Chemistry (4 years) [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.


Year 1 and 2 - the common core
Year 3
Year 4 - MChem final year
  • 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.

  • In your third year you will study advanced core units covering areas such as computational chemistry, organic and inorganic synthetic methods, surface chemistry and catalysis, molecular structure determination and photochemistry.  You will be also choose from options which cover topics that cut across the traditional subject areas (e.g. nuclear, environmental and biological chemistry), as well as some areas outside chemistry such as the History of Science or Enterprise and Innovation. You'll also take your practical chemistry and independent learning to a higher level with extended, advanced experimental and theoretical experiments, as well working with a small team to plan a short project tackling a contemporary chemistry problem.

  • 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, giving you the opportunity to tailor your final year to the areas of chemistry which most inspire you.

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?

Liam Abrahamsen
Chemistry (4 Years) [MChem]

"I liked being able to make module choices in the later years and tailoring the degree to my own preferences."

Staff spotlight

Andrew Regan
Director of Undergraduate Studies

"Our large number of staff all of whom are research active, gives an exceptionally wide range of project topics and advanced lecture courses."

What our students say

Sebastian Mjornstedt
Chemistry (4 years) [MChem]

"The part of my degree that I enjoy the most is the laboratory sessions."

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