Our large number of staff all of whom are research active, gives an exceptionally wide range of project topics and advanced lecture courses.
How do you make sure that the course is up-to-date and relevant?
The lecturers are all active researchers who are involved in the cutting edge of their fields. They are up to date with the latest research findings, and often incorporate examples into their lectures.
All course units are reviewed by the relevant organiser in the light of student comments, and appropriate changes are made in response to these.
What kind of balance do you strike between teaching facts and developing skills?
All of the chemistry lecture units are a combination of concepts and factual material together with examples of how these can be used to solve problems. Lectures are supported by problem solving exercises, and students are helped with these in examples classes and tutorials. Laboratory skills, numeracy skills and communication skills are also developed in separate course units. Group-projects and poster sessions help develop skills which are valued by employers.
How does research feed into the syllabus?
Lectures use topics and examples from the latest research, often carried out by our own academics.
What structure does your course have?
There is a core component of lecture and practical units that all chemistry students take. These are supplemented by units in mathematical and communication skills, and option units from other schools. The practical classes take place in recently-constructed spacious teaching labs.
In the first year, there is one day per week of lab classes, which increases as the course progresses to two days per week by year three.
In year four of the MChem programme, you will carry out a research project in the labs of an academic supervisor, working alongside PhD students and postdocs, using the same facilities and in the same research environment.
What are the key features of your course?
- A wide range of advanced lecture options to choose from in years three and four, together with a very wide range of research projects in the final year, which is made possible by the large number of academic staff.
- Small-group teaching in tutorials takes place during years one to three of the course.
- Equipment and facilities for projects are outstanding. The practical labs are very modern and highly rated by our students.
- Pastoral support from personal tutors is highly appreciated by students.
- There is flexibility to transfer between programmes, e.g. into the Chemistry with Industrial Experience or Chemistry with Study in North America programmes.
- As well as chemistry-based careers in industry and academia, our students also go into technical sales, support and marketing, financial careers, teaching, administration and management.
Why do graduates from your course stand out in the job market?
Chemistry graduates have a specialised scientific knowledge together with skills in problem solving, quantitative and analytical skills, numeracy, and communication skills, which are highly sought after by employers. Our graduates have been trained in group working, both in planning and carrying out project work, and in presentation of their results at poster sessions.
What kind of industry relations do you have?
We have long-standing relationships with most of the major chemical, pharmaceutical, petrochemical and energy companies in the UK, as well as many smaller chemical and technology-based companies. Many of these companies are involved in providing placements for our Chemistry with Industrial Experience course. Some companies offer prizes and bursaries to our students, and visit the University to present these and meet our students.
What distinguishes this course from similar ones in other institutions?
Large number of staff all of whom are research active gives an exceptionally wide range of project topics, and advanced lecture courses. The School has superb facilities for both teaching and research, ranging from new lecture theatres and teaching labs, through to a wide range of excellent instrumentation for research.
Group projects in year three are a feature which is well-liked by our students, impresses external examiners and employers, and I have not seen offered elsewhere.
PASS sessions with third and fourth-year students helping first years with problems sheets was developed here in Manchester, and we probably still lead in this area.