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Courses

Chemistry with a Year Abroad (MChem)

  • F102

4 years (Full-time) / n/a (Part-time) / n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

This four-year MChem programme takes you to the heart of modern science and technology, embracing mathematics and physics on one hand, and medicine and the life sciences on the other. It provides a solid grounding across the whole subject of chemistry before focusing in depth on specific areas of interest, and culminates in a major research project, working with world-leading experts. During the year abroad, you will continue with your academic work as well as undertaking an extended supervised research project as a junior member of a research group in the host institution, with the entire year being assessed as part of your degree. We offer placements in partner institutions across the world, in Europe, North America, Africa and Australasia. The programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and provides the opportunity not only to develop your knowledge and understanding to a higher level than is possible in a BSc degree, but also to gain experience of living and working overseas.

Practical session in Chemistry lab

Key Facts

UCAS Code F102
Duration 4 years
How to apply www.cardiff.ac.uk/howtoapply
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 www.cardiff.ac.uk/scholarships
Fees www.cardiff.ac.uk/fees
Typical A-level offer AAA-ABB
Admissions Tutors Dr Tom Tatchell
Tel Number 029 2087 0759
Email address chemistry-ug@cardiff.ac.uk
School website www.cardiff.ac.uk/chemy

The course structure is very flexible with all Cardiff's Chemistry degree programmes sharing a common first and second year. Transfer to the MChem Chemistry with a year in industry, or MChem Chemistry programmes is possible at the end of Year 1 or 2.
The four-year MChem Chemistry with a Year Abroad programme builds on the strong platform of the common first two years by exploring particular areas in greater detail in Years 3 and 4. This gives you an in-depth knowledge as a sound basis for research and further study in your chosen specialist field.

The programme has met the Royal Society of Chemistry requirements for accreditation. This means you can gain the title Chartered Chemist (CChem), when you have had the necessary further experience in a relevant job after graduation.

Year One

The first year ensures that you have a thorough basis for further study by consolidation and extension of previous experience in all aspects of the subject. 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:

Students may also take optional modules in other disciplines, such as Modern Languages, which is encouraged if you intend to spend Year 3 in Europe.

Year Two

The second year of the programme is where the main development of core material occurs. All modules are core and cover rigorously and in detail central material across all of the main areas of chemistry. They include:

Year Three

You will spend your third year in a university abroad and thus have the opportunity to experience the working practices and culture of a different country. We have partner institutions in almost all European countries, as well as in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. The placement is organised by the School, dependent on your interests and strengths, and the School maintains close contact with you throughout your period away from Cardiff. A research project, supervised in the host institution, but assessed primarily in Cardiff, forms a significant part of the year away. In addition you will take three modules by ‘distance learning’, one each in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, thus ensuring that you have covered the same core material as students who spend Year 3 in Cardiff.

Year Four

A substantial year-long research project in an area of your choosing provides the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the skills you have acquired, in the form of research at the forefront of knowledge. There are no compulsory theory modules at this level: you will be able to select optional modules to match your interests.

Visit the Cardiff School of Chemistry website for more information about modules and credits.

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 in Cardiff is undertaken through a series of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical classes. Additionally, during the year abroad, you will study using course material provided remotely. All of these teaching methods are supported via our intranet system, Learning Central.

Lectures

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 MChem Chemistry with a year abroad programme, students undertake two research projects. One is conducted during the year abroad, and the second takes the form of a 60 credit module in the fourth year, occupying about two days each week of both semesters. It includes planning, carrying out experimental work, analysis of results and reporting in a thesis. 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

AAA-ABB 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  Pass the Advanced Diploma and BB at A-level, including B in 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 MChem graduates included: CapGemini Consulting, Johnson Matthey, Akzo Nobel and Vectura. Career Destinations included: research scientist, technologist, associate consultant, and PhD researcher.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Thomas Tatchell  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0759  

Fax:  

Email: chemistry-ug@cardiff.ac.uk  

School Website: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/chemy/

More information