Why this course?
Strathclyde provides this dual-accredited course at a higher level than anywhere else in the UK.
This degree combines a Royal Society of Chemistry-accredited MChem course with professionally-accredited teacher training (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, Secondary). Dual accreditation means you can move between careers in secondary education and the chemical industry.
The image of chemistry is rapidly changing. It’s recognised as an important aspect of forensic science, technological advancement and environmental protection. Inspirational teachers convey the exciting challenges chemists face and importance of continuous discovery to our daily lives.
Uniquely, your final year project can be in educational approaches to chemistry, such as the development of practical experiments for schools.
Transferable skills are taught in all years and include IT, scientific writing, presentation skills, report writing and problem solving.
You can study at a European university for one year of your degree.
It’s possible to switch between the other MChem courses and also the following shorter BSc degrees within the first three years:
- BSc (Hons) Chemistry
- BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Analytical Chemistry
- BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Forensic Chemistry
- BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Drug Discovery
What you’ll study
You'll take foundation classes in chemistry and mathematics, and physics or biology at introductory or advanced level. Classes in forensic science, drug discovery and chemical engineering are available.
Practical chemistry laboratory sessions help you to master the basic preparative and analytical skills.
In the later years, you’ll take classes in fundamental inorganic, organic, biological and physical chemistry and laboratory work increases.
In Year 4, you'll complete the initial teacher education component in the School of Education, which includes teaching practice in schools.
In your final year, you’ll specialise in the areas and applications that interest you most and undertake a research project in Chemistry with an educational aspect.
High Flyer Programme
Well-qualified applicants with appropriate A Levels and Advanced Highers will be admitted to the Faculty of Science prestigious 'High Flyer' Programme, which allows students to complete an Honours degree in three years and an Integrated Masters degree in four. If you are studying the relevant subjects you may receive a dual offer, specifying grades to direct entry to Year 2 as a High Flyer and also standard Year 1 entry.
Find out more about our High Flyer Programme.
You’ll complete a research project in one of our specialist research laboratories in your final year – working with full-time researchers on real chemistry challenges.
This course equips you for life after graduation, be that employment in teaching or industry, or further study.
Strathclyde chemistry students also compete successfully for national awards. In recent years, our students have won:
- Salters’ Graduate prize (£1,000)
- Low Carbon Undergraduate of the Year Award
- Carnegie Scholarship
- Most Meritorious Student award from the Forensic Science Society
The Dean of Science recognises exceptional performance each year through the Dean’s certificate for the best students in the Faculty. Students can also win prizes including:
- P&G Bursary (£1,000 a year plus a one-year paid Industrial Placement)
- Chemistry International Alumni Ambassadors UG award for overseas travel (£1,000)
- The RSC Prize in Analytical Chemistry
- Andersonian Centenary Medal Prize
- Beilby and Huddleston Prize
- ICI Chemical and Polymers Group Andersonian Centenary Prize
- GlaxoSmithKline Prize
- Syngenta Prize
- Group third-year Poster Competition sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline
Accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirement for Chartered Chemist.
Personal Development Planning (PDP)
You normally have the same Personal Development Adviser (PDA) throughout your degree. PDP is an important part of learning and personal development. It's not only associated with your university course, it allows you to plan for the future.
Chemistry: Principles & Practice 1 & 2
Practical & Transferable Skills
These lectures and tutorials cover all the broad areas of chemistry including:
- analytical chemistry
- structure & bonding
- physical chemistry
- inorganic chemistry
- organic chemistry
All students have one laboratory class per week which runs in both Semester 1 and Semester 2.
Mechanics, Optics & Waves
This class aims to give a basic understanding of:
- mathematical functions
- complex numbers
- matrices & vectors
This class provides you with an understanding of motion of simple mechanical systems, gravitation and simple harmonic motion. You'll also learn about the fundamentals of wave propagation and the superposition of waves as well as simple optical phenomena such as diffraction.
You'll study cellular structure and function and is concerned with the chemical basis of life and the fundamentals of cell biochemistry. The molecular basis of inheritance, human genetics, genes and the environment are also covered.
You can select elective classes from the University if you have the appropriate entrance qualifications, there are places available, and the times do not clash with compulsory chemistry classes.
Subjects are available in Science, Engineering, Business, Arts & Humanities.
Chemistry students are provided with a list of classes where the timetable is suitable, although other options are also available. Students often choose a language class, or Introduction to Forensic Science as an elective.
The programme provides a framework for a wide range of team-working and problem solving skills in a general chemistry related context, and includes scientific writing, group working and chemical drawing software.
This class aims to provide a broad knowledge of the important concepts in inorganic chemistry from which more specialist topics can be tackled. This includes investigation of the chemistry of the main group and transition metals and introduces topics at the forefront of inorganic and materials chemistry.
Fundamental Organic Chemistry
This class covers the fundamental principles of infra-red, ultra-violet, nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectroscopy; develops competence in the interpretation of spectra and your awareness of the role of spectroscopic techniques. It will also develop knowledge of reactions, understanding of mechanisms and appreciation of the role of reactivity in organic chemistry.
Physical Chemistry 1
This class provides a broad knowledge of the important concepts in Thermodynamics, investigating the major features as applied to chemical systems. Topics include:
- the importance of reaction rates in chemical systems
- concepts of the electrode/solution interface
- equilibrium & electron transfer kinetics
- mass transport
- the composition & utilisation of fossil fuels with their environmental pollutants
- nuclear & renewable energy sources
Forensic Trace Analysis & Analytical Chemistry
This class provides fundamental concepts of separation science and outlines its importance in obtaining information about analytes in a sample. It also covers the fundamental concepts of recovery of trace evidence and treatment of materials to provide identification. You're taught how to handle, examine and assess errors in chemical measurements.
You'll have the option to spend third year studying abroad in a sister University in the European Union or the European Free Trade Area.
We're leading practitioners of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS), designed to simplify and facilitate the planning and recognition of periods of study in other universities. Additional EU funding under the ERASMUS programme may be available to some students each year to supplement their SAAS grants.
There will also be opportunities to spend third year at one of the premier universities in the USA or in Canada, but you will have to find some money towards the costs.
The programme provides a framework for a wide range of team-working and problem solving skills in a general chemistry related context, and includes a poster production and presentation; data retrieval; verbal presentation and a quality systems workshop.
Industrial Placement Preparation
Arrangements for your industrial placement are made during your third year. A speaker from the Careers Service will visit the Department to give advice on the preparation of your CV and interview skills.
Physical Chemistry 2
Practical Organic & Inorganic Chemistry
Provides an understanding of intermolecular forces and their importance in defining key aspects of chemical behaviour and molecular organisation. The class introduces:
- surface chemistry and the common systems in which it plays a major role
- the electronic structure of atoms and molecules through the prism of quantum chemistry
- group theory and how it can be applied to the determination of the symmetry of molecules and their properties
- the principles of bonding in molecules as described by valence bond and molecular orbital theories
You'll receive a practical demonstration of topics contained in the lectures. You'll also develop basic laboratory skills in preparative chemistry and analysis, and gain experience in the applications of spectroscopy and common instrumental techniques.
Intermediate Organic Chemistry & Spectroscopy
Inorganic Chemistry, Structures & Spectroscopy
This class teaches modern NMR spectroscopy as it is applied to chemistry. It covers:
- skills for handling and interpreting NMR data for the purposes of chemical structure elucidation
- the theoretical basis of the NMR experiment using the vector formalism
- the reactivities of organic molecules
- organic syntheses using the disconnection approach
- the synthesis and reactivities of electron-poor and electron-rich heterocyclic molecules
- insight into the role of computational chemistry in chemical research and training in the use of modern computational chemistry software
Practical Physical, Applied, Forensic & Analytical Chemistry
This class provides a more advanced view of main group and transition metal coordination and organometallic chemistry. Themes to be covered include:
- ligands and their influence on complexes
- trends in structure and bonding
- the application of spectroscopic and other methods of identification
- modern spectroscopy as it is applied in chemistry
Practical Physical, Applied & Drug Discovery Chemistry
You'll conduct experiments and gain practical experience of the theoretical aspects covered in lectures. You'll develop skills in:
- the demonstration of physical chemical principles
- the use of statistical methods
- interpretation of data and the writing of laboratory and court reports
Analytical Chemistry & Drugs of Abuse
You'll conduct experiments in physical and applied chemistry and in chemistry relating to drug discovery, gaining practical experience of theoretic aspects of physical, applied and synthetic medicinal chemistry covered in lectures.
You'll develop laboratory skills in:
- physical chemistry and analytical observation
- the use of statistical methods
- synthetic medicinal chemistry and analysis
- applications of spectroscopy and common instrumental techniques
- the writing of laboratory reports
This class covers the fundamental analytical methods and advanced theories in chromatography, mass spectrometry and electro-separations. It introduces the concept of experimental design and its application in analytical, forensic and preparative chemistry, and how to perform analytical calculations and interpret data.
The analytical procedures used to identify substances controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, the Medicines Act 1968 and the World Anti-Doping Agency. Students are introduced to methods of clandestine synthesis and how drug profiling can identify the synthetic route used. The pharmacology of drugs of abuse and the various biological matrices used in drug screening will also be described.
This course provides a detailed overview on the structure, function and chemistry of biological macromolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates.
- protein & nucleic acid folding
- energetics of macromolecular interactions (kinetics & thermodynamics)
- mechanistic enzymology
The overarching theme in this course is that structure and function are intimately linked.
Initial Teacher Training
You'll undertake the Initial Teacher Education year, in our School of Education, including teaching practice in schools. You'll also study a range of core chemistry classes.
- Distance Learning Assignment
- Pedagogy & Curriculum Chemistry with Science 1 (PGDE Level 4)
- Pedagogy & Placement Learning 1A
- Educational Studies 1 (PGDE Level 4)
You'll complete two oral presentations, and are given feedback on both presentation style and content.
You'll also attend sessions on:
- thesis writing
- including plagiarism software
- Endnote referencing
- scientific writing
- chemical drawing software
- organic chemistry
- cage & cluster molecules
- environmental chemistry
- interpretative spectroscopy
- transition metal chemistry
- understanding molecules & materials
MChem Project & Dissertation
- advanced & modern methods in organic synthesis
- molecular catalysis
- photochemistry & industrial catalysis
- polymers: synthesis & chemical properties
- solid state chemistry
- advanced electrochemistry
Assessment methods include short answer class tests, multiple choice tests, end of year examinations, oral presentation and group project work. Good performance in chemistry classes in Year 1 leads to exemption from the final exam.
Learning & teaching
Each year contains compulsory classes and some years contain either optional classes, which relate to different areas of chemistry, and/or elective classes from other subject areas in the University.
In Years 1 to 3, lectures give you the essential knowledge and understanding required by all chemistry graduates. This is supported by small and large group tutorials. Chemistry is a practical subject so students will also gain training in all branches of mainstream practical chemistry.
The fourth year of the course is equivalent to the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education and qualifies you to teach. During this year, you’ll also continue to learn chemistry through some distance learning assignments.
In your final year, you’ll study advanced chemistry and complete an independent research project in your chosen field, including chemistry education.
The Andersonian Chemical Society (the longest-running student organisation in the UK) organises guest speakers and other events, including very popular social events.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
AABB/AAAC (Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology/Human Biology, English C)
Advanced Higher Chemistry recommended for S6 study
A Levels/Advanced Highers
Year 1 entry
Minimum entry requirements: BBB (Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology/Human Biology, *GCSE English Language C and English Literature C)
Typical entry requirements: ABB
Year 2 entry
Minimum entry requirements: ABB
Typical entry requirements: AAA
Year 2 entry: 34 (Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology/Human Biology all at HL, ‡English SL6)
Year 1 entry: relevant HNC, A in Graded Unit
Year 2 entry: relevant HND, AAA in Graded Units
Those with A Levels, Advanced Highers or IB HL in only two of the preferred subjects will be considered for Year 1 entry
*General Teaching Council minimum English requirement; preference is likely to be given to applicants offering higher grades
- Deferred entry accepted
- UCAS personal statements and references will be taken into account
- Entry to the teaching profession requires membership of the Protecting of Vulnerable Groups Scheme; the procedure will be detailed during the application process
- Applicants must pass a medical examination and are interviewed before starting the course
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.
You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
Course materials & costs
Lab coats and safety goggles
Placement & field trips
MSc Forensic Science students have costs associated with the three-month placement project. Students are expected to meet all costs - that will include travel and accommodation.
Placement costs will vary - some with travel across Scotland at approximately £30 per week. Accommodation costs will be the same as during the academic year.
International students will complete placements in their home country. Flights will therefore be an expected cost with students returning home or finding accommodation nearby the placement host.
All students are responsible for printing dissertation and thesis with associated binding costs.
MSc Forensic Science students have a £1,500 bench fee - and are informed of this on offer of place.
We also strongly recommend MSc Forensic students get immunised against Hepatitis B - which will probably incur a cost.
Students working on projects externally will have to pay for the posting of material. Prices will be dependent on location.
There is a variety of information about the MSc Forensic placement on our website. Students are informed about costs etc in the information received prior to the course starting.
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
Most graduates from this course follow the career path of a secondary teacher but you can also compete very successfully for jobs in all branches of the chemical industry.
There are also major opportunities for chemists in other areas. A study of chemistry develops logical thought and numeric skills, and the ability to write accurate and concise reports. As a result, our chemists are in demand for employment in national and local government services, in hospitals and in education at all levels.
How much will I earn?
The starting annual salary for a probationer teacher in Scotland is £21,867. After your probationary year, your salary will increase to £26,235 and increase an increment each year up to £34,887. A principal teacher can earn up to £49,086 while a headteacher can earn from £43,137 to £84,201.
If you teach in a remote school or on certain islands you may get an additional allowance. £1,928 for a distance island and £1,320 or £2,475 for a remote school.
Visit Teach in Scotland website for more information.