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Chemistry with Study Abroad MChem

Department of Chemistry

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You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.

Key details

Course description

On the MChem Chemistry with Study Abroad course, you will spend your third year studying chemistry at a top university in the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. As well as expanding your chemistry knowledge, the Study Abroad course offers an outstanding opportunity to explore the social life and culture of another English-speaking country.

When you return to Sheffield in your fourth year, you will further develop your research skills through advanced lecture topics, and in a research project where you will join a team that is working to make new discoveries in chemistry. The course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, which means that you can acquire a range of skills and knowledge that employers look for as you work independently, in teams and on a range of projects.

We cover a wide range of topics based on the latest concepts and findings in chemistry, 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
  • astrochemistry
  • computational chemistry

Your lectures in first and second year are supported by small group tutorials, where you can delve deeper into complex topics. These small group teaching sessions are led by your personal tutor in first year, and specialist experts in later years. In addition, your personal tutor will also help you work out which skills you need to develop and support you as you build up your experience in time for graduation.

If you want to study chemistry, but don’t meet the entry requirements to go straight into the first year of this course, you may be able to apply for our Chemistry with a Foundation Year course. Finish the year-long foundation programme with an average mark of 60 or above, and you’re guaranteed entry onto the first year of your chosen chemistry degree at the University of Sheffield.

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

Students in an undergraduate teaching laboratory


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 directly.

Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

Title: Chemistry with Study Abroad MChem course structure
UCAS code: F110
Years: 2021

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 and why chemical reactions happen, and how to identify and analyse different compounds. You'll also look at biological processes that are underpinned by chemistry, and the critical role that chemistry plays in ensuring a sustainable future. 

Core modules:

Fundamentals of Chemistry

This is the first module that all of our undergraduate students take, and takes up most of the first year. It covers the fundamental concepts behind the four main branches of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical and analytical), and teaches practical skills that every chemist needs, and professional skills that every university graduate needs. Themes include the structure of atoms and molecules, how chemical reactions happen, and how to identify and analyse different chemicals and elements. Topics are covered in lectures, workshops, small group tutorials and in the laboratory.

80 credits
Chemistry in a Sustainable Future

Chemistry has a crucial role to play in creating a sustainable world. This module looks at the contributions chemists can make to society, with a particular focus on sustainability and green chemistry. Students will learn where everyday essentials including food and energy come from, and how chemistry can help combat global warming by, for example, making the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and feedstocks possible. To make the biggest impact on society, students will learn how to explain scientific concepts to a range of audiences by working in groups to produce articles, infographics and other content.

10 credits

Optional modules:

Mathematics for Chemists

This module introduces mathematics as the language of science, so that students can apply a range of mathematical tools to the scientific problems they’ll tackle during their chemistry degree. It is designed for students who haven’t done A Level mathematics, or an equivalent post-16 qualification. At the start, the focus is on revising key mathematics skills, such as rearranging and solving equations. Students build up to the more complex mathematical concepts that chemists use, both to explain fundamental theories and to complete practical work in the lab. Mathematics is taught in a chemistry context throughout, exploring topics that range from thermodynamics and kinetics to quantum chemistry.

20 credits
Chemistry in the Biological World Around Us

Chemistry is the backbone of fundamental biological processes, from healthcare and medicine to countless other features of modern life. This module brings together the four main branches of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical and analytical) to explain the principles behind the biology we experience in our day-to-day lives. Examples of the kinds of topic that will be described are medicine, nutrition, the molecules that have defined modern biology, and studies of molecules that have shaped and changed the biological world.

10 credits
Chemistry in the Physical World Around Us

Many of the technologies, products and structures we take for granted in our everyday lives rely on chemistry. This module brings together the four main branches of chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical and analytical) to explain the chemical principles of the world around us. Examples of the kinds of topic that will be described are the chemistry of explosives, molecules that glow, toiletries, cosmetics, laundry and foodstuffs.

10 credits
Essential Mathematics for Chemists

Lots of scientific knowledge is built on a strong mathematical foundation. This module is designed to develop students’ mathematical understanding, skills and intuition. Advanced mathematical concepts such as differentiation and integration of complex functions, partial differentiation and integration by parts will be taught in terms of their applications in chemistry. Other topics, such as series, complex numbers, matrices, determinants and differential equations are are also covered in physical and theoretical chemistry contexts. The aim is to give students a strong set of practical tools for tackling a range of chemistry problems through a series of staff-led workshops and self-study problem sets.

10 credits
Physical Principles in Chemistry

This module is designed for students studying Chemistry, but who do not have an A-level Physics qualification. The goal is to ensure that you have a strong grasp of the fundamental physical principles that will be used in your Chemistry degree. The course covers three major areas of physics: mechanics, electrostatics, and optics. Students will learn about topics including forces, energy conservation, wave motion, force fields and oscillators

10 credits

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Learning and assessment


You'll learn through lectures, small group tutorials and workshops, practical sessions in the lab and research projects.

We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

Learning support facilities and library opening hours

Programme specification

This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

Find programme specification for this course

Entry requirements

With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible

Standard offer
Access Sheffield offer

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including A in Chemistry

The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including A in Chemistry

A Levels + additional qualifications | ABB, including A in Chemistry + B in the EPQ; ABB, including A in Chemistry + A; AS Further Maths or B in A Level Further Maths ABB, including A in Chemistry + B in the EPQ; ABB, including A in Chemistry + A; AS Further Maths or B in A Level Further Maths

International Baccalaureate | 34, 6 in Higher Level Chemistry 33, 6 in Higher Level Chemistry

BTEC | DDD in Science, including specific Chemistry units DDD in Science, including specific Chemistry units

Scottish Highers + 1 Advanced Higher | AAABB + A in Chemistry AAABB + A in Chemistry

Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | B + AA, including Chemistry B + AB including A in Chemistry

Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at Level 3 including 36 credits at Distinctions and 9 credits at Merit. Level 3 units must cover sufficient Chemistry. Applicants are considered individually. 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at Level 3 including 30 credits at Distinctions and 15 credits at Merit. Level 3 units must cover sufficient Chemistry. Applicants are considered individually.

Mature students - explore other routes for mature students

English language requirements

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

Visa and immigration requirements

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

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Department of Chemistry

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. Our researchers work on a broad range of contemporary scientific challenges, ranging from antimicrobial resistance and environmental sustainability to cancer treatments and new technological solutions for industry.

The Department of Chemistry is mainly located in the Dainton and the Richard Roberts Buildings, which feature lecture theatres, teaching labs and world-class research facilities. 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.


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 has specialist analytical equipment, including nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared and ultraviolet spectroscopy, and gas-, liquid- 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 collaboration easy.

We are also home to a number of multi-million pound research laboratories. These include the Lord Porter Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory, which is 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 the width of a human hair.

Department of Chemistry

Why choose Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield

  A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings

  Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014

  No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017

Department of Chemistry

90% of graduates in work or further study

Graduate Outcomes 2020

81% of graduates in graduate level work or further study

Graduate Outcomes 2020

Graduate careers

Department of Chemistry

Our courses have been created with your future in mind. All of our modules have been designed to give you skills that will help you find and succeed in your chosen career - problem solving, team working, fact finding, data analysis, critical thinking, communication, project management.

As part of your course, you'll develop your own idea for a chemistry business and pitch it as part of a team. 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 GlaxoSmithKline), where chemists develop new medicines, and consumer goods companies (such as Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser), which make many 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 doesn’t only employ scientists though - big companies like Unilever and AstraZeneca need graduates who understand science to work in communications, market research and business development roles.

What if I want to work outside science?

A chemistry degree from the University of Sheffield can take you far, whatever you want to do. We have graduates using their scientific minds in everything from finance to computer programming.

Gareth showing the results of a chemistry experiment - image

Studying in the Sydney sunshine

Gareth Hartley MChem Chemistry with Study in Australasia

Gareth spent a year of his degree studying chemistry in Australia, and is now undertaking a PhD at the University of Oxford under the supervision of the world renowned Professor Peter Bruce.

Work experience

Each year undergraduate students can apply to join the Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience scheme. This gives you the chance to spend around six weeks working in one of our research groups over the summer. It's a unique opportunity to pursue research in an area that you are excited about, and can help inform your future career aspirations.

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 70 per cent or higher during your course.

If you want to do a full year of work experience as part of your degree, we have a Chemistry with a Year in Industry degree at both BSc and MChem levels. Students who take this option spend a year working at a leading organisation in the chemical industry. You'll pay reduced fees for the year you're on placement, which is between year 2 and your final year of study. Students earn salaries during their placements too. Organisations where our students have done their placements include:

  • Dow Chemical Company, UK (chemical industry)
  • GSK, UK (pharmaceutical industry, formerly GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany (science and technology)
  • RB, UK (consumer goods, formerly Reckitt Benckiser)

Fees and funding


Additional costs

The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

Examples of what’s included and excluded

Funding your study

Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

Additional funding

Department scholarships are available for this course, for further details see our funding and scholarships page.

Visit us

University open days

There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

Open days: book your place

Taster days

At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.

Upcoming taster sessions

Applicant days

If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

Campus tours

Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Book your place on a campus tour

Apply for this course

Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:

The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

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