The University of Southampton

F101 MChem Chemistry with a six month placement (4 years)

Southampton’s MChem Chemistry with a six-month placement, the first of its kind in the UK, combines the background and experience of our MChem courses, with a distinctive six-month placement.

This four-year degree gives you the in-depth understanding of chemistry and personal skills to take up a successful career in a variety of areas including research, pharmaceuticals and non-chemical professions.

Introducing your course

Intended for ambitious undergraduates with career aspirations in academic or commercial research, the placement provides excellent career development opportunities and advanced practical training in industry in locations such as the US, Australia, Singapore and across Europe.

Our expert staff will help you to develop in-depth knowledge of core topics such as physical chemistry, genetics and physiology while gaining extensive laboratory experience. Your project-year will see you working as part of a research group on a major project.

All of our Chemistry courses are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) increasing the employability and enhancing the CVs of our graduates.



What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

The MChem Chemistry degree single and combined Honours programmes aim to enhance your sense of enthusiasm for chemistry and to involve you in an intellectually stimulating experience of learning in a supportive environment. You will gain extensive in-depth knowledge and understanding of chemistry and related subjects, as well as a comprehensive training in practical chemistry and an appreciation of the importance of the discipline in different contexts. We will provide a sound basis for a successful career as a professional chemist and provide opportunities for you to develop a range of transferable skills for both chemical and non-chemical careers.

You will also have the opportunity to work on an original project during a six month work placement  in an industrial or academic research laboratory to equip you for a successful career as a professional chemist and enable you to fulfil the requirements of the Royal Society of Chemistry for the CChem qualification.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All applications for this MChem Chemistry degree are via UCAS, the course code is F101. For more information, visit the how to apply section of the website.


Our integrated masters degrees in chemistry are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) - when you graduate, you will be eligible for full membership status (MRSC) and you will have met the academic requirements to become a Chartered Chemist (CChem).

Programme Structure

Each academic year of your MChem degree in chemistry degree is identified as a level: the first year is Level 1 (often called fundamental); the second year is Level 2 (intermediate); the third year is Level 3 (advanced); and the fourth year is Level 6 (master's). You are required to undertake a specified number of courses (otherwise called units) in each of these levels.

Each year on this chemistry degree you will complete studies which collectively have a value of 120 credit points (CP). A credit point is a measure of the volume of study associated with each academic course that you study. One CP approximates to ten hours of study and this includes timetabled learning, private learning, revision and assessment.

Every course in chemistry and other subjects that you might study normally carry a credit point rating of 15CP. As a consequence you take eight courses in each academic year and these will normally be distributed evenly in each semester.

You will study a proportion of core courses in the first three years of your MChem Chemistry degree.  The proportion of core courses is higher in the first two years and lower in the third year to allow for the selection of advanced chemistry electives. In your fourth year you will generally be free to control your chemistry curriculum and will not be required to take any core courses.

All single honours programmes offer the chance for you to take a subset of your studies outside chemistry if you are interested in doing so. In the first year, three courses may be studied in other sciences or in specialist areas of chemistry and in the second year, two courses may be taken in this way.

Key Facts

The course incorporates a six month placement, which usually takes place at the beginning of Year 4 of the course.

The National Student Survey 2016 (NSS)


98% of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students were satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching of their course
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that staff are good at explaining things
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that staff have made the subject interesting
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that the course is intellectually stimulating

Academic support

90% of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students were satisfied or very satisfied with the academic support
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that I have been able to contact staff when I needed to
MChem Chemistry with a six month placement scored 93% for organisation and management
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that the timetable works efficiently as far as my activities are concerned
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that any changes in the course or teaching have been communicated effectively
of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that the course is well organised and is running smoothly

Learning resources

90% of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that I have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities or rooms when I needed to

Personal development

91% of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students agreed that as a result of the course, I feel confident in tackling unfamiliar problems


96% of MChem Chemistry with a six month placement students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course

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Thumbnail photo of Duncan Parker

“To be able to gain industrial experience while still doing the degree was a major influence when deciding to choose this course.”

Duncan Parker - MChem Chemistry with six-month placement
Thumbnail photo of David Evans

“I was in Caen in northern France researching organo-boron catalysis. ”

David Evans - Master of Chemistry with a six month placement, 2016
Thumbnail photo of Rachel Greenhill

“I really liked the course, it has a lot of choice and you can change your direction of your studies if you want.”

Rachel Greenhill - Master of Chemistry with a six month placement, 2016
Thumbnail photo of John-Joseph Marie

“I chose Southampton because sailing has always been a big part of my life. It is my favourite sport, and there are some great sailing opportunities on offer here. A highlight was winning the University National Keel Boat Championships, which was a great achievement.”

John-Joseph Marie - MChem Chemistry with six-month placement, 2018

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEIf you are not studying Maths at A level (or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University), we prefer an A or 7 grade in GCSE Mathematics but a B or 6 grade will be considered. Otherwise, our minimum requirement is grade C or 4 in Maths and English. This is supplementary to your A level (or equivalent) qualifications.
A Levels:
GCE A-level

Our typical offers for students who are studying 3 A-levels is:

AAA, for students taking Chemistry plus one other acceptable science or mathematics subject.

Acceptable science/mathematics subjects include Physics, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Human Biology, Geology, Geography and Psychology.

Each application is considered on its own merit. Standard offers are made based on the application as a whole, including combination of subjects taken, and predicted grades. Offers may be subject to adjustment, based on discussion with the applicant, formal interview (if deemed necessary), or on a contextual basis. Under certain circumstances we may make an offer to an individual applicant which differs from those outlined above.

Students studying Chemistry, with no additional acceptable science/maths subject, may be interviewed to determine suitability for the course. We may also in some circumstances, recommend an alternative offer for the BSc programme. However, our flexible programme structure would allow transfer to this MChem programme, pending good performance in Year 1.

International Baccalaureate36 points on the IB scale with a 6 in Chemistry and a 6 in one other subject from physics, biology or mathematics at Higher Level. The same consideration will be given to IB students studying Chemistry, with no additional acceptable science/maths subject at Higher Level, as those A-level students, as detailed above.
Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers

AAAA(AA), to include Chemistry plus one other subject from physics, biology or mathematics at Advanced Higher.

Irish Leaving Certificate

A1, A1, A1, A1, A1, A1 to include Chemistry plus one other subject from physics, biology or mathematics at Higher Level.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3D3D3, to include Chemistry plus one other subject from physics, biology, mathematics or further mathematics.

Welsh Baccalaureate

A in core (2015), plus A*A, to include Chemistry plus one other acceptable science/maths subject, as describe above. The Welsh Baccalaureate is not accepted where Chemistry is the only accompanying science/mathematics A-level.

European Baccalaureate

Average of 85% across all units of study with a minimum of 8 in Chemistry and Mathematics.

Selection process:
Total undergraduate intake 160-190
Average applications per place:

Once you have applied and submitted your application to study on this MChem degree programme your application will be sent to us by UCAS as soon as possible. On arrival, we consider every application on its individual merits and determine whether or not we are prepared to make an academic offer on the basis of the information provided.

If we decide that we will be able to make you an offer, we will send confirmation of your offer, and invite you to visit us on one of our UCAS Visit Days as a Post-Offer Applicant. These are usually hosted, on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday from November to March.

We sometimes require a formal interview, prior to making an offer, to discuss aspects of your application, and to assess your Chemistry background in detail. In this case, you would be invited to attend one of our UCAS Visit Days, as a Pre-Offer Applicant.

The Chemistry UCAS Visit Day is your chance to get all the detailed information you need, experience the atmosphere and environment on a working day and gain invaluable student feedback, to help you in making your decision at this stage in the application process.

You will have the opportunity to discuss anything related to your application and offer, in an informal Post-Offer Applicant meeting with a member of academic staff, or Pre-Offer Applicant interview.

Our Admissions team and Admissions Tutor are always available to answer your enquiries and to discuss your application and offer in detail. Please contact us prior to your application, if you have any queries about your qualifications, the course requirements or the application process.

Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8310 / +44 (0)23 8059 7755

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Foundation, BTEC and Access Courses in Chemistry

We welcome applications from Foundation Year, BTEC and Access to Higher Education Course students who have studied courses with a substantial component in chemistry and who have achieved a high standard in doing so. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, and decisions are made on the basis of the particular course that you are studying and by interview (in most cases). Access Course and BTEC students are normally required to study on our Science Foundation Year programme before progressing on to their degree of choice, but exceptional candidates, identified with the aid of a reference request later in the UCAS cycle, may be accepted directly on to this MChem degree programme, subject to a successful formal interview.

Diploma and Advanced Diploma (Overseas applicants)

We are happy to receive applications to study MChem Chemistry with six-month placement from students who have taken college/ polytechnic diplomas in chemistry and will make offers either for entry into the first year or second year. For second year entry, you must have achieved a very high standard in your diploma and your curriculum must have included the majority of the chemistry that we teach in our first year.



Typical course content

In each of the first three years of this integrated MChem Chemistry degree you will take certain compulsory core modules and a selection of approved optional modules to give a minimum of 120CP of study. The modules are graded introductory/fundamental (HE1), intermediate (HE2) and advanced (HE3): the first number in the module code also indicates the level of study in which the module is normally taken.   You will undertaken a sixth month placement during the fourth year. 

To help you see Chemistry in a broader context you will study over the four years at least 60CP of subjects that are academically and/or professionally related to Chemistry. A feature of the programme is the wide range of modules available for this purpose.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability". 

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

As a first year MChem Chemistry student you will study a set of core topics that are essential to your developing knowledge irrespective of the area that you eventually decide to specialise in.

Two optional modules from chemistry or another subject professionally/academically related to chemistry are taken. Normally one is taken in each semester.  In addition to the options listed below physics options are PHYS1005, PHYS1008 and PHYS1026.

Transfer opportunities to related programmes are available at the end of the year, subject to you fulfilling specific performance criteria.  Please refer to Progression rules and transfer opportunities in the programme overview tab.

Year 2

Two optional courses from chemistry or another subject professionally/academically related to chemistry are taken. They can be taken in semester one or two. One course maybe taken from level 1 if not already taken in year 1.

Transfer opportunities are available at the end of the year to related programmes, subject to specific performance criteria. Please refer to Progression rules and transfer opportunities in the programme overview tab.

Semester Two

Modules outside chemistry (up to 15CP, 7.5 ECTS) may be taken in each semester. Options in mathematics, physics, biology are commonly available. More details of what is available can be obtained from the faculty undergraduate office.


PHYS1026 Introduction to the Nanoworld - Optional
PHYS2015 Introduction to Energy in The Environment - Optional

Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Introduction to Analytical Chemistry
Organic Chemistry in the Environment
Quantitative Models in Chemistry
Pharmacology B
Primary Education:Critical Observations
Secondary Education: Critical Observations
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Business Skills for Employability
The Management of Risk and Uncertainty
Ethics in Science, Engineering, and Technology: Jekyll and Hyde
Aspects of Organic Synthesis
Change and Equilibrium
Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry II

Year 4

Six month placement in semester one.  Four optional courses from chemistry, with the option of taking one of the courses at level 6 in chemistry or another subject professionally/academically related to chemistry are taken. They are to be taken in semester two.

Semester One

Six month placement.

There are no optional modules for semester 1

Chemistry Placement
Semester Two

Four optional courses from chemistry, with the option of taking one of the courses at level 6 in chemistry or another subject professionally/academically related to chemistry are taken.  Please note that CHEM6092 or CHEM6093 can only be taken if CHEM3002 or CHEM3004 (respectively) were not taken as Year 3 options.

Modules outside chemistry (up to 15CP, 7.5 ECTS) may be taken in semester two.

Advanced Organic Reactions
Medicinal Chemistry for MChem
Organic Materials Chemistry
Sustainable Chemistry
Supramolecular Chemistry
Crystallography and Structural Science
Functional Framework Materials
Advanced Main Group Chemistry
Synthesis of Natural Products and Pharmaceuticals
Advanced Bioorganic Chemistry
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Advanced Spectroscopy and its applications
Data-Driven Science
Atoms, Molecules and Spins: Quantum Mechanics in Chemistry and Spectroscopy

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingWhere possible, coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations is likely to be submitted online. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit online and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. You will be given a printing allowance of £5 per 7.5 ECTS CHEM towards the costs of printing lecture handouts and/or practical scripts. The University Print Centre also offer a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found at They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. academic posters. Details of current costs can be found at£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc.). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All laboratory equipment and materials are provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense.
PlacementsPlacements (including Study Abroad Programmes): Students on placement programmes can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to. Specific details on what additional costs there will be are detailed in the individual module profiles which can be found under the modules tab of the programmes details of your programme.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Statistics show that in the case of Chemistry graduates at Southampton more than 95 per cent can expect to be in full time employment or undertaking further study six months after graduation.

Chemistry degrees are in third place behind only Medicine and Dentistry as the degree with the highest financial return over the term of the graduate’s career but our degree offers rewards at a deeper intellectual level.

The vital opportunity we provide to work on an original project in an industrial or academic setting will equip you with the confidence to create a rewarding career as a professional chemist should you so choose.

Our graduates have found success in process chemistry, medicinal chemistry, scientific publishing, materials science, environmental chemistry, life sciences, analytical chemistry and computational chemistry.

The choices will be limited only by your own determination and ambition.

Learning & Assessment

The standard of our teaching is renowned. We encourage a close working relationship between you and your academic tutors who will develop your understanding in an inspiring and rewarding fashion. We use the following methods to deliver the curriculum and help you learn and understand the wide variety of chemistry that is covered in our degree courses.

Lectures and workshops

Our MChem Chemistry lectures are often interactive, with discussions, question and answer sessions, informal quizzes as well as the more conventional lecture style. In most lectures you are provided with handouts to summarise key points and structure your note taking.

Workshops then convert your knowledge to understanding. Working in small groups of peers, you will explore problems and link this to material you have recently covered in lectures. Workshops allow you to learn from each other and gain confidence in your own abilities.

The tutorial system

Tutorials on this chemistry degree involve a group of six to eight students and one tutor. You will work on problems in advance of the tutorial and submit your work for assessment. Your tutor will then tailor each session to suit your developing knowledge. You will have the opportunity to lead as well as contribute to discussions, and these sessions provide a forum at which you can present your ideas.

Electronic resources

Blackboard is our virtual learning environment, where we will post copies of lecture notes and other alternative teaching media like videos and self-assessment tests for you to access to enhance your self-study.

Laboratory work and practical sessions

You will spend up to six hours a week in practical sessions to develop your lab technique and exemplifying the theoretical concepts covered in lectures. These sessions are hard work but sociable, and will allow you to obtain your own results and generate supporting laboratory reports.


There are written examinations at the end of each semester to test your knowledge and understanding of material presented in the lectures and workshops. The practical work is continuously assessed primarily through written reports. Project work is assessed by dissertation and oral examination together with a report on your relevant skills from your supervisor.

Coursework exercises based on the lecture material are set each week and marked promptly. In some cases your grade is used to calculate your overall mark for the particular unit of study. However in most cases the grade is simply to give you an indication of your progress.

Study Locations

Chemistry building

Chemistry, Highfield Campus

Chemistry is based at the heart of the University of Southampton's Hig...Find out more

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