UCAS Code: F105
Typical offer:
Four years


UCAS Code: F100
Typical offer: ABB
Three years

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Pathway programme at our International College

How to apply for this course

Other chemistry degrees:

About the course

I have been very lucky to experience a great department with interesting and informative lectures, which run parallel with complimentary laboratory and research projects. This coupled with a peer group and academics that support you through your studies with tutorials, workshops and regular help sessions provides an enjoyable and interesting place of learning.

Tom Roseveare, MCHEM Chemistry

Our degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which means that we cover all of the topics and training that you need to graduate into a professional chemistry career. We structure the course content around three areas: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry. Some of the subjects you'll cover are set out in the 'Course structure' tab.

At the start of your first year, you will be given a laboratory resource pack, including a lab coat, safety glasses and safety gloves, so you can start practical work right away. There are also mathematics classes (at a level that depends upon your highest mathematics qualification), and a physics course for students who don't have an A level in physics.

You'll do more practical work as the course progresses, leading to a month-long group research project in third year. By then, you'll be able to handle sensitive chemicals and conduct experiments over multiple days. At the same time, our "Skills for Success" module will help you identify and develop skills that will be of use in life, future study and employment.

Fourth year 
The four-year MChem is our most popular course. The fourth year has more practical work and more options to specialise. There are a range of advanced lecture modules to choose from, and you'll run your own in-depth research project over six months, working with professional scientists in one of our world-class research groups. This can lead to your work being published in respected scientific journals before you've even graduated.

Course structure

Chemistry structure 

Below are some examples of topics covered in this degree from the current academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For more details see our online prospectus (MChem or BSc).

Year 1:

  • Organic Chemistry: functional groups and their reactivity, reaction mechanisms.
  • Inorganic Chemistry: structure and bonding of main group and transition metal compounds.
  • Physical Chemistry: electronic structure of molecules, kinetics, thermodynamics.
  • Laboratory Chemistry: developing your key skills in analytical chemistry, spectroscopy and synthetic chemistry.
  • Mathematics: all students study a maths course (suitable to their background) covering the core mathematics needed for the remainder of the chemistry degree.

Students also have the choice of modules from across the University, subject to available timetabling. Common choices include:

  • Physical Principles for Chemistry. (If you don't have A-Level Physics (or equivalent) this module is non-optional.)
  • An Introduction to Biology for Physical Scientists.
  • Chemistry in the World Around Us.

Year 2: 

  • Organic Chemistry: stereochemistry, designing syntheses of complex target molecules.
  • Inorganic Chemistry: solid state materials, environmental chemistry.
  • Physical Chemistry: electrochemistry, elementary quantum mechanics.
  • Chemistry Laboratory: students gain experience in modern methods of separation, characterisation and analytical techniques, and advanced synthetic techniques such as Schlenk techniques for manipulating air and moisture sensitive compounds.

Year 3:

  • Organic Chemistry: retrosynthetic analysis, Pd-catalysed cross coupling reactions, elucidation of reaction mechanisms.
  • Inorganic Chemistry: organometallic chemistry, coordination chemistry, crystallography.
  • Physical Chemistry: polymers, catalysis, statistical thermodynamics.
  • Advanced Chemistry Laboratory: further laboratory techniques utilised in contemporary organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.
  • Chemistry Projects: aimed at developing students' key skills, including a literature review, a small group lab project, and our "Skills for Success" project.

Year 4:
If you do the MChem course, you'll do a major research project in your fourth year, working in an academic research lab on a project at the cutting edge of science. Students are trained in research methods appropriate to their field and take advantage of the state-of-the-art research facilities at Sheffield. 

Lectures in Year 4 allow students to explore a broad range of topics at the cutting edge of chemistry research. Students currently select 6 courses per semester, allowing them to develop their own interests and specialities. Current options include:

  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Metals in Medicine
  • Stereoselective Synthesis
  • Mechanism and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Advanced Spectroscopy and Theory
  • Homogeneous Catalysis
  • New Materials
  • Chemistry of Radical Polymerisation
  • Polymer Architectures
  • Graph Theory for Chemists
  • Physical Chemistry of Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Metals in Organic Synthesis
  • Chemistry in Space
  • Photochemistry and Molecular Photonics
  • Biomimetic Nanoparticle Synthesis
  • Chemistry of High-Energy Materials
  • Enzyme Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry of the Main Group Elements
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Nanochemistry

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research, funding changes, professional accreditation requirements, student or employer feedback, outcomes of reviews, and variations in staff or student numbers.