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The University of Southampton

Undergraduate Applicants

Welcome to the Chemistry Applicants page. Here you will find all the detailed information you need on degree programme structure, projects, placements and modules. Find out what our students think, and see where a Chemistry degree from Southampton could take you. This page will be updated with new material throughout the UCAS period, so do add it to your favourites or bookmarks.

Our Admissions Team and Admissions Tutor are always available, to talk about our entry requirements, the degree programme options or anything else to do with your application.

Undergraduate admissions enquiries (UK and international students)

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


Postal address:

Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Room 2043 Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

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  • Thriving, internationally-respected department, in the cultural and commercial capital of the South Coast.
  • One of only 13 UK Chemistry departments with a CHE Excellence Ranking, in the European premier league for research.
  • Ranked 4th in the UK in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) for the last two years.
  • Ranked 6th in the UK for research intensity in the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

With a strong ethos for enterprise, we have four spin-out companies from our research, founded by academic staff, who still work here or are affiliated with us. They have supported many students on placements, and have employed some of our graduates too.

We currently host the UK’s National Crystallography Service (NCS). Funded by the EPSRC, it provides powerful X-ray diffraction structure determination facilities for the department and the UK as a whole. Our NMR and Mass Spectrometry facilities underwent a £1m upgrade two years ago, and we have world-leading experts in NMR and MRI research.

All our MChem and BSc degree programmes are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, enabling you to move on to professional employment in the chemical sciences.

All students will be assigned a Personal Academic Tutor, who can mentor and support you throughout your degree. They can advise on module and course options, provide help with your CV and interviews, be a referee for placement and job applications, and a confidant for academic and pastoral issues.

Our support network of Student Family Groups welcome new students. Headed by 2nd year undergraduate “parents”, they help students settle in to the department and make new friends.

We have a Faculty International Student Support Group, which meets each month, to give our Chemistry students from across the EU and around the world, the opportunity to feedback any issues to us, to gain knowledge and support, and to make new friends across our Faculty.

Our Student Course Reps and Academic Student President are the spokespeople for the undergraduate community. They feedback student issues with any aspect of the courses to our Staff-Student Liaison Committee. Together with Module Surveys, this enables us to modify and refine our teaching, and address any problems that may arise.

We are also one of only 7 Chemistry departments in the UK, to be awarded a Silver Athena SWAN award, recognising our success in promotion of gender equality, as part of our wider commitment to equality and diversity across the department.

We work with the Enabling Services department to support students with additional pastoral, academic, learning and exam support needs. We strive to enable all students to achieve their potential, and have a wealth of experience in assisting students, for example, with anxiety, depression and dyslexia.

We appreciate everyone learns in different ways, so we provide a wide variety of learning and teaching methods. In addition to lectures, we use the following:

  • Small-group tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Revision Classes
  • Well-supported Practical Lab Classes

All our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Blackboard, and various other media, such as:

  • Recorded Lecture Videos
  • Online Lecture Support
  • Interactive Online Tests and Surveys
  • Online Revision Questions
  • Suggested Web-links and reading lists
  • Lab Experiment Setup Videos
  • Lab Equipment Tutorial Videos
  • In-Class Zapper Questions

In addition to our academic research staff, who teach a wide variety of modules, we have five dedicated Chemistry Teaching Fellows. They devote their time to supporting undergraduate teaching across organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, in lecturing, support sessions and laboratory practicals.

Our Chemistry Education Research Group, headed by Prof. David Read, a pioneer in assisted learning technology, supports development and delivery of our undergraduate teaching.

Our undergraduates have access to our state-of-the-art analytical facilities through lab practicals and research projects, including our unique X-ray crystallography teaching lab.

We offer a diverse range of areas of chemistry to study, from atoms to biomolecules and from crystal structures to functional materials.

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There are two exciting placement options; a one-year and a six-month placement. Our MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Sciences programme, also has a six-month placement, run in the same way.

We have placement connections with over 90 different organisations world-wide, giving students a massive choice of high-quality locations and research. Industries include major pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, defense, forensic services, biotech and more. Universities include University of Montreal, National Technological University (Singapore), Curtin University (Perth), California Institute of Technology and many more.

All placements are set-up by us, and are advertised online, through Blackboard, by e-mail, notice board and word of mouth. Students apply for them in a competitive process.

Some students make their own connections to new places, which we support the set-up of (e.g. organising contracts, ensuring quality/welfare and of institution/company environment).

We provide support with CV and application writing, mock interviews and careers advice, via personal tutors and university courses and events.

Research projects enable you to develop your laboratory, communication, writing and research skills, within a research group at the cutting-edge of your chosen area.

Students will spend 120 – 240 hours in lab/related research, depending on the degree programme taken, with on-to-one supervision by experienced research students and staff. 

Projects will involve literature-based research and regular communication with the supervisor, to enable the student to take ownership of their work

Some of our students are also recognized in scientific publications, where their work has made a significant contribution.

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