Chemistry with International Study (4 years) [MChem]

This course gives you the chance to combine a MChem qualification with the experience of living and learning for a year in a university either in continental Europe, through the ERASMUS scheme, or by taking part in a worldwide placement. You will gain all the benefits of year 1 and 2 chemistry core, with the chance in year 3 to travel to an international placement university before returning to Manchester and continuing towards your masters qualification.

The Study in Europe option was developed by the School of Chemistry in collaboration with the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. It comprises four years of chemistry study combined with substantial study of a modern language. Your third year is spent at a university studying chemistry in your chosen language if you have chosen an institution where English is not the primary spoken language.

The year you will spend away on your placement amounts to nine months in practice. The units that you take during that time will be broadly equivalent to those of the Manchester course content meaning that this degree, like the rest of our Chemistry courses, is accredited by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

You will have some choice of the course units you take and your host university usually helps with the arrangement of your accommodation. Essentially you become a local student during your year abroad. However, both your programme director and our Study Abroad unit will be in email contact during your time away and will provide help and support when necessary.

Year 1 and 2 - the common core
Year 3
Year 4
  • In the first two years, you cover topics in all the major branches of chemistry and learn how they are interconnected. Laboratory classes in both years form an essential component of your training.

    First-year topics include: bonding in molecules; organic reaction mechanisms; natural product chemistry; s, p, and d block chemistry; thermodynamics; kinetics; and quantum mechanics.

    You will also attend course units that cover a range of presentational skills, information-retrieval techniques, mathematics and IT skills. Finally, you have the opportunity to study a subsidiary subject from another school.

    The second year continues developing the core and extends topics from your first year, introducing new areas such as molecular spectroscopy, bonding and reactivity, surfaces and interfaces, chemistry of the heavier elements, molecular symmetry, metal-ligand bonding, polymer science, structure determination, stereochemistry and heterocyclic chemistry, plus additional course units involving polymer, materials and computational chemistry.

    At the end of your second year, you can choose whether to study for a three-year BSc (Hons) Chemistry degree, or the four-year MChem (Hons) Chemistry course. Your eligibility for continuation on the MChem course is assessed at the end of each year and is at the discretion of the School of Chemistry. The assessment is based on your general performance and end-of-year marks over both years.

    You will have demonstrated a proficiency in the language of your host university and will be required to attend a Language Experience for All Programme (LEAP) in Manchester during years 1 and 2.

  • During your year abroad you will effectively be a student of the host institution. You will follow a course that is broadly similar to that delivered to the third-year students who stay in Manchester, but you may be able to study options that may not currently available at Manchester.  The course you follow will be carefully chosen to ensure that your educational development is at the correct level. Your placement year will be fully assessed by the host university and will involve coursework, laboratory classes and examinations.

    Both your course director and our Study Abroad Unit will be in email contact with you during your stay, providing help and support when necessary. The Study Abroad Unit offers information about the financial aspects of your year abroad and links to partner universities’ web pages.  A number of our students extend their visits in order to take up research internships at their host University, and this is an outcome which we encourage.

    You have the choice of study at either a European university or on a worldwide placement.

    In Europe:

    During this year in Europe, you will study chemistry in lectures and laboratory classes, following the syllabus of the host university. Your tutor will maintain contact with you throughout your European placement and you may be visited where possible.  You will be assessed by the marks that you gain from your host university and by report on your placement.

    Our Study Abroad unit offers information about the financial aspects of your year aboard and links to partner universities’ web pages. You can choose to attend one of the following universities during your time away (though this list is subject to change):

    • Valencia, Spain
    • Göttingen or Freiburg in Germany
    • ENSCM, Montpellier or Strasbourg in France
    • Florence, Italy


    We choose our partner universities on the basis of their academic standing and their ability to provide an overall educational experience similar to that of Manchester. We regularly review our partner universities to ensure that your educational experience is not compromised during your year abroad.  As such it is important to note that our list of host institutions may change as part of this auditing exercise.  

    The current list of worldwide placement institutions includes:

    • University of California
    • Arizona State University
    • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    • University of Missouri at Columbia
    • University of Tennessee at Knoxville
    • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • McGill University, Montreal, Canada
    •  Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • On returning to Manchester you will continue your studies in line with the Chemistry MChem (Hons) course. You will carry out an extended project associated with one of the research groups in our School, take advanced chemistry course units and other specialist lectures chosen in consultation with your project supervisor.

    This degree satisfies the requirements for professional recognition by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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.

Staff spotlight

Peter Quayle
Course Director of Chemistry with International Study (4 Years) [MChem]

"The chance to do a research project in world class research groups is one of the major attractions of our course."

What our students say

Rosanne Goh
Chemistry with International Study (4 Years) [MChem]

"I have had the most incredible, rewarding, unexpected, mind broadening experience while keeping up with the challenges of studying"


Where are they now?

Lois O'Leary
Chemistry with International Study (4 Years) [MChem]

"The communication skills gained from learning a language and the importance placed on communicating chemistry at Manchester have set me in excellent stead for the job."

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