Chemistry

Combine your study of chemistry with the chance to develop your Spanish language skills in a science context.

Key information

Award

MSci

Duration

4 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

7 : 1

Based on 2020 entry data

  • UCAS course code: F1R4
  • ECTS: 240
  • Start date: October 2022

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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.

Language for science

This degree allows you to combine your training in chemistry with study of the Spanish language. These classes, taught in Spanish by the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication, focus on the use and presentation of written and oral scientific and technical material in Spanish.

You will also receive an introduction to the theory and practice of translation, alongside further studies in the history, politics, science and technology of Spanish-speaking countries.

You spend your final year studying at a university in Spain. We currently have exchange agreements with the following Spanish institutions:

  • Universitat de Barcelona
  • Universitat de València (Estudi General)

Normally students who achieve an average second year mark of at least 65% and achieve at least 40% in the modules Chemistry Coursework 3 for Linguists, Spanish Language and Spanish Translation, will be eligible for the year abroad.

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.

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 of the Elements: Hydrogen to Uranium 
  • i-Engage 
  • Introduction to Spectroscopy
  • Language of Chemistry 
  • Language with History and Politics
  • 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
  • Language with History of Science
  • Macromolecules and Materials
  • Molecular Synthesis
  • Practical Chemistry II
  • Solids, Liquids and Interfaces

Year 3

Core modules

  • Advanced Chemistry Topics I
  • Advanced Chemistry Topics II
  • Industry 4.0
  • Practical Chemistry III
  • Language with Scientific and Technical Translation

Year Abroad

Core modules

  • Advanced Chemistry Study Abroad
  • Research project Abroad
  • Extended Language Project

You spend this academic year (October–May) at a leading institution abroad, attending lectures and completing a Chemistry research project.

You will also complete a Chemistry language project. This is a non-scientific project focusing on a topic of current interest in the politics, economics, history or culture of your host country.

The project will be supervised and assessed by our Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication, and includes an oral exam when you return to Imperial.

Please note that places on study abroad courses are limited and therefore not guaranteed. You may need to meet a certain academic standard to be eligible for selection.

Please note the above is an illustrative list of universities located abroad which the Department is currently partnered with. Partnerships with universities are subject to continuous review and individual partnerships may or may not be renewed.

There may be limitations placed upon your ability to live and study in these locations. If applicable you will need to successfully apply for the relevant visa. This applies to all students, including Home students, in light of the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.


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 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 was extended to include a sixth year for 2020-21. The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2021-22 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 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar440 hours518 hours398 hoursAbroad
Independent study1,135 hours1,059 hours1,302 hoursAbroad
PlacementAbroad
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 3Year 4
Coursework32%22%24%Abroad
Practical11%20%29%Abroad
Written57%58%47%Abroad
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number

Language for Science

Read more about how our language for science degrees are taught on the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication website.

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 2022 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Chemistry
  • A in Mathematics
  • A in another subject (Biology,  Economics and Physics are 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 2020 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: AAA–A*AA

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.


Language requirement

Study of the appropriate language to at least AS level grade B is required.


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 2022 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 are preferred)

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2020 entry was 39–40 points overall.


Language requirement

Study of the appropriate language to at least AS-level grade B is required.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2022

For entry in 2022, 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 another subject

Preferred third subject

  • Biology
  • Macroeconomics or Microeconomics
  • Physics C Mechanics or Electricity and Magnetism

Language requirement

You must also achieve at least grade 4 in the relevant language.


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.

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 Imperial360 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 Track.


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
  • 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.

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
E: ch.admisssions@imperial.ac.uk

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

2022 entry

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government. It has not been confirmed for the 2022-23 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2021-22 academic year was £9,250.

Year abroad

For the 2021-22 year abroad, the fee was £1,385 for that year.

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

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.

Fee status

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.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 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.

EU/EEA/Swiss students 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 we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication). 

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021.

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

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

2022 entry

The fee for Overseas students is controlled by the College. It has not been confirmed for the 2022–23 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas rate of tuition for the 2021–22 academic year was £34,500.

Year abroad

For the 2021-22 year abroad, the fee was 100% of the relevant fee for that year.

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

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.

Fee status

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/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 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.

EU/EEA/Swiss students 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 we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication). 

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021.

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 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: F1R4
  • 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 2022 for entry in October 2022.

The deadline for applications including medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2022 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2021.

Track your application

Once you’ve submitted your application you can use UCAS Track to follow its progress and manage your choices.

Read more about how to apply

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, Visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

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

Panoramic view of the Queen's Lawn on South Kensington Campus

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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: