Chemistry

Study topics in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, with an emphasis on a practical education that is relevant to industry.

Key information

Award

BSc

Duration

3 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6 : 1

Based on 2019 entry data

  • UCAS course code: F100
  • ECTS: 180
  • Start date: October 2021

Overview

Chemistry at Imperial is designed to produce chemists of the highest calibre, who are capable of pursuing a career in the chemical sciences.

All of our Chemistry courses are professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry and cover modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry in all years of study.

Years one and two of all of our chemistry courses follow the same core lecture module content supplemented by two ancillary modules. These modules are not always chemistry modules, and have been chosen to support specific degree programmes.

In the third year of this course you will take a mixture of core and optional modules, and complete a substantial research project.

Laboratory experience

Students in a chemistry labAll of our Chemistry courses include a high level of laboratory experience, designed to develop the practical, analytical and theoretical skills required to work in the sector.

You will take part in a wide range of laboratory-based activities in the Department, which vary from year three depending on which course you choose.

As well as traditional synthetic chemistry labs, you will also be trained in measurement science, analytical chemistry and molecular modelling, helping you gain confidence in applying a large number of different experimental techniques.

You will also take part in theoretical and mathematical methods laboratories, workshops and IT laboratories.

White City Campus

The Department of Chemistry is currently based at Imperial's South Kensington Campus. It also occupies the Molecular Sciences Research Hub on the College's brand new White City Campus. This provides us with state-of-the-art research facilities and exciting opportunities for collaboration with industry.

Final-year undergraduate projects and some third- and fourth-year lectures will take place at White City. A free shuttle bus service runs between the campuses.

BSc or MSci?

We offer both Master in Science (MSci) degrees and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees.

Our MSci degrees cover more in-depth chemistry study than our BSc degrees, making them more suited to students who are considering a career in research or who may wish to progress to further study such as a PhD.

Our MSci degrees also include a substantial individual project in the final year, which gives you the chance to work in a research environment; you also engage with more advanced research-led lecture modules.

Transfer between degrees

Years one and two of our Chemistry degrees follow the same core course content, supplemented by optional modules designed to match your chosen course of study. This structure offers you the opportunity to transfer between Chemistry degrees at a later stage providing you have studied the appropriate optional subjects, and as such you should apply to only one degree within the Department of Chemistry.

You may need to meet a certain academic standard to be eligible for placements in industry or abroad.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Chemistry Coursework 1
  • Inorganic Chemistry 1
  • Introduction to Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry 1
  • Physical Chemistry 1

Optional modules

You choose one module from below.

  • Maths and Physics for Chemists 1
  • Medicinal Chemistry 1

Year 2

Core modules

  • Chemistry Coursework 2
  • Inorganic Chemistry 2
  • Organic Chemistry 2
  • Physical Chemistry 2

Optional modules

You choose one module from below.

  • Business Economics
  • Communicating Science
  • Corporate Finance
  • Creativity, Innovation and Invention
  • Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Managerial Economics
  • Maths and Physics for Chemists 2
  • Medicinal Chemistry 2
  • Project Management
  • Science and Policy
  • Strategic Management
  • Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme

Year 3

Core modules

  • Advanced Chemistry
  • Advanced Chemistry Research Topics*
  • Chemistry Coursework 3 for BSc Chemistry

* You have the choice of completing a full-credit module, or completing a half-credit module alongside one optional module

Optional modules

If you choose the half-credit core module above, you choose one module from below.

  • Business Economics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Managerial Economics
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Management

Download the programme specification‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Professional accreditation

This degree is professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

In the global market, chemistry graduates are increasingly mobile with employers looking for the best graduates across international markets. The Royal Society of Chemistry accreditation is respected around the world and helps students, parents and advisers choose high quality degree programmes which address the needs of both employers and students.

Our BSc degrees partially satisfy the academic requirements for professional registration as a Chartered Chemist (CChem), which means that you will need to demonstrate further competencies on your route to gaining Chartered status.

A CChem is an internationally recognised qualification earned by professionals working in the chemical sciences, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Our accreditation agreement with the Royal Society of Chemistry is renewed every five years. The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2020–21 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS) on completion of this course.

The Royal College of Science is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical workshops and guided laboratory work.

There will also be group work, literature reports and research projects in order to ensure our degrees provide a strong set of additional skills, such as presentational and communicative skills.

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures, seminars and similar389 hours472 hours328 hours
Independent study1,111 hours1,030 hours1,172 hours
Placement
Based on the typical pathway through the course

Assessment

Our Chemistry degrees use a variety of assessment methods, the below list provides a guide to what you can expect:

  • Written examinations
  • Oral presentation
  • Written reports
  • Coursework
  • Academic posters

Assessment types

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Coursework25%14%27%
Practical12%21%23%
Written63%65%50%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions.

Discover Uni compares things like student satisfaction and what graduates do after they finish the course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Chemistry
  • A in Mathematics
  • A in another subject (Physics, Biology or Economics is preferred)

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2019 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: A*AA–A*A*A

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Additional Mathematics support

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in a third subject at higher level (Biology, Economics or Physics is recommended)

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2019 entry was 38–40 points overall.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021

For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in another subject

Preferred third subject

  • Biology
  • Macroeconomics or Microeconomics
  • Physics C (Mechanics or Electricity and Magnetism is preferred)

Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Post-application open day and interview

If assessment of your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements, you will be shortlisted for an academic interview as part of one of our interview days, which run on Wednesdays from the beginning of November 2020. Interviews this year will all be online, most likely using Skype.

There will be a pre-recorded talk by the admissions tutor made available online, about the department, the structure of the course and other opportunities available to enrich your experience with us. There will also be talks available by the accommodation and finance teams, and from Horizons about the great range of modules they offer. You will have the chance to talk to the admissions tutor and to current undergraduates at online Q&A sessions in the morning, and to see more of the department on the website.

Each applicant will be interviewed individually in the afternoon. The interview will comprise a discussion with an experienced academic who will be looking to assess an applicant’s motivation for studying chemistry and their potential for the future.

Although the discussion may begin with topics mentioned in the UCAS personal statement, the conversations will likely expand to cover topics that the applicant may not be so familiar with. This enables the interviewer to observe how an applicant thinks and how they reason their way through a problem.

The interviewers are highly experienced and are able to see through nerves, stress and silly mistakes so you should not worry about answering the questions. There are no trick questions, if an answer seems obvious, it might be just that. We will also run interviews in the morning for international students where needed, to account for time-zone differences.

We then use the interview feedback in combination with the UCAS application, to decide whether we are able to make an offer, and what the conditions of the offer will be.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Department of Chemistry have put together a list of frequently asked questions that often arise during the admissions process.


Pilot admissions schemes (Home students)

From 2020 entry, we will be using information about our applicants in a number of new pilot admissions schemes, to consider the wider context of Home students from groups underrepresented at the College.

More about pilot admissions schemes

Foundation programmes

A foundation course is a one-year preparation course, designed for international students, which leads to undergraduate programmes in the UK. Foundation programmes are normally for school-leavers who have studied a non-British curriculum but wish to pursue a degree at a UK university.

Foundation programmes are offered by many UK universities, but only two would be considered for entry to Imperial: 

  1. UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE), and 
  2. Warwick’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) in Science & Engineering

UCL UPCSE

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. Students must complete four modules across the year – two compulsory and two elective modules:

ModuleStatus
Research and Academic Skills: Science and Society Compulsory
Academic English Compulsory
Biology Elective
Chemistry Elective
Mathematics Elective
Physics Elective
Information correct at time of publishing, but subject to change
Summary of the table's contents

To be considered for admission to Chemistry, international students studying UCL UPCSE must achieve:

  • 70% overall
  • 80% Chemistry
  • 80% Mathematics

Warwick IFP Science and Engineering

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. 

To be considered for admission to Chemistry, international students studying Warwick IFP Science and Engineering must achieve:

  • 70% overall
  • 80% Chemistry
  • 80% Mathematics

To meet these requirements, students should choose from the following IFP pathways:

  • Life Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students who apply for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Home rate of tuition

2021 entry

£9,250 per year.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status. Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status. Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU/EEA students

The Government has confirmed that EU students who begin a course in the 2020–21 academic year (until the end of July 2021) will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Overseas rate of tuition

2021 entry

£34,500 per year.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status. Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status. Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA students

The Government has confirmed that EU students who begin a course in the 2020–21 academic year (until the end of July 2021) will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

Students from the EU, other EEA country and/or Switzerland starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate, and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note this does not apply to Irish students or students with Citizens Rights benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Additional course costs

This section outlines additional costs relevant to this course. These are not included in your tuition fees. It's possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Figures are approximated, usually based on costs in the most recent academic year. They are likely to change each year but it's useful for you to be aware of the things you may have to pay for. This can help you budget for life at Imperial.

Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you can opt-out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Equipment (course materials) Mandatory Provided
Personal Protective Equipment Mandatory Provided
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

Lab equipment and materials

The Department provides the materials you will need in the laboratory, such as glassware (with no replacement charge for breakages), printed laboratory manuals and chemicals.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, the Department of Chemistry will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge to ensure you can undertake lab work safely. This includes:

  • Gloves
  • Lab coat
  • Safety spectacles*

* we do not usually provide prescription spectacles

Lost items

If you lose an item, such as your lab coat, you will be required to pay a fee to cover the cost of its replacement.

We will charge you the same amount that we originally paid for the item. This fee is donated to ChemSoc, the student-run departmental society, to help to support their activities.

You will not be charged for a replacement if it is for another reason, such as theft or as a result of the item becoming worn out.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

Chemistry graduates are recruited into practically every branch of industry. About half of our graduates pursue a PhD, while others work in roles as diverse as industrial development, production and quality control of processes, marketing, and teaching. Importantly, our MSci programmes ensure that our degrees are recognised throughout Europe, where longer undergraduate degree programmes are the norm.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • API Process Chemist, Aesica Pharma
  • Research Scientist, Merck
  • Graduate Scientist, Ministry of Defence
  • Consultant, Accenture
  • Management Consultant, Deloitte

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: F100
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2021 for entry in October 2021.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2021 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2020.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Chemistry students

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 5721
E: ch.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Department of Chemistry

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Further information

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International students

We're proud to be the UK's most international university. Support available includes specialist immigration advice for and free English language support. EU students – see the latest information about the impact of Brexit.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to universities. We've put together this information in a dedicated section of our website.Makerspace

Read our terms and conditions for these areas: