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Teaching

I love teaching. Our students are amazing and it is great to see them develop from tentative first years into confident chemistry graduates and talented postgraduates.

DR JENNY BURNHAM

Senior University Teacher

Sheffield chemistry students learn in lots of different ways. You'll learn by doing, as you spend a big chunk of your week in the lab and working on research projects to challenge you once you've mastered the essentials. In lectures, top scientists will introduce you to key concepts and the latest research findings, and in small group tutorials and workshops, you'll work through scientific problems and increase your analytical abilities with supportive academic staff. 

All of our courses are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which means we cover all the topics and training you need to graduate into a professional chemistry career. You'll also be able to get the skills and experience that lots of other graduate employers look for.

Lectures, tutorials and workshops

Lectures are a big part of university life – a chance to learn the fundamentals from recognised experts and get insights into the latest research. You'll also have tutorials and workshops to build on the topics you've covered in lectures and show you how to apply concepts to solving real problems. These small group teaching sessions are led by your personal tutor in first year, and specialist tutors who are experts in the specific topics you're studying in later years.

Our lecture recording system means you can watch your lectures again later. This is perfect for revisiting content during exam revision, or catching up if you were absent.

Facilities - lecture

Laboratory sessions

You'll spend one day every week in the laboratory in first year, moving up to two days a week in second and third year. If you do a four-year MChem course, you'll join one of our research groups in your final year, and spend most of your time working in a team of professional scientists.

The staff who run our teaching laboratories will take you from fundamental lab skills to conducting your own research experiments, and recording and analysing data from chemical samples you've prepared.

Facilities

Lab

Research projects

From the start of your degree, you'll start developing the practical skills that scientists use in their research. You'll also learn about the goals, philosophy and implications of science and the scientific method – the guiding principles that drive new ideas, approaches and discoveries.

In third year, you'll put this into practice with your own research project. You'll gather and evaluate data, run your own experiments and present your findings.

If you do a four-year MChem course, you'll spend most of your final year on a more advanced project, tackling a real research problem. You'll choose the topic, get specialist training from scientists working in one of our research groups and have access to state-of-the art equipment.

Gareth Hartley

Sheffield was amazing because I was actually encouraged to play around with my own ideas rather than just stick with an outlined project.

I used density functional theory to model novel 2D nanomaterials. I am really grateful for the amount of contact time I had with my supervisor.

Gareth Hartley, MChem Chemistry with Study Abroad  Read more


Summer research placements

Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme. This gives you a bursary to spend around six weeks working in one of our research groups over the summer.

It's designed to give you even more research experience to put on your CV, and can help you stand out when you're applying for jobs.

We can guarantee you a placement if you meet the requirements of our Undergraduate Research Scholarship scheme: Learn more

Course essentials

All new undergraduate students are given learning and laboratory resource packs, and access to lots of online resources, to help you with your studies.

Learning resource pack

  • The latest versions of our required core text books used across all years of your study
  • A molecular model kit to help you visualise 3D chemical structures
  • An electronic version of 'The Laboratory Assistant' to help you during laboratory sessions
  • An electronic copy of our departmental data booklet
  • A memory stick for your laboratory data
  • Tutorial workbooks

Teaching Pack

Laboratory resource pack

  • Laboratory coat
  • Safety glasses
  • Glass marker and spatula
  • Safety gloves
  • Comprehensive laboratory manuals
  • Laboratory notebook

Online resources

Alongside lecture notes and handouts, you will have access to a range of online resources to help you study. This includes the University's virtual learning site, where you can download problem-solving explainer videos and other course materials, take part in discussions, complete assessments, and get your grades and feedback. You'll also be able to use specialist chemistry software, such as ChemDraw and CrystalMaker, to draw out and animate complex chemical structures.

Excellence in teaching

All of our staff are committed to great teaching. Several have received awards from the University of Sheffield, or have earned professional recognition for the innovative and engaging ways they have helped students learn chemistry.

University of Sheffield Senate Awards
for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

  • Dr Jennifer Burnham
  • Dr Julie Hyde
  • Professor Simon Jones
  • Professor Mark Winter

Senior Fellows of the Higher Education Academy

  • Dr Jennifer Burnham
  • Dr Julie Hyde

Fellows of the Higher Education Academy

  • Dr Tom Anderson
  • Dr Adrien Chauvet
  • Dr Barbara Ciani
  • Dr Robert Dawson
  • Dr Marco Conte
  • Dr Grant Hill
  • Dr Natalia Martsinovich
  • Dr Ben Partridge
  • Dr Peter Portius
  • Dr Sebastian Spain

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.