Course details

A Levels AAB Other entry requirements
UCAS code F105
Duration 4 years
Fees and additional costs Home students Overseas students Fee status help
Related subjects Chemistry

Any questions?

Undergraduate Admissions Office
Department of Chemistry
Telephone +44 114 222 9500

Department of Chemistry

Top 10 in the Russell Group for overall satisfaction
National Student Survey 2019

Course description

Our four-year MChem Chemistry course is designed to prepare you to work as a researcher in the chemical industry, or to go on to a PhD and an academic career. You'll do research training and spend most of your final year working on your own project as part of a team of professional scientists.

The content of our courses was created in consultation with our students. On this degree, we cover a number of topics based on the latest advances in science, and the skills and expertise that chemistry graduates can offer industry and society. These include:

- environmental and sustainable chemistry
- biological and medicinal chemistry
- advanced materials and nanotechnology
- chemistry of light
- astrochemistry
- computational chemistry

Most of the modules on our undergraduate courses are the same for the first two years. You'll have the freedom to specialise later in your degree. Our courses are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, so you will cover all of the organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry that a professional chemist needs to know.

In your first year, you'll spend a day a week in the lab, learning essential skills and techniques. You will study topics including the structure of atoms and molecules, how chemical reactions happen, and how to identify and analyse different chemicals and elements. You'll also look at the biological processes that chemistry drives, and the technologies and products that chemistry has made possible - from cosmetics to explosives.

In your second year, you'll start spending two days a week in the lab, as you learn to run more complex experiments. You'll move on to study more advanced topics in organic chemistry (functional groups, synthesis, biopolymers), inorganic chemistry (main group compounds, transition metal coordination complexes, inorganic solids) and physical chemistry (quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, polymers and colloids).

In your third year, you'll work on your own research project. You'll gather and evaluate data, run your own experiments and present your findings. You'll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from too, with topics ranging from energy storage to chemistry in space.

In your fourth year, you'll join one of our research groups spend most of your time working on a major research project. You'll choose the topic, get specialist training from professional scientists and have access to state-of-the-art equipment. Again, you'll also have lots of optional modules to choose from, so you can tailor your degree to suit your interests and career goals.

All of your lectures are backed up by small group tutorials, where you can delve deeper into complex topics. These small group teaching sessions are led by your personal tutor in your first year, and specialist tutors who are experts in the specific topics you're studying in later years. Your personal tutor will also help you work out which skills you need to develop and support you as you build up your CV in time for graduation.

If you want to study chemistry, but don't meet the entry requirements to go straight into the first year, our Chemistry with a Foundation Year could be for you. After successfully completing the one-year programme, you'll progress onto the first year of your chosen degree.

Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for fully meeting the academic criteria for Chartered Chemist (CChem).

Modules: what you study and when

Financial help from the University - bursaries

If you're a UK student, you could be entitled to a University bursary. A bursary is the same as a grant - you don't have to pay it back.

How our bursary scheme works

Entry requirements

Qualification Grades
A Levels AAB, including Chemistry
A Levels + additional qualifications ABB, including Chemistry + B in the EPQ; ABB, including Chemistry + A; AS Further Maths or B in A Level Further Maths
International Baccalaureate 34, 5 in Higher Level Chemistry
BTEC DDD in Science, including specific Chemistry units
Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher AAABB + B in Chemistry
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels B + AA, including Chemistry
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • BTEC required units include Applications of Inorganic Chemistry, Applications of Organic Chemistry, Industrial Chemical Reactions and Practical Chemical Analysis
  • A Level in General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted
  • GCSE Maths grade 6 or grade B
  • You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
  • Access Sheffield - find out if you're eligible for additional consideration or an alternative offer
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department

Modules - what you study and when

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department direct.

Department of Chemistry website

First year

Core modules:

Fundamentals of Chemistry
Chemistry in a Sustainable Future

Optional modules:

Mathematics for Chemists
Chemistry in the Biological World Around Us
Chemistry in the Physical World Around Us
Essential Mathematics for Chemists
Physical Principles in Chemistry

Second year

Core modules:

Inorganic Chemistry: Structure, Bonding & Reactivity
Physical Chemistry and Polymer Science
Synthetic, Mechanistic and Biological Aspects of Organic Chemistry
Environmental, Analytical & Sustainable Chemistry
Enterprise and Employability

Third year

Core modules:

Chemistry Employability Skills and Projects
Mechanisms, Pericyclic Reactions and Synthesis
Organometallic, Solid State and Coordination Chemistry
Statistical Mechanics, Spectroscopy and Catalysis

Optional modules:

Chemistry in Space
Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Synthesis
Modelling Molecules and their Interactions
Optical Spectroscopy and Analytical Applications
Properties of Inorganic Materials
Radicals in organic and polymer synthesis
Structure and mechanism of biomolecule function
Supramolecular Chemistry
Sustainable Chemistry, Energy Generation and Storage
Synthetic Approaches in Chemical Biology

Fourth year

Core modules:

Research Skills in Chemistry

Optional modules:

Advanced Materials Chemistry
Biophysical Chemistry
Catalysis and Asymmetric Synthesis
Chemistry of Light
Methods and Models in Theoretical Chemistry
Modern Industrial Catalysis
Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Design
Sustainability in Polymer Science
Synthetic methods in organic chemistry

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.

In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

Learning and assessment

These figures give an indication of how you'll learn and be assessed. They're a combined average of all the years of the course. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 29%
Independent study 72%
Placement 0%

Exams/tests 64%
Coursework 23%
Practical 14%

Department of Chemistry

Dainton Building

The Department of Chemistry was one of the University's first departments when it was founded in 1905. Since then, four Nobel Prize winners have either worked or studied in the department, and today researchers are working on big scientific challenges, ranging from antimicrobial resistance and environmental sustainability, to cancer treatments and new technological solutions for industry.

Our main home, the Dainton Building, and the Richard Roberts Building next door, have plenty of teaching spaces, as well as the labs where you'll train from the start of your degree and the world-class research facilities you can access later.

We have three large teaching labs where you'll spend a lot of time during your degree: one for organic chemistry, one for inorganic chemistry and one for physical chemistry. Each lab is equipped with specialist analytical equipment, including nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared and ultraviolet spectrometry, and gas- and size-exclusion chromatography. Our advanced lab is used for the group research project you'll complete in your third year, with large fume cupboards and workbenches to make collaborations easy.

We are also home to a number of multimillion pound research laboratories. These include the Lord Porter Laser Laboratory, which has three different laser stations that can be used in studies ranging from energy transport in molecules and materials, to artificial photosynthesis, and our Soft Matter Analytical Laboratory, where scientists can study samples that are 100 times smaller than a human hair.

We're just across the road from the award-winning library facilities at the Information Commons and the Diamond, and the UK's number one students' union, all within a short walk of the city centre.

Department of Chemistry website

What our graduates do

Our courses have been created with your career in mind. All of our modules have been designed to give you skills for your CV - problem solving, team working, fact finding, data analysis, critical thinking, communication, project management - and experience you can talk about at job interviews.

As part of your course, you'll develop your own idea for a chemistry business and pitch it as part of a group. On our Skills For Success training programme you can get experience of public speaking, presenting a poster, hosting a debate or producing a video. At our annual careers day you can explore career options, meet with employers who hire chemistry graduates and get tips from former students to help you take your next steps after graduation.

Some of the biggest employers of our students are pharmaceutical companies (such as GSK and RB), where chemists develop new medicines, and consumer goods companies (such as Unilever), where they make lots of the products you see on supermarket shelves. Graduates can also go behind the scenes, creating the chemicals and materials that make industrial manufacturing possible.

The science industry is more than just scientists though - big companies like Unilever and GSK need graduates who understand science to work in communications, market research and business development roles.

If the lab is where you feel most at home, you could also work as a scientist at a university or research institute. To follow this path, many of our students build on their undergraduate research by staying with us for their PhD. Graduates can also stay connected to academia by working for scientific journals, publishing the latest research.

What if I want to work outside science?
A good degree from a top university can take you far, whatever you want to do. We have graduates using their scientific minds in everything from finance to computer programming.

Student profile

Get a feel for what it's like to study chemistry at Sheffield. Our staff are enthusiastic about teaching and will provide the support you need to thrive. We have specialist teaching labs, which include a dedicated NMR spectrometer for undergraduates.

"Now I am working as a scientist for GE Healthcare Lindesnes Fabrikker, a factory producing bulk substance for contrast media. To choose chemistry as a career path was easy for me as it was my favourite subject and I enjoyed understanding the underlying mechanisms and reactions of what we can observe. My time in Sheffield gave me a great chemistry degree, making it possible to be where I am today."

Ingrid Schiager Skinnarland
MChem Chemistry

Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme. This gives you the chance 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 summer research placement if you meet the requirements of our Undergraduate Research Scholarship scheme. You need AAA or above at A Level (or equivalent) and to maintain an average grade of 60 per cent or higher during your course.

If you want to do a full year of work experience as part of your degree, then consider our MChem Chemistry with Study in Industry course. Students who take this option spend their third year working at a leading organisation in the chemical industry. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement and most students earn salaries during their placements too. Organisations where our students have done their placements include:

- Croda Europe, UK (chemical company)
- Dow Chemical Company, UK
- GSK, UK (pharmaceutical industry)
- Huntsman Corporation, Belgium (chemical manufacturing, Belgium)
- Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany (science and technology)
- RB, UK (consumer goods, formerly Reckitt Benckiser)
- Scott Bader, UK (chemical company)

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Undergraduate Admissions Office
Department of Chemistry
Telephone +44 114 222 9500

Department website >

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