Accessibility statement

Widening Participation Initiative: Exploring Everyday Chemistry

2020/21 Entry 

Exploring Everyday Chemistry is a University of York MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), freely available and delivered in partnership with FutureLearn. It provides an insightful look into everyday chemistry and the chance to engage with one of the most highly rated Chemistry departments in the UK.

Topics include searching for new antibiotics, how to make the most delicious coffee and designing performance enhancing sportswear.

This course is for anyone interested in finding out more about chemistry. It is particularly useful for sixth-form students looking to study chemistry at higher education level.

It aims to help students successfully prepare for a university Chemistry degree and so it could be used as an alternative to completing a chemistry-related Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and used as supporting evidence in your UCAS personal statement.

The 4-week course is free to access online and it starts on 29 June 2020.

Alternative UCAS Offer for the 2020/21 Admissions Cycle

The Department of Chemistry aims to enthuse and inspire talented people from all backgrounds about higher education, and with this in mind, we have introduced a new initiative for UK-based students who apply through UCAS for a Chemistry degree at York in the 2020/21 admissions cycle.

If you meet both of the criteria detailed below then you will receive an alternative offer for entry to study an undergraduate Chemistry degree at York, which is equivalent to:

  • one A level grade below our normal offer (retaining the requirement for an A grade in Chemistry) e.g. for a student studying A level Chemistry, Mathematics and History, our normal offer is AAA, and our alternative offer is AAB (A in Chemistry).
  • 1 point below our normal offer in the International Baccalaureate Diploma (retaining the requirement for grade 6 in HL Chemistry) e.g. for a student studying HL Chemistry, Mathematics and History, our normal offer is 36 points (including 6 in HL Chemistry), and our alternative offer is 35 points (including 6 in HL Chemistry).


Criteria 1: You live in an area with low progression to higher education

If you live in an area with low progression to higher education and apply to study a Chemistry degree at York then you meet the first part of our criteria for an alternative offer. We will use the POLAR3 data in your UCAS application to determine if you live in a suitable area – the number in the POLAR3 young participation quintile column must be 1 or 2 for you to qualify. If unsure, you can check your home postcode.

Criteria 2: You successfully complete the Exploring Everyday Chemistry MOOC

You will also need to demonstrate successful completion of our MOOC as evidenced in the following two ways:

(i) We will review your FutureLearn profile – we will be looking for evidence of your engagement in the course through, for example, regularly contributing to discussions and completing at least one kitchen experiment per week (with results posted on the site) throughout the four weeks of the course.

(ii) You will need to download and complete this one-page document and send it to Katrina Sayer at, prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Our undergraduate admissions team will assess this document, looking for further evidence of your engagement with our MOOC course content.