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A curriculum that provides a solid knowledge base and some very valuable skills

Encompassing biology, mathematics, medicine and physics, chemistry is often described as the central science. As a Queen Mary Chemical Sciences student, you will be fantastically placed to explore the subject’s rich, multifaceted nature through theoretical and practical chemistry on programmes accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. From the heart of dynamic east London, you will cut your teeth on a comprehensive and engaging curriculum, guided by world-class experts in organic, inorganic and computational chemistry.

In your first year, you’ll take Foundations in practical chemistry, which introduces you to the basic techniques of practical chemistry[1]. You will set yourself up for the successful pursuit of your degree by building a solid knowledge base in analytical methods, synthetic procedures, methods of purification and the use of a range of instrumental techniques. Topics such as good laboratory practice, health and safety in the laboratory, the preparation of laboratory reports and data analysis techniques are also covered. 

On completion of this module, you will have developed proficiency in a number of key areas, and will be able to:

  • Conduct chemical reactions/simple synthetic procedures, by following detailed written instructions. 
  • Conduct investigations of physic-chemical properties such as the kinetics and thermodynamics of reactions. 
  • Conduct analyses of chemical compounds and mixtures to determine their structure, composition and concentrations. 
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of practical chemistry. 
  • Produce analyses which are grounded in experimental evidence. 
  • Communicate scientific observations clearly and concisely. 

Students are able to advance their basic computer programming skills as a tool for problem-solving and scientific data analysis through Introductory Programming for Chemists. This module encourages and nurtures your hands-on programming skills by exploring topics, including basic concepts of algorithm design, use of an integrated development environment, data structures, control flow, functions and libraries – and their numerous applications.

As course director Tippu Sheriff points out, this is an utterly unique programme “since it teaches complete beginners how to write scientific code in Python with practical applications to the chemical sciences, which we believe is innovative for undergraduate programmes in Chemistry.”

By the end of your first year, students will have acquired key disciplinary skills and attributes and will be able to:

  • Design a basic algorithmic procedure to solve a problem.
  • Write and test simple code to analyse scientific data.
  • Use an integrated development environment for code writing, execution and testing.
  • Use information technologies to elaborate and interpret information effectively
  • Use information technologies to visualise data effectively

Apply analytical skills to investigate unfamiliar problems.

[1] As part of the accreditation of our programmes by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), students are required to do at least 100 h of practical chemistry in each year of the programme. 

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