Chemistry is often termed the central science as it connects mathematics, physics, biology and medicine. It is concerned with all aspects of the physical and chemical properties of matter, including the nature of atoms and molecules, their structure and composition, their reactions and the ways in which they are be used to produce useful products and materials.
Our degree programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry and leads to Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry status.
- Find out more about the benefits of completing an RSC accredited programme
Chemistry at QMUL offers excellent and highly regarded training in both theoretical and practical chemistry, together with interdisciplinary modules such as spectroscopy, analytical chemistry and biochemistry. In your first year you will study the fundamentals of organic and inorganic chemistry, spectroscopy and states of matter. Later in your degree you will study physical and quantum chemistry, computational chemistry and organic synthesis. During your final year, you will have the opportunity to conduct a research-oriented project, which may be either laboratory-based or literature-based.
For the first two years, you will follow the same curriculum as our three-year Chemistry BSc programme. You will spend your third year doing paid word in the pharmaceutical industry (subject to performance and interview) or carrying out an extended research project. Students are usually placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment, giving you first-hand experience of your career and industry of choice. These options will give you invaluable work experience, allowing you to practice your chemistry skills in a real industrial or research laboratory setting. For your fourth year you will return to QMUL to complete your studies.
We have recently expanded our range of placements to reflect the growing range of science careers outside of the laboratory in science enterprise, education and communication. We will make sure you are given the support and advice you need to help research, select and apply for a placement.
Our students have secured placements in a range of companies both in the UK and abroad, including:
- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
- Almirall (pharmaceutical company), Spain
- Roche (research-based healthcare company), Switzerland
Research and teaching
By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You will be taught by staff who are actively involved in research, who are enthusiastic about their subjects and sharing their knowledge with you.
You can find out more about our research interests on the chemistry and biochemistry department page.
QMUL has a brilliant reputation, as well as an outstanding record of results. When I came to an open day, I was made to feel very comfortable and picked up friendly and welcoming vibes – that was when I decided to come and study here. There were great lab facilities.
Trisha Bihal, Chemistry student
The programme structure outlined below is indicative of what you will study. It may change slightly from year to year as new topics are introduced and after we have listened to current student feedback on teaching.
- Essential Skills for Chemists
- Foundations of Practical Chemistry
- Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
- Fundamentals of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry
- Fundamentals of Spectroscopy
- States of Matter
- Practical Chemistry
- Problem Solving in Chemistry
- Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry
- Physical and Quantum Chemistry
- Solid and Inorganic Chemistry
Students will undertake a professional placement in chemical industry (subject to performance and interview) or an extended research project.
- Advanced Practical Chemistry
- Organic Synthesis
- Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
- Topics in Physical Chemistry
- Computational Chemistry
All final year students must complete one of the following:
- A-levels: Typically ABB and above at A2 level from three subjects including chemistry, however, we consider applications with BBB in chemistry and two other subjects of biology, maths, further maths or physics
- International Baccalaureate: 34 points overall including grade 5 in chemistry (Higher Level)
- BTEC: We do not accept BTEC qualifications
- Access to HE Diploma: We will consider applications from students with the Access to HE Diploma (60 credit in a science discipline e.g. biology, chemistry, maths, physics). We take all aspects of your UCAS application into careful consideration; we look at the merits of your personal statement, academic reference, predicted grades and actual grades, and, due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers purely on the basis of meeting the grade requirements. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve an overall Pass, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.
All applications are considered by our admissions tutors on a case-by-case basis, and this may mean we would request an interview.
Visit our frequently asked questions page for answers to our commonly received queries about entry requirements.
Students from outside the United Kingdom must give evidence of their English language ability by producing an English language test score. The university provides guidelines for English requirements for all degree programmes.
Students may enter this degree programme via admission to the QMUL Science and Engineering Foundation Programme. Students must complete the foundation year and meet the required progression criteria.
If you have qualifications, which are not listed above, please contact us to check your eligibility:
Tel: +44(0) 207 882 5511
Learning and teaching
All our programmes involve a mixture of classroom activities and laboratory work. A variety of teaching styles are employed, which vary slightly among modules and programmes. Most material is delivered via lectures. These last around 50 minutes each and, typically, you would have two lectures per day.
Lectures are backed up with small-group tutorials and workshops, where you have the opportunity to ask, in a relatively relaxed and small group setting, about material in lectures that you did not understand, to go through problems and practise past exam papers. In general, lectures, tutorials and workshops take place in the mornings and laboratory classes in the afternoons.
A typical weekly workload would be:
- Eight one-hour lectures
- 9-12 hours of practical laboratories or workshops
- 18-20 hours of private study/coursework.
For every hour spent at University you will be expected to complete additional hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; assessing data from experiments; completing lab reports; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.
Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
For all programmes, you must take 120 credits (normally eight modules) in each academic year. Each module is assessed through a combination of theory examinations (typically accounting for 70-90 per cent of the final mark) and coursework (for example practical reports, problem sheets, online exercises and tests). Theory examinations are normally two and a half hours long.
Final year BSc students may undertake a research project worth 30 credits, while final year MSci students undertake a project worth 60 credits; these projects are generally assessed by a combination of detailed written report, a seminar presentation, a poster and an interview.
There are presently no mid-session exams and the main examination period is in May/June, with the additional possibility of deferred exams and resits in August for first and second year students. The format of undergraduate examinations varies from module to module and may include multiple choice questions (MCQ), short answer questions, problem solving or essays.
Fees and finance
Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.
You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.
Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.
For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.
See more general information about fees.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.
Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students
There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.
Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.
Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students
There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.
Find out more about international scholarships.
Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.
Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs
Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.
Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):
- A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
- A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
- Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
- You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.
Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:
- How to apply for student finance
- What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
- What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
- What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance
Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary
We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.
Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:
- Additional sources of funding
- Planning your budget and cutting costs
- Part-time and vacation work
- Money for lone parents
For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.
Chemistry graduates are highly sought after by employers and tend to attract good starting salaries. Chemistry is one of the UK’s largest manufacturing industries; the chemical sector has a turnover in excess of £60 billion and sustains 500,000 jobs throughout the UK.* As well as being well equipped to pursue a career in the chemical industry, our chemistry graduates are highly rated by business and finance employers for their data handling and analytical skills.
The latest data show that 94 per cent** of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation.
Graduate destinations - employment
Recent graduates of our chemistry programmes have gone onto the following roles:
- Quality Control Consultant at Catalent Pharma Solutions
- Analyst – Goldman Sachs
- Assistant Business Development Manager – AyadSons Group
- Synthetic Chemist at GlaxoSmithKline
- Healthcare Assistant
- Synthetic Chemist
- Service Specialist at Apple
- Graduate Financial Management Trainee
Graduate destinations - further study
Recent graduates on our chemistry programmes have gone onto study the following:
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry MSc
- Public Health MSc
- Chemical Research MSc
- Dentistry BDS
- Organic Chemistry MSc
- PGCE Chemistry
- Materials Sciences MSc
As a QMUL student, you will have access to our specialist Careers and Enterprise team who can help prepare you for internships and graduate employment. Their services include CV checking and mock interviews, tailored workshops and employer-led events. You will also have access to a dedicated Careers Consultant for your School who has expert knowledge of recruitment and connections to employers in the field.
QMUL is part of the prestigious Russell Group and our graduates are consistently in the top ten graduate starting salaries in the UK (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016). QMUL graduates have a strong earning power, with an average salary of £23,580.**
*Source: Chemistry Growth Strategy Group, Strategy for Delivering Chemistry-Fuelled Growth of the UK Economy
**Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2013/14
Clayton Bevas, Chemistry BSc, class of 2017
- What do you enjoy most about your course?
"I really enjoy the practical, problem-solving aspect of the course - how we are taught the skills to solve a problem, rather than just memorising endless facts and information. I feel this is good training for helping me tackle real problems in the workplace. Having a degree from a well-established university will be an invaluable asset."
- What's it like being a student in London?
"There are many opportunities for a good social life in London. There is always something to do, day and night! The travel system is very efficient so you can travel around London with ease."
- What do you think of the services at QMUL?
"The careers support for QMUL is really good. I found the one-on-one appointments you can make with the Careers and Enterprise team especially helpful."
Trisha Bihal, Chemistry BSc, class of 2012
"QMUL has a brilliant reputation, as well as an outstanding record of results. When I came to an open day, I was made to feel very comfortable and picked up friendly and welcoming vibes – that was when I decided to come and study here.
"It's a great area to be a student, there are loads of things to do: explore the parks, activities, nightlife and there is even go-karting and rock climbing adventure parks just off the Mile End Road. I have many favourite places on campus, the Library where we can work in groups, the Hive and the Joseph Priestley building computer rooms, which are ideal for independent work. There are great lab facilities and by far the most interesting thing I've done so far is carry out experiments where the results helped us come to a conclusion about a fake murder case.
"I was a course rep in my final yearr, it was a wonderful experience as I was able to voice opinions and share thoughts on behalf of the chemistry student body. I would recommend this to others who want to get involved in shaping the student experience at QMUL and it is a great addition to your CV."