Chemistry with Industrial Experience (4 year) [MChem]

Choosing to study Chemistry can open the door to an exciting range of career options. From practical scientist through research technologist to academic specialist, all can be reached, in part, through this contemporary, multi-disciplinary degree programme.  Our innovative skills-based curriculum will give you the tools to succeed in your degree and our award-winning careers service will assist you in making choices for your future.

Our courses will equip you with an armoury of skills to take into the world of work, including the ability to analyse problems, to work collaboratively as part of a team, and to develop laboratory, numeracy and communication skills. You will also gain an appreciation for a subject which links so many scientific disciplines through applications and examples as well as practical work and learning through research. In lectures, the topics and examples you discuss will be taken from the latest research, much of which is carried out right here by the School's academics. 

Undertaking a placement in industry will allow you to develop real-world expertise and earn a salary whilst completing the third year of your degree. The transferable skills that you gain will prove invaluable in helping to shape your future career.  In recent years companies our students have undertaken placements with include GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser, AstraZeneca, Roche, AzkoNobel, Lucozade Ribena Suntory and Cancer Research UK.

Year 1 and 2 - the common core
Year 3
Year 4
  • First-year topics include: molecular orbital approaches to chemical bonding, chemical reaction mechanisms, molecular spectroscopy; coordination chemistry, thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics.

    You will also attend course units that cover a range of presentational, mathematical and analytical and IT skills. Finally, you have the opportunity to study subsidiary subjects from another school.

    The second year continues developing the core and extends topics from your first year, introducing new areas such as bonding and reactivity, chromatography, organometallic chemistry, molecular symmetry, metal-ligand bonding, polymer chemistry, advanced spectroscopy, biological and heterocyclic chemistry.

    In addition to the core units you will have the opportunity to study course units introducing some of the contemporary themes of modern chemistry, as well as green and environmental chemistry.  Alternatively you may choose to study a course from the University's College for Interdisciplinary Learning , including our innovative Leadership in Action course, which combines study with volunteering and personal development.

    Students on the Industrial Experience programme are responsible for finding their own placement.  You will be supported in this by our careers service, the programme director and our employability intern, who will offer advice on CV preparation, the application process and interview/assessment centre preparation.  Our annual careers fair involves many placement providers and you will also have the opportunity to receive advice from students who have been successful in obtaining placements in previous years.

  • Your third year will be spent undertaking a year-long placement. Students who take this option will find themselves in the role of a real employee within a company with some chemistry-related activity, doing things like chemical synthesis, analytical chemistry, product formulation and quality control. During these placements, students are paid as a normal employee would be and are subject to the internal structures and normal pressures of the workplace.

    Whilst on placement you will be supported by a visiting academic tutor, who will keep in contact with you and your placement supervisor, as well as visiting you twice during the year. There will be a small element of core chemistry material to keep you up to speed with organic and inorganic topics, taught by online distance learning units and supported remotely by specialist subject tutors. At the end of your placement, you will submit a written report and make an oral presentation which your academic tutor and industrial placement supervisor will mark.

  • In your final year you will undertake an extended individual project based within one of the research groups in our School.  This will give you the opportunity work on a current problem in your chosen area of chemistry under the supervision of one of our academic staff.


    You will study enhanced core course material and also choose from our extensive list of specialist optional course units, which cover cutting-edge developments in chemistry and are taught by world-leading scientists. 


Why Chemistry at Manchester?

  • PASS sessions, a scheme which we have found to be an immensely beneficial way of supporting student learning, means that third and fourth year students are on hand to aid first years.
  • Internationally renowned research covering the full spectrum of chemical activity, ensuring taught courses are based on the latest knowledge.
  • Wide portfolio of degrees, including options such as year-long industrial placements and study in Europe, North America or Singapore.
  • Our School has an impressive international standing: the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities, compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, places Manchester in the top four universities in the UK. It’s a similar picture to the 2016 Times Higher Education World Rankings, where Manchester is again the top English university outside ‘Oxbridge’ and the capital.
  • A range of scholarships and bursaries available for home and international students, including Entrance Scholarships, International Scholarships, Faculty International Excellence Undergraduate Scholarships and BP Scholarships.

Where are they now?

Rob Finch
Chemistry with Industrial Experience (4 Years) [MChem]

"My degree course gave me a very good foundation of knowledge and skills in most areas of the subject.  I use what I learnt in the polymer chemistry and organic chemistry modules on a daily basis."

What our students say

Rose Krawczuk
Chemistry with Industrial Experience (4 Years) [MChem] and PhD in Computational Chemistry

"One of the most enjoyable parts of my work is the freedom I'm given to direct my research."

Staff spotlight

Andrew Horn
Course Director for Chemistry with Industrial Experience (4 Years) [MChem]

"The key feature is immersion for a year in a commercial working environment. This requires the student to perform as a full-time employee of their placement company and gives them the opportunity to experience the nature of chemistry in a cutting edge, time-is-money, heavily-regulated business environment."

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