This programme is designed for students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry to Stage 1 of our degree courses, and is an excellent conversion course for applicants who have shown academic ability in non-science subjects.
Our distinctive programme includes a set of ‘chemistry in context’ modules where you can apply your knowledge to specific case studies, as well as the opportunity to work with our leading research teams on your own project.
Reasons to study Chemistry with a Foundation Year at Kent
Our foundation year offers you the flexibility to progress to degrees across our Division of Natural Sciences. You may choose a degree in Chemistry, but equally you could opt for a degree within Forensic Science, Biosciences or Sport and Exercise Sciences.There may also be an opportunity to progress to a four-year MChem programme that includes a final-year research project.Fantastic industry-standard facilities, including a Raman spectrometer, two scanning electron microscopes (SEM), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system.Study a wide range of modules from core chemistry concepts to how it can help build a better world with an introduction to chemistry and the environment.Discover opportunities to spend a year on a professional placement, gaining valuable work experience, or spend a year studying abroad.Take a final-year research project which can help prepare you for further study including PhD.Benefit from our expert careers advice to give you the best possible start with a strong focus on your future career and how to get you there.Join ChemSoc, the Chemistry Society for all budding chemists, and take part in a range of social and career-focused talks and activities.For graduate prospects, Chemistry at Kent was ranked 5th in The Guardian University Guide 2022.
What you'll learn
In your foundation year, you study compulsory modules in biology, chemistry and scientific methods, plus a choice of optional modules. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will have reached a standard above A level and so be fully equipped to tackle a BSc degree course.
In the first year of your degree, you’ll develop a broad base on which chemistry is founded, before further developing your knowledge of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry and your practical laboratory skills in year two.
In your final year, alongside advanced modules in organic, inorganic, analytical and physical chemistry, you complete an individual research project with one of our research groups.
See the modules you'll study
Expand your horizons and tailor your degree to suit you with a year abroad, where you'll study at one of our partner institutions for a year. Studying abroad can help you grow in confidence, enhance your employability, plus you'll make friends in the country you're studying in and meet other adventurous students from around the world.
Alternatively, it's possible to work for a year in industry on our Chemistry with a Professional Placement course.
You can also undertake cutting-edge work as part of a research group with our four-year integrated Master's, the MChem.
There are approximately eight one-hour lectures each week, laboratory classes, project work and problem-solving seminars.
Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, continuous assessment and other assignments. You must pass the Stage 1 examinations in order to go on to Stage 2. Coursework assessments include practical laboratory skills, presentation skills as well as essay and report writing.
Please note that you must pass all modules of the foundation year in order to progress onto stage 1.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- Core and foundation scientific physical, biological, and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units, conventions, and laboratory practise and methods in relation to the chemical sciences.
- Areas of chemistry including properties of chemical elements, states of matter, organic functional groups, physiochemical principles, organic and inorganic materials, synthetic pathways, analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, fires and explosions.
- Developments at the forefront of some areas of chemical sciences.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- The ability to understand essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to apply this knowledge to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
- The ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data.
- The ability to use computational methods for the practical application of theory and to use information technology and data-processing skills to search for, assess and interpret chemical information and data.
- A knowledge of essay writing and presenting scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences and the ability to communicate complex scientific argument to a lay audience.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- The safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including specific hazards associated with their use and risk-assessment of such hazards.
- The ability to carry out documented standard laboratory procedures involved in synthetic and analytical work in relation to organic and inorganic systems. Skills in observational and instrumental monitoring of physiochemical events and changes and the systematic and reliable documentation of the above. Operation of standard analytical instruments employed in the chemical sciences.
- The ability to collate, interpret and explain the significance and underlying theory of experimental data, including an assessment of limits of accuracy.
- The ability to implement research projects including competence in the design and execution of experiments.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Communication, both written and oral.
- To be able to undertake further training of a professional nature.
- Problem-solving in relation to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
- Numeracy and computational skills, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation.
- Information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including online computer searches.
- Knowledge of IT such as word-processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, internet communication.
- Interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a professional environment.
- Time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working. Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support life-long learning.
- Study skills required continuing professional development and professional employment.
The programme aims to:
- Instil a sense of enthusiasm for chemistry, an appreciation of its application in different contexts and involve students in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying.
- Provide a broad and balanced foundation of chemical knowledge and practical skills.
- Provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable.
- Develop in students the ability to apply their knowledge and skills to the solution of chemical science problems and to be able to solve theoretical and practical problems in chemistry.
- Impart practical skills including the knowledge, understanding and ability to assess safety in the laboratory environment.
- Develop a range of generic skills, of value in chemical and non-chemical employment.
- Provide a stimulating, research-active environment in which students are supported and motivated to achieve their academic and personal potential.
- Enable students to graduate with an understanding of scientific methodology, the ability to use this in the solution of problems in and outside of a laboratory environment, and the ability to undertake and report on an experimental investigation using such methodology.
- Foster an appreciation of the importance and sustainability of the chemical sciences in an industrial, academic, economic, environmental and social context.
- Provide students with the knowledge and skills to gain graduate-level employment or to pursue further studies.