At the School of Physical Sciences, we have a strong teaching record in analytical chemistry and we are proud to link our world-leading research on materials chemistry to our undergraduate programmes. All practical classes take place in our newly refurbished laboratories, where you use the latest equipment.
This programme is fully accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
Our degree programme
Chemistry at Kent is a distinctive programme and includes a set of ‘chemistry in context’ modules where you apply your knowledge to specific case studies. For example, in our first-year Disasters module, you choose a chemical disaster and use your understanding of chemical phenomenon to formulate a disaster management plan.
Your first year modules introduce you to the broad base of knowledge on which chemistry is founded. In your second year, you further develop your knowledge of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry and improve your practical laboratory skills.
In your final year, alongside compulsory modules you can choose to take a module focusing on DNA analysis or fires and explosions. You also complete research project in computational chemistry, solid-state chemistry or synthetic (organic) chemistry.
You spend the third year of this four-year degree at one of our partner universities in the USA, Canada or Hong Kong. You study equivalent courses to those you would take at Kent. It is also possible to take this degree as a three-year BSc. For details see our Chemistry programme.
You also have the option of doing a four-year MChem programme and working as part of a research group doing cutting-edge work. For details, see Chemistry - MChem.
If you do not have the grades you need to study on our BSc degree, you could take Chemistry with a Foundation year.
We recently invested £10 million in our laboratories and improved our general study spaces. Facilities to support chemistry include a full characterisation suite for materials containing:
three powder diffractometers a crystal diffractometer X-ray fluorescence instruments to measure magnetic and transport properties at 4K and up to 7 T a Raman spectrometer two scanning electron microscope (SEM)gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS)high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system
atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) equipmentFourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR).
The School of Physical Sciences is home to an international scientific community of chemistry, forensic science, physics and astronomy students. Numerous formal and informal opportunities for discussion make it easy to participate in the academic life of the School. All students have an academic adviser and we also run a peer mentoring scheme.
You are encouraged to participate in conferences and professional events to build up your knowledge of the science community and enhance your professional development. The School also works collaboratively with business partners, which allows you to see how our research influences current practice.
You can also take part in:
the School’s Physical Sciences Colloquia, a popular series of talks given by internal and external experts on relevant and current topicsthe student-run chemistry society, Chemsoc, which organises talks with top industry professionals, practical demonstrations and social events.
The degree is made of a combination of lectures, 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. The year in industry mark also counts towards your final degree result.
Coursework assessments include practical laboratory skills, presentation skills as well as essay and report writing.
Please note that there are degree thresholds at stage 1 that you will be required to pass in order to continue onto the next stages.
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.
- Appreciate developments at the forefront of some areas of chemical science.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to this to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
- Recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data.
- Use computational methods for the practical application of theory and to use IT and data-processing skills to search for, assess and interpret chemical information and data.
- Skills in essay writing and presenting scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences and communicate complex scientific argument to a lay audience.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- Safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use and risk assessment.
- 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 and the operation of standard analytical instruments employed in the chemical sciences.
- Collate, interpret and explain the significance and underlying theory of experimental data, including an assessment of limits of accuracy.
- Use experimental data to inform future work.
- The ability to implement research projects including competence in the design and execution of experiments.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Communication, written and oral.
- The ability to undertake further training of a professional nature.
- Problem-solving, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
- Numeracy and computational abilities, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation.
- Information-retrieval, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including online computer searches.
- IT abilities, such as word-processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, and internet communication.
- Interpersonal skills, the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a professional environment.
- Time-management and organisation, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working.
- To be able to continue your professional development and employment.
- The ability to function effectively in an industrial or commercial environment through a Year in Industry.
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, balanced foundation of chemical knowledge and practical skills.
- Widen access to as broad a range of students as practicable.
- Develop students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills to the solution of chemical science problems.
- Develop students’ ability to apply their chemical knowledge and skills to the solution of theoretical and practical problems in chemistry.
- Teach students a wide range of practical skills including a knowledge, understanding and ability to assess safety in the laboratory environment.
- Teach students the appropriate generic skills that will be 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.
- Establish an appreciation of the importance and sustainability of the chemical sciences in an industrial, academic, economic, environmental and social context.
- Provide the knowledge and skillsfor students to proceed to graduate employment or to further their studies.
- Further develop students’ work-related skills and provide experience of a workplace culture through the opportunity to spend a year in industry.