24)

Annual tuition fees: £20,650*

During placement year: £2,500

More information

* The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as Home students.
Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/student-support-in-england

Tuition fees are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees

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. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

The study of Chemistry is a springboard to your future, whether or not you decide to enter a directly related career, and is a highly stimulating and rewarding choice. Your broad grounding in the principles of chemistry will prepare you to enter research, development or production in the chemical industry or undertake postgraduate research or teaching certificates. The general skills you will acquire will also be perfect preparation for a career in areas as diverse as scientific writing/publishing, commerce, administration, accounting, banking or the civil service.  

Recent graduates have progressed to join large organizations including BT, Kodak, BP, Unilever, Solvay and AkzoNobel.

Love chemistry and want the opportunity to study in a department renowned for its incredible research? Then Chemistry at Aston is for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Chemistry at Aston?

If you’re interested in a career in chemical engineering industry or commerce, this course will give you the academic knowledge and well-developed research abilities, as well as practical skills if you choose to take a year in industry. 

What will I be doing on the Chemistry course at Aston?

You will be expanding your fundamental chemical knowledge, refining your professional, scientific and technical skills and developing your personal, communication and management skills.  

Ultimately you will be equipped for a successful career in chemistry, the chemical industries or a vast range of alternative scientific, business and professional occupations such as teaching. 

Why should I take a year out in industry?

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.

Why should international students choose Aston University?

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

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.  

Choosing to start your Aston journey with our foundation programme will help you develop specialist knowledge to ensure that you are fully prepared to study your chosen undergraduate course. 

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