Course details

A Levels AAB Other entry requirements
UCAS code F335
Duration 4 years
Fee Look up fee
Related subjects Chemical Physics Physics Chemistry

Any questions?

Undergraduate Admissions Office
Department of Chemistry
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 9500

Department of Chemistry

96% of graduates in employment or further study
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2017

Course description

Our Chemical Physics degree brings together the core elements of chemistry and physics to give you a comprehensive understanding of matter.

Chemical physics is one of the University of Sheffield's research strengths. You will be taught by world-leading experts and get the opportunity to carry out projects in our state-of-the-art facilities. Roughly half of the course content is taught by the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and approximately half is taught in Chemistry. You'll have practical laboratory classes and tutorials in both departments. The chemistry and physics content of your course is integrated, so that you can study chemical physics as a discipline in its own right.

We'll give you a laboratory resource pack - which includes a lab coat, safety glasses and safety gloves - so that you can do practical work right from the start of your degree

In year one, there are chemistry lectures and lab classes in both chemistry and physics. You'll also take maths classes designed specifically for physics students. You'll do more practical work as the course progresses and by the third year, you'll be able to handle sensitive chemicals, program in several computer languages, and conduct experiments over multiple days.

In your fourth year, you'll carry out a major research project, working with professional researchers in one of our research labs at the cutting edge of science. You can choose whether this is in physics or chemistry. Some projects have supervisors from both disciplines.

The fourth year lecture courses give you more freedom to specialise. You can choose from a range of advanced lecture modules in physics and chemistry. Typically, topics include nuclear physics and relativity, soft condensed matter and quantum mechanics, photochemistry, and astrophysics. This means you can customise your course to suit your interests and career goals.

Modules: what you study and when

About dual honours and major/minor degrees


Accredited by the Institute of Physics (IOP) for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Physicist.

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 from Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
A Levels + Extended Project Qualification ABB from Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics+B
International Baccalaureate 34, 6 in Higher Level Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
BTEC Not accepted
Cambridge Pre-U D3 D3 M2 including Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers AAABB + AA Must include Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels Not accepted
Access to HE Entry requirements for mature students
Other qualifications Other UK qualifications
Other EU/international qualifications
Other requirements
  • GCSE Maths grade 6 or grade B
  • A Level General Studies and Critical thinking not accepted
  • International students need overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or an equivalent English language qualification
  • Equivalent English language qualifications
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.

Course information on Department of Chemistry website

Department of Physics and Astronomy website

First year

Core modules:

Mathematics for Physicists and Astronomers
Electromagnetism, Thermal and Quantum Physics
Fundamental Physics for Chemical Physicists
Fundamentals of Chemistry 1
Fundamentals of Chemistry 2
Laboratory Chemistry

Second year

Core modules:

From Electromagnetism to Quantum Physics
From Thermodynamics to Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Inorganic Chemistry
Physical Chemistry
Physics Skills
Chemistry Laboratory

Third year

Core modules:

Further Physical Chemistry
Further Inorganic Chemistry
Advanced Chemistry Laboratory Projects
Atomic and Laser Physics
Particle Physics
Problem Solving and Advanced Skills in Physics
Solid State Physics

Optional modules:

Nuclear Physics
Physics Level 3 Project 2
Statistical Physics

Fourth year

Optional modules:

Advanced Particle Physics
Biological Physics
Further Quantum Mechanics
Magnetic Resonance: Principles and Applications
Optical Properties of Solids
Physics in an Enterprise Culture
Semiconductor Physics and Technology
The Physics of Soft Condensed Matter

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 two single honours courses on which this dual degree is based. The learning and assessment percentages could vary depending on the modules you choose.

Scheduled teaching 31%
Independent study 69%
Placement 0%

Exams/tests 68%
Coursework 19%
Practical 13%

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

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Is time travel possible?
Are there habitable planets in other star systems?
Can we make a quantum computer?

Our courses explore the laws of the universe from subatomic particles to stars and galaxies. You'll join a community of researchers and students looking for answers to some of the biggest questions in the universe.

All our undergraduates get hands-on experience working alongside staff on real research projects. We have a comprehensive range of modern facilities, including research laboratories, two telescopes on the roof of our building and remote access to a telescope in the Canary Islands. We host numerous general and specialist seminars by Physicists from around the world.

Department of Physics and Astronomy 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.

"Studying Chemical Physics has made some unique avenues of study more accessible than either discipline would in isolation. Reading physics in tandem gives valuable background insight into understanding many ideas in chemistry, especially as the course progresses. There is always help available if you ever run into trouble."

John Cully

You'll have the chance to go on a six-week summer placement in one of our state-of-the-art research laboratories through our chemistry scholarship. To qualify for the Chemistry Undergraduate Research Scholarship you need AAA or above at A Level (or equivalent) and maintain an average grade of 60% or higher.

You can apply to carry out a research project in one of our academic labs over a summer break. This funded opportunity is through the University's Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) scheme.

You can study your course with the Degree with Employment Experience option. This allows you to apply for a placement year during your degree where you'll gain valuable experience and improve your employability.

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Undergraduate Admissions Office
Department of Chemistry
Telephone +44 (0)114 222 9500

Department website >

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