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Chemistry (BSc)

  • F100

3 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Chemistry is a fundamental and exciting discipline, and one that plays a significant role in many areas of science and in everyday life. This BSc degree is designed to give you a broad education in chemistry and, in addition, to supply you with a wide range of research, mathematical and computational skills, with practical training an essential element. The programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and is suitable not only for students who want to progress to a career in chemistry or related disciplines, but also those who wish to use the framework of knowledge and skills obtained in a wider context, such as in business or administration.

Key Facts

UCAS Code F100
Duration 3 years
How to apply
Accreditation  Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Typical places available The School admits 180 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Typical applications received 450
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB
Admissions Tutors Dr Tom Tatchell
Tel Number 029 2087 0759
Email address
School website

The course structure is very flexible with all Cardiff's Chemistry degree programmes sharing a common first and second year. Transfer to the BSc Chemistry with Industrial Experience programme is possible at the end of Year 1 or 2. Transfer to an MChem programme is also permitted, subject to achieving an average mark of at least 55% in each of the first two years.

Year One

The programme in the first year is designed to stimulate your interest in Chemistry whilst giving you a sound foundation upon which to build in later years. There are five core chemistry modules based around the three principal areas of the subject, but also including coverage of key skills for chemists.

These are complemented by a range of optional modules, which are reviewed and updated regularly. These allow you to exercise choice over your studies and extend your breadth of experience. Current examples include:

You may also take optional modules in other disciplines, such as Biological Sciences, Physics or Modern Languages.

Year Two

In the second year you will take more advanced modules that allow you to practise and consolidate your new skills by applying them to a wide range of problems. These include:

Final Year

The sound basis provided over Years 1 and 2 is consolidated in the final year with following core modules.

You will also be able to choose from optional modules that reflect the research strengths of the School, such as:

A substantial research project is also undertaken in the final year.

The Cardiff School of Chemistry provides an outstanding and stimulating environment for chemical education. The undergraduate programmes reflect, and are fully embedded in, the research strengths of the School, with, for example, substantial final-year projects that are fully integrated into research groups. The degree programmes are designed to enable students to achieve their maximum potential by providing the required teaching, laboratory and other facilities, and pastoral care.

Teaching is undertaken through a series of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. All of these are supported by material hosted on our intranet system, Learning Central.


The major part of the teaching provided by the staff is through lectures, typically 10-12 lectures per week, each of 50 minutes duration. The subject matter is supported in various ways according to the nature of the topic, by slides, computer presentations, overhead transparencies, handouts and course summaries.

Laboratory Work

The second major part of teaching consists of the practical classes, again typically averaging about 10-12 hours each week. In the first year, the emphasis is on basic techniques and simple but accurate recording of observations. These skills are taught by practical demonstrations and supported by a range of e-learning resources available free to all students and readily accessible. Self-tests allow you to gain an insight into a whole host of differing practical techniques, and to correct your mistakes, before actually attending the laboratory sessions. There are also electronic resources that help you to understand the theory and practical application of spectroscopic techniques. In later years, laboratory work progresses towards substantial experiments requiring careful planning, analysis and interpretation of results, and reporting to a professional standard. Practical work is integrated into each core module in the first two years, and this provides experience in all the main laboratory procedures and techniques across Chemistry. The training through the various years is designed progressively to extend your level of proficiency in practical chemistry, so that you are ready to undertake your independent research project at the end of your degree.

Information Technology

Cardiff makes good use of Information Technology (IT) in its Chemistry degree programmes. Undergraduates are taught how to use the latest software and molecular modelling packages and it is expected that in the later years all submitted work should be professionally presented. Facilities to enable this are provided in the form of well-equipped computer suites.

Small-group teaching

Tutorial classes in small groups are given in all years spent in Cardiff to allow practice in the material presented in lectures, discussion and analysis of the lecture material, as well as the development of communication skills. These sessions are delivered by three allocated staff members, one specialist in each of the areas of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. The same three tutors will generally remain assigned to each group throughout your degree. One of these tutors will also be designated as your personal tutor, and with all staff operating an open door policy, students can always approach staff with any problems that they may have academic or otherwise.

Research Project

All chemistry degree programmes in Cardiff have a major element of independent, supervised research. In the final year of the BSc programme, you will join a research group working in your preferred area of chemistry, and be allocated a topic to investigate. You will work under the guidance of a internationally recognised expert in the field, and present the results of your work both orally and in writing. This has in the past occasionally led to undergraduate students being co-authors of published papers.

Typical A-level Offer

AAB including grade B in Chemistry

Ideally at least one other science or mathematical subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted for entry. Also grade C or higher in GCSE Maths and English or Welsh (as appropriate).

Typical WBQ Offer WBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level (at the grades specified above), excluding Chemistry
Typical Int Bacc Offer  32 points to include 10 points in total from Higher Level Chemistry and another science or Mathematical subject. Chemistry is to be at least 5 points within this total.
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed information about alternative entry requirements here

Please find here further information about admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme.

As a graduate chemist, you can expect a wide range of career options. Many of our graduates join the chemical industry, while others enter academic or government establishments. Some use the logical and practical training of a chemistry degree to enter marketing, sales, management or finance. Further possibilities are in scientific journalism and publishing. Others become teachers or use their skills in environmental conservation, clinical and forensic laboratories and in quality control throughout the manufacturing industry.

In 2010, 92% of the School’s graduates were in employment or further study within six months of graduation. Employers of BSc graduates included: GE Healthcare, Lafarge aggregates, Virgin Media, Wessex Water, Cardiff Council, and Aviva Technology. Career Destinations included: healthcare assistant, trainee chemistry teacher, health and safety assistant and trainee accountant.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Thomas Tatchell Admissions Tutor 

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0759  



School Website:

More information