Chemistry: Taster day

Three people wearing PPE in a lab, discussing an experiment

Event details

Tuesday 28 May 2024
9.30am to 4pm


Aspirin is one of the most widely sold medicines in history, used to treat pain and even prevent heart attacks. Join this taster day and use organic chemistry to synthesise the active ingredient as well as characterise your finished product using a variety of advanced analytical techniques.

Be a chemistry student for the day: synthesising and analysing aspirin

This taster day at the University of Sheffield gives A Level chemists an opportunity to see what it's like to study chemistry at University.

In the morning you'll be working in the chemistry lab, undertaking practical work to synthesise aspirin. You'll be working with one of our staff members and some of our current students, using equipment and facilities not usually available in schools and colleges.

You'll prepare your own aspirin sample using a number of key chemistry techniques including reflux synthesis using QuickFit apparatus, separation by vacuum filtration and recrystallisation to purify your product.

After lunch you'll work with some of our dedicated analytical services staff members to characterise your aspirin samples, using infrared (IR) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Following this, there will be a chance for you to find out what being a science student at the University of Sheffield is like in a question and answer session with some of our current undergraduate students.

This taster day is suitable for year 12 students with either of the following predicted qualifications: B in A Level Chemistry or DDD in BTEC Extended Diploma Science, including specific Chemistry units.​

Special requirements

Closed-toe shoes (ideally trainers) and long trousers must be worn in the lab. Long hair must also be tied back.

Safety glasses, lab coats and gloves will be provided by the University.


Please note that this is an approximate schedule and is therefore subject to change. 

  • 9.45 to 10.15am: Arrivals and registration
  • 10.15am: Welcome and introduction to the University
  • 10.30am: Preparation of aspirin
  • 1pm: Lunch
  • 1.45pm: Analytical workshop
  • 3.15pm: Student question and answer session
  • 3.45pm: Wrap-up and evaluations 
  • 4pm: Departure


Applications close at 12 noon (UK time) on Monday 13 May 2024.

Contact us

For informal enquiries email

Have a question about an in-person taster day? Find answers to some frequently asked questions.


53.382159051317, -1.4861284

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