Accessibility statement

Information on our Teaching Plans for Incoming First Year Chemists September 2021


orange locker keys

We appreciate you have many questions about what will happen in the next academic year; whether you will be returning to campus and the kind of educational experience you might expect.

Our Chemistry degree programmes have their own, tailored set of distinctive learning outcomes, and this won’t change, no matter what your location or mode of delivery.

All the tailored elements of delivering your individual course, whether that’s lectures involving large numbers of students, small group teaching sessions (tutorials and workshops), or practical-based sessions, will give you the best opportunity to build your knowledge, gain the right skills, and make the most of your experience with York.

Our plans in the Department of Chemistry are taking into account a range of potential scenarios including the various Government restrictions that may be in place. You might like to see our plans for last year: 2020 Chemistry Undergraduate Teaching Flyer (PDF , 725kb). This means that we’re working hard to design your courses to be flexible, and focused on these distinctive learning outcomes.

We are preparing to teach cohorts of students located both on and off-campus (if some of our international students are unable to join us at the start of term). We are working on different ways for students to interact, to engage with each other and with staff, wherever they are located.

As we prepare for the new academic year, our vision for our Chemistry students also remains the same; you are part of a community of learning and inquiry where you will continue to pursue your academic interests and develop as an individual, ready to make a difference to society and the world.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to the Department of Chemistry in September. 

If you have questions, or you would like to chat to us, please don’t hesitate to contact Professor Andrew Parsons or Katrina Sayer

Useful information 

We hope you will find the following information useful, prior to starting your Chemistry course.

Examination dates

For the latest assessment and examination periods.

Year 1 Chemistry timetable for the first week (to be confirmed)

Day (week 1) Activity Time 
Monday  -  -


Wednesday Introductory meeting with Head of Department (followed by a meeting with your supervisor) 10.00 - 12.00
Thursday Safety Briefing I 10.00 - 11.00
Thursday General Introduction (careers, library, etc.) 11.00 - 12.00
Thursday Introduction to Chemistry 12.00-13.00

Collecting Lab Kit

Group X (Avogadro, Hodgkin, Mendeleev, Pauling and Woodward Chemistry Teaching Colleges)


Collecting Lab Kit

Group(Curie, Dalton and Faraday Chemistry Teaching Colleges)


Safety Briefing II

13.00 - 14.00


Introduction Skills for Chemists

14.00 - 15.00

Lectures are normally scheduled on the hour. The lecturer will begin at 5 minutes past the hour and finish no later than 5 minutes before the subsequent hour. (You have a 10-minute break between lectures.)

Recommended reading

Stepping up to Chemistry image

Stepping up to Chemistry

This new site is an online resource aimed at pre-university students, the summer before coming to university.

It has been designed to provide you with a comprehensive online resource for background reading prior to starting your Chemistry studies.

The recommended textbook for our first year chemistry course is:

Chemistry3; 3rd edition, A. Burrows, J. Holman, A. Parsons, G. Pilling and G. Price; Oxford University Press; 3rd edition (ISBN 978-0-19-87380-5) - you will have access to a free e-book copy of this.‌

If you would like to read through Chapter 1 before collecting your free copy, we have included this on our VLE site, 'Preparing to Study Chemistry'. This chapter reviews key concepts that you are likely to have encountered in your pre-university course. There is also an online resource centre that supports this textbook, which includes over 90 Chemistry videos.‌

The recommended textbooks for maths (to support some of your chemistry topics) are as follows:

Primary text:

Maths for Chemists, Martin Cockett and Graham Doggett; 2nd edition (ISBN 978-1-84973-359-5)

The revised and extended edition of the hugely successful Maths for Chemists texts provides an accessible and useful resource for all undergraduate chemistry students.  The book adopts a user-friendly approach, leading the reader through the underlying mathematical principles before capitalising on confidence gained by developing those concepts in the chemical context.  The broad spread of material ranging from elementary essentials to more advanced topics should appeal to readers of wide-ranging mathematical confidence. 

Secondary text:

Scott, S.K.; Beginning mathematics for chemistry; OUP; 1995; 1st edition (ISBN-13:9780198559306).

There is also some material on physics topics of relevance to Chemistry and a self-teach tutorial on data analysis (using Excel) on our VLE site. 


You will need to bring your own calculator for University examinations. The following models are acceptable: Casio FX-83GTX and Casio FX-85GTX  

The following models are discontinued but still allowed:  Casio FX-85GT Plus, Casio FX-85ES and Casio FX-85GT

Teaching Package

We provide a Teaching Package free of charge to all students starting on one of our Chemistry courses. The pack contains:

  • A laboratory coat. If you wish to bring your own labcoat please ensure it is cotton or a mix of poly/cotton and is fastened with press-studs and not buttons
  • Safety spectacles
  • A full set of laboratory equipment including a comprehensive set of Quickfit glassware, test tubes, lab beakers, graduated cylinders, conical flasks and volumetric flasks
  • A molecular model set to learn about molecular shape and bonding in organic and inorganic molecules
  • Affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry for one year, starting in November.  Membership of the RSC, the learned society and professional body for the chemical sciences, will enable you to keep up to date with the chemical sciences and support your subject and profession
  • A chemistry data book, which contains a selection of information including physical and chemical properties, mathematical data, units and constants
  • A series of detailed laboratory scripts are provided in advance of each of the practical courses.
  • Year 1 student enrolment to Chemsoc
  • Access to an e-book copy of Chemistry3 
  • Copies of all lecture handouts

Computer information

If you are bringing your own computer, the following software will be useful: a word-processing package, typically Microsoft Office (look out for educational discounts), internet access software, and a chemical drawing package.

ChemSketch is free to download from the internet. Probably the most useful tool for producing chemical drawings is ChemDraw for which the Department has a subscription. ChemDraw Std is installed on pcs in computer classrooms and is also available to download for personal use.

IT Services has further information for new students.

College Teaching Groups

Chemistry teaching colleges (4)

For teaching purposes, each Chemistry student is assigned a chemistry teaching college with typically 25 first year students in each college. Our teaching colleges are:

  • Avogadro
  • Dalton
  • Curie
  • Faraday
  • Hodgkin
  • Mendeleev
  • Pauling
  • Woodward