Course structure

The lecture courses last term meant we had to swap between drawing out biological molecules to doing thermodynamic calculations within minutes - I really enjoy the fact that it is so varied

Amy, Year 1 MChem

The University of York offers a choice of three-year BSc and four-year MChem degree programmes in Chemistry, including courses specialising in:

  • green principles and sustainable processes 
  • the atmosphere and the environment
  • biological and medicinal chemistry

Our courses are based on a modular system with a wide range of flexibility and choice.

Our teaching undergoes a constant process of refinement to keep courses as fresh and up to date as possible.

Content

Teaching through lectures is supported through chemistry colleges, where you get to work in a more focused group and develop as a team

Giuseppina, Year 1 MChem

In Year 1 all students share a common set of core modules each of which integrates the major areas of Chemistry: 

  • organic 
  • inorganic
  • physical
  • theoretical 
  • biological
  • analytical

This programme is supplemented by practical work and a series of "ancillary courses", which cover related topics in Mathematics, Physics and Biology.

Approximately 80% of Year 2 is made up of core Chemistry modules and practical work which is common to all Chemistry courses. The remainder consists of option modules chosen by you at the end of Year 1. Option modules are self-contained and the pre-requisites for option modules are only core Chemistry.

In Year 3 the BSc and MChem courses diverge. All students still take the same series of core and 20 credits of option modules (which are chosen at the end of Year 2); MChem students take an additional 20 credits of option modules (two 10 credit options).

In Year 4, all students complete a substantial research project either in one of our research laboratories at York, at one of our partner universities abroad, or in paid and structured industrial training. You will also develop a range of skills, such as communication, analysis and interpretation, oral and written presentation, problem-solving and critical assessment.

Please click on the Year links below for further information about the course structure for each year:

 

 Autumn Spring Summer  
Year 1 
  • Core 1 (lectures + practical)
  • Skills for chemists (including maths)
  • Core 2 (lectures + practical)
  • Skills for chemists (including maths)
  • Core 3 (lectures and practicals)
  • Skills for chemists (including maths)

        

  • Core 3 (practical) 
Year 2
  • Core 4 (lectures + practical)
  • Option 1 
  • Core 5-6 (lectures + practical)
  • Option 1
  • Core 5-6 (lectures + practical)
  • Option 1
  • Group exercises
Year 3
  • Core 7-9 (lectures)
  • Project (BSc) or Training (MChem)
  • Option 2 
  • Core 7-9 (lectures)
  • Project (BSc) or Training (MChem)
  • Option 3-4 (MChem)
  • Core 7-9 (lectures)
  • Training (MChem)
  • Option 3-4 (MChem)
 
Year 4
  • Open learning Chemistry module
  • Research Project
  • Open learning Chemistry module
  • Research Project
  • Open learning Chemistry module
  • Research Project
 

 

 

Year 1

  • Our course starts with modules on the themes of structure and bonding, and chemical change and reactivity, with practical courses (in synthesis and thermodynamics) complementing the lectures
  • The Spring and Summer terms are divided into two interdisciplinary modules, that introduce key chemical principles in the areas of analysis, structure and bonding, and reactivity and mechanism
  • In the first two terms, practical Chemistry is taught in weekly classes running over two full days. In the third term, we take a different approach and teach an Integrated Chemistry laboratory class in a block two-week period held after the examinations. The Integrated Chemistry projects allow students to bring all of their practical skills together and start solving more complex real-world practical problems. They are able to concentrate on their practical work without other distractions
  • Our maths/biology/physics skills training has been revised, with a quantitative Chemistry course provided for all students in Term 1 paired with courses on Chemistry at the Cutting Edge and Building a Biological Background 
  Year 2
  • Year 2 core modules cover structure and bonding, synthesis and spectroscopy. Courses include Biological Organic Chemistry, Quantum Mechanics, Excited States and Photochemistry and Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Students can take one 20-credit option across all three terms. Many of the options relate to real-world applications of Chemistry and allow students to explore fundamental principles of Chemistry in context
  • The option modules are relatively broad-based and are designed to give students a flavour of a diverse range of Chemistry in preparation for the more specialised option modules in Year 3 
  • We provide training in a variety of transferable skills, including group exercises where students work in teams to solve industrial problems. These are held over a two week block period, allowing students to focus on this activity after examinations
  Year 3
  • Year 3 core modules cover some modern and exciting developments in inorganic, organic and physical Chemistry. Courses include Materials and Nanoparticles, Metal Mediated Organic Synthesis and Molecular Reaction Dynamics
  • BSc students take one option module in the Autumn term and MChem students take three option modules over all three terms
  • Students on the BSc programme complete a research project 
  • Students on the MChem programme complete a research training programme, which includes advanced practical techniques, integrated spectroscopy and scientific literacy. The scientific literacy course develops and supports our students abilities to comprehend complex scientific documents and write about Chemistry in a clear and logical way
  Year 4
  • All students complete a distance learning module on advanced core Chemistry topics, such as Organic Synthesis and Advancements in Green Chemistry
  • Students abroad may complete a lecture programme that varies according to the university they attend
  • All students complete an extended research project, either at York, in Industry, or at one of our partner universities abroad. The extended research project is ideal preparation for further PhD research, or a research-based job in industry, as well as developing your general skills in project planning and management