Focus on the intersection between chemistry, maths and physics in a course that includes a paid year in industry.

Key information




5 years


Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6 : 1

Based on 2021 entry data

  • UCAS course code: F1FH
  • ECTS: 300
  • Start date: October 2023
Apply on UCAS


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.

This degree is delivered by the Departments of Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, and focuses on work at the boundary of these three disciplines, for example nano-engineering. Graduates of this course will gain strengthened knowledge of the physical and mathematical background for mastering physical methods of modern chemistry.

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.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the fourth year. Our wide choice of advanced topics makes it possible for you to follow a broad or specialised programme to suit your individual interests. You will also complete a substantial research project.

Year in industry

This degree allows you to gain paid experience of using chemistry in an industrial context. It is one year longer than its standard counterpart to accommodate the year in industry between your third and final year, while still achieving the same comprehensive chemical content.

You will be expected to help the Department organise your placement, however help is available:

  • The Careers Service advertises placement vacancies on its online vacancy system, JobsLive.
  • The Department of Chemistry has a dedicated Industrial Liaison Officer who advertises opportunities and provides support with the application process.

Securing a placement is competitive, so you may need to apply to multiple employers and take part in recruitment activities. Application procedures vary from company to company. They can include CV and cover letter submissions, online tests, Skype interviews, technical interviews and assessment centres.

Students from the Department have previously completed placements with:

  • AstraZeneca
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Merck

The employer can often be in a location of your choice – including outside the UK – as long as you are successful in obtaining a position there and the placement is approved by the Department.

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 student visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.


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 of the Elements: Hydrogen to Uranium 
  • i-Engage 
  • Introduction to Spectroscopy
  • Language of Chemistry
  • Maths and Physics 1
  • Practical Chemistry I
  • Reactivity at Carbon Centres 
  • Structure and Bonding: Atomic Structure to Molecular Orbitals
  • The Reactions Toolkit: Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Year 2

Core modules

  • Analysis, Separation and Characterisation
  • Chemistry of Molecular Systems 
  • Electronic States and Bonding
  • i-Engage II
  • Macromolecules and Materials
  • Maths and Physics II
  • Control and Selectivity in Molecular Synthesis
  • Practical Chemistry II
  • Solids, Liquids and Interfaces

Year 3

Core modules

  • Advanced Chemistry Topics I for Molecular Physics
  • Advanced Chemistry Topics II for Molecular Physics
  • Industry 4.0
  • Practical Chemistry III

You will also take the compulsory i-Explore module.

Industry Year

You spend this year on an industrial placement, normally for 12 months. During this time you remain registered as an Imperial student and usually pay reduced tuition fees to the College (see Tuition Fees and Funding). You also receive a salary from your host company.

Our strong industry links means we have an extensive list of firms willing to host our students, some of them in Europe. Alternatively, you can arrange your own placement in consultation with the Department.

The work you do during your placement must be predominantly related to chemical research.

You will complete a formal research project report on the work you have carried out. This will be assessed by your academic and industrial supervisors.

Year 5

Core module

  • Advanced Interfacial Science
  • Research Project

Optional modules

You choose three modules from below.

  • Advanced Catalysis
  • Advanced Stereochemistry, Synthesis and Biosynthesis
  • From Molecules to Medicine
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Supramolecular Chemistry
  • Sustainable Chemistry

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.


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 leads to a Master’s level qualification and is professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

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 MSci degrees fully satisfy the RSC's academic requirement for professional registration as a Chartered Chemist (CChem). 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, however due to Covid-19 this was extended to include a sixth year for 2020-21 and again for students starting their studies in the 2021-22 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.


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


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 3Year 4Year 5
Lectures, seminars and similar417 hours500 hours328 hours830 hours
Independent study1,083 hours1,002 hours1,172 hours670 hours
Placement1,500 hours
Based on the typical pathway through the course


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 3Year 4Year 5
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.


Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2023 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Chemistry
  • A in Mathematics
  • A in Physics

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Students taking English exam board science A-levels will be required to pass the practical endorsement.

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2021 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 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 2023 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in Physics

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2021 entry was 39–40 points overall.

Mathematics Higher Level

The Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.

Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course 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 Physics C (Mechanics or Electricity and Magnetism)

Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course 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.

Other qualifications

Places will also be available to those with other equivalent qualifications, including Scottish Advanced Highers, and to applicants with appropriate educational experience or other competencies. See admission of students with other competencies.

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 our interview programme.

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 and presentations available by the accommodation and finance teams, and from Horizons about the great range of modules they offer. We are organising online Q&A sessions, where you will have the chance to talk to the admissions tutor and to current undergraduates, and you can see more about the department on the Chemistry and Virtual Tour websites.

We will run interviews in the morning and afternoon (UK time) to accommodate students in different time-zones, and each applicant will be interviewed individually. 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 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. We aim to send you our offer decision by e-mail, within one week of the interview. You will be able to see the exact conditions of any offer we make by logging in to UCAS Hub.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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

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 UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE) is considered for entry to Imperial.


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:

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 with Molecular Physics, international students studying UCL UPCSE must achieve:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Chemistry
  • 80% Mathematics
  • 80% Physics

Contextual admissions

We want to make sure that the Imperial learning community is as diverse as the society we serve. So to make our admissions process as fair as possible, we have introduced admissions schemes for Home students that allow us to consider your application in the full context of any additional barriers you may face.

Find out if you meet the eligibility criteria for our contextual admissions schemes. 

If your predicted grades meet the minimum College entry standard of AAA at A-level or an equivalent level qualification in the relevant subjects, the Department of Chemistry will guarantee you an interview. The department is also able to provide a guaranteed standard minimum offer to a large majority of eligible applicants.

Read more about the contextual admissions scheme in this department and others.

ATAS certificate (overseas candidates)

An ATAS certificate is required for all visa-nationals, with the exception of EEA/Swiss nationals and nationals of the following countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the USA.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme’s Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’, as well as your university supervisor name. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptorSupervisor name
CAH07-01-01 Physics Professor Oscar Ces

Your student visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

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.

Competence standards

Our competence standards highlight the core skills students should be able to demonstrate by the end of this course.

View the Department of Chemistry's competence standards [PDF]

We believe in providing the widest practicable access to all of our degree programmes and will make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support your study. For more information, please contact the Department using the contact details below.

Department of Chemistry

T: +44 (0)20 7594 5721

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

2023 entry

£9,250 per year.

Year in industry

£1,850 for that year.

Read more about funding for year in industry placements.

Inflationary increases

Fees shown relate to the year of entry advertised only. You should expect and budget for your fees to increase each year. Find out more about our tuition fees payment terms, including how inflationary increases are applied to your tuition fees in subsequent years of study.

Which fee you pay

Whether you pay the Home or Overseas fee depends on your fee status. This is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status. Find out 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.

Overseas rate of tuition

2023 entry

£39,100 per year.

Year in industry

20% of the relevant fee for that year.

Read more about funding for year in industry placements.

Inflationary increases

Fees shown relate to the year of entry advertised only. You should expect and budget for your fees to increase each year. Find out more about our tuition fees payment terms, including how inflationary increases are applied to your tuition fees in subsequent years of study.

Which fee you pay

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

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.

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.


Chemistry informs everything, from developing new pharmaceuticals that will help fight disease, to mitigating climate change. This means our graduates are recruited into practically every branch of industry.

Many choose to pursue a PhD, while others work in roles as diverse as industrial development, production and quality control, marketing, finance and teaching.

Recent graduates of this Department have become: 

  • Process Scientist, Drug discovery and development company
  • Data Scientist, Tesco
  • Graduate Audit Trainee, KPMG
  • Research Scientist, Global snack company
  • Graduate Scientist, Ministry of Defence

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: F1FH
  • UCAS institution code: I50
Apply on UCAS

Apply on UCAS

You can start and track your application on UCAS Hub. There you can add this course as one of your choices.

Application deadlines

25 January 2023 at 18.00 (UK time).

If your application includes a medicine course, the deadline is 15 October 2022 at 18.00 (UK time).

Any questions?

Explore our step by step guide on how to apply. You can also find answers to your questions about admissions.

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

Connect with us

Chemistry students

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 5721

Department of Chemistry

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