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The University of Southampton

Chemistry is a soaraway success at Southampton!

Published: 29 September 2004

Undergraduate recruitment is up by more than a third at the University of Southampton's School of Chemistry.

At a time when the UK science community has been heartened to see an increase of seven per cent in numbers taking the subject at A'level, the intake of chemistry students at Southampton has increased by an impressive 39 per cent.

This year 75 highly-qualified freshers will join the chemistry degree courses. As well as attracting students from across the UK (particularly from across the southern and home counties), the School has welcomed applications and acceptances from students in China, Germany, Japan, Nigeria and Sweden.

"While many university chemistry departments across the country are cutting back on teaching, or in some cases closing completely, it is extremely pleasing to see that Southampton is such an attractive destination for the chemistry students of the future," said Admissions Tutor Dr Jeremy Hinks.

Staff attribute a significant proportion of the increase to an extensive schools liaison programme that aims to show that chemistry is not only an important science but is also a lot of fun. A very broad portfolio of activities includes sessions with Key Stage 1 pupils (ages five to seven) and runs through to sixth form level with demonstrations and hands-on activities for groups and individuals.

Open days and preview events also give academics valuable opportunities to meet potential students and explain more about courses at Southampton.

"Our aim is to enthuse young people about science in general and chemistry in particular. Of course, we also encourage students to consider studying at the University of Southampton and invite present undergraduates to join us in delivering this message to teenagers taking the subject at A' level," said Dr Hinks.

The popularity of the undergraduate chemistry degrees bodes well for the continuing and future success of chemistry research in Southampton. Currently 190 postgraduate students work alongside 50 post-doctoral and 38 academic staff.

Notes for editors

  1. The School of Chemistry has maintained the highest possible ratings in national assessments of teaching quality and has always received a rating of Grade 5 in all Research Assessment Exercises.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has over 19,200 students and 4,800 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £250 million.
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