What Will You Study

Chemists are great problem solvers and analytical thinkers; they have been instrumental in developing our modern world. Our Chemistry degree equips you with a multidisciplinary skill set that will prepare you for your career.

Our four-year MChem degree programme allows you to explore advanced core topics, including chemical synthesis and materials, chemical physics and analysis, chemical computation and theory, and chemical biology. It also contains a significant research component, where you will work for 20 weeks on a contemporary research problem in one of our research groups.

We offer a diverse range of modules that are develop­ed, taught and assessed by world-leading academics, whose cutting-edge research continually shapes the content that they teach. Our modern approach combines the traditionally segregated subjects of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, and teaches chemistry in logical stages. As part of the degree, you will receive an expansive introduction to the foundations of chemistry, from the fundamentals of atoms and molecules, to chemical reaction kinetics. Later years build on these foundations, and develop advanced knowledge and skills in modern chemical theory and contemporary practical techniques.

In your first year you will study the core chemistry modules (comprising two-thirds of the year) along with your free choice of optional modules that can be selected from other subject areas taught in the University. Throughout your degree, you will develop your practical skills in our brand-new, research-grade labs, with access to an impressive range of equipment.  Alongside the technical knowledge, you will gain excellent transferable skills in communication, research, data analysis, mathematics and computation, and analytic and logical thinking; all of which can applied to many different career paths.

Your second year builds upon the broad fundamentals of first year, and you will cover some familiar topics in more detail, such as organic synthesis, spectroscopy and kinetics, while new, more advanced topics are introduced, such as d-metal chemistry, soft-matter chemistry and quantum chemistry.

In your third year, you will study a range of advanced topics, as well as a research skills module to hone your research skills and further equip you with techniques relevant to your final year research project. You will also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of optional modules in more specialised areas of chemistry.

Your final year will enable you to apply your skills by undertaking a major research project, which provides an exciting opportunity for you to address a significant research problem as part of one of our research groups, alongside postgraduate students and postdoctoral staff. Additionally, you will study a series of advanced taught modules that allow you to examine areas of chemistry in greater depth.

We are a modern and inclusive department committed to small group teaching which we believe fosters a highly supportive and productive learning environment. In keeping with the University’s ethos, we value the importance of maintaining an excellent student-to-staff ratio, and we want to ensure that you are treated as an individual. Our new Chemistry Building offers space to socialise, as well as facilities to help you excel in your studies. Our open-door policy enables students to call in for help and advice at any time.

Study Abroad option

The MChem programme is also offered with an integrated Study Abroad year, where you can expand your horizons in locations such as North America, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. As the degree shares a common first- and second-year with the BSc programme, there is flexibility to switch between programmes once you are in Lancaster (subject to academic requirements).