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 third year, alongside compulsory modules you can choose to take a module focusing on DNA analysis or fires and explosions. You also complete an advanced project in which you gain experience of advanced laboratory techniques and produce a short research project.
In your final year, you complete either an experimental or computational research project, which you choose from our project list. You work with an academic supervisor as part of their research team gaining invaluable practical experience as well as an understanding of the challenges and rewards of extending knowledge in your field.
Chemistry student Celine Lauchlan explains what studying at the University of Kent is like.
You also have the option of doing a three-year BSc degree. For details, see Chemistry. It is possible to take the BSc with a placement year and gain valuable work experience. For details, see Chemistry with a Year in Industry.
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 microscopes (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 topics
the 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.
Coursework assessments include practical laboratory skills, presentation skills as well as essay and report writing.
Please note that there are degree thresholds at stages 2 and 3 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.
- Advanced theory, concepts, and practice in 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.
- A critical awareness of a substantial area of chemistry including contemporary materials chemistry.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to apply such knowledge and understanding 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.
- Adapt and apply methodology above to solve advanced and unfamiliar problems.
- 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.
- 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 any specific hazards associated with their use and risk assessment of such hazards.
- The ability to carry out 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 select appropriate techniques and procedures for the above.
- Collate, interpret and explain the significance and underlying theory of experimental data, including an assessment of limits of accuracy.
- Use an understanding of the limits of accuracy of experimental data to inform future work.
- Implement research projects, including competence in the design and execution of experiments.
- Research, project planning and implementation, including competence in the planning, design and execution of experiments, and the ability to work independently and be self-critical in the evaluation of risks, procedures and results.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Communication, covering written and oral communication.
- The ability to undertake further training of a professional nature.
- Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
- Demonstration of self-direction and originality.
- 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 through online computer searches.
- Word-processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, and internet communication.
- Interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a professional environment.
- The ability to communicate and interact with professionals from other disciplines.
- 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.
- Effective research costing and planning.
- Study skills required for continuing professional development and professional employment.
- The skills relevant to a career in the chemical sciences.
- The ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility and make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations.
- Independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.
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.
- Extend this knowledge and practical ability to an advanced level in a selected specialist area and develop a critical awareness of advances in chemical science.
- Provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable.
- Develop the ability to apply knowledge and skills to the solution of chemical science problems.
- The ability to apply chemical knowledge and skills to the solution of theoretical and practical problems.
- Develop a wide range of practical skills, including a knowledge, understanding and ability to assess safety in the laboratory environment.
- Impart a range of appropriate 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.
- To further use and adapt this methodology to the solution of unfamiliar problems and in the pursuit of advanced experimental investigations.
- 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 skills to proceed to graduate employment or continue with further studies.
- To further prepare you for a professional role in chemical sciences (employment or doctoral studies).