Royal Society of Chemistry, Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences
12-month paid industrial placement, in the UK or abroad
High Flyer Programme:
qualified applicants can complete the course in four years
Why this course?
The Centre for Forensic Science at Strathclyde has provided degrees in forensic science for longer than any other university in the UK.
Our forensic and analytical chemistry graduates are highly respected throughout the world. Staff in the Centre for Forensic Science are often called as expert witnesses in court and advise the forensic services in other countries. Therefore, your teaching is based on the latest technological advances.
This Integrated Masters degree provides you with a comprehensive education in both chemistry and forensic science. The degree qualifies you as an all-round analytical chemist, with a thorough training in the applications of forensic science. Graduates of this course go on to careers in all areas of analytical chemistry including the forensic arena.
The course is unique in that it’s the only one in the UK to have dual professional accreditation. It’s delivered in partnership with the Centre for Forensic Science.
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, and you can choose to spend your placement year abroad.
Transfer is possible 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 & mathematics, and physics or biology at introductory or advanced level. Specialist classes in Forensic Science (such as Use and Abuse of Drugs in Society and Introduction to Forensic Science) as well as Drug Discovery and Chemical Engineering are available.
Practical chemistry laboratory sessions help you to master the basic preparative and analytical skills. You can also choose elective subjects from other areas throughout the University. You’ll spend one afternoon in the laboratory and the rest of your time will be in lectures and tutorials.
Years 2 & 3
You'll take classes in fundamental inorganic, organic, biological and physical chemistry, plus forensic trace analysis and analytical chemistry. You'll have a choice of electives as in Year 1. You’ll study more specialist classes related to forensic and analytical chemistry.
Laboratory work increases to four afternoons per week and your practical skills are enhanced with computer modelling and group exercises to develop presentational skills.
MChem students undertake a 12-month paid industrial placement, specialising in either forensic or analytical chemistry. Research and Knowledge Exchange placements are also available.
In the final year, you’ll specialise in the areas and applications that interest you most. You’ll undertake a research project, for example into crime scene detection or methods of drug identification.
You’ll undertake a 12-month paid placement in industry, specialising in forensic or analytical chemistry, either in the UK or abroad. Research and Knowledge Exchange placements within the Department's 'Chemistry Clinic' are also available. The Strathclyde chemistry industrial placement scheme is one of the longest-running in the UK, and more than 70 students are placed with companies each year.
You can complete a year of your degree studying at a European university. As well as getting an in-depth knowledge of practising chemistry in another country, you’ll have the opportunity to become fluent in another language.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 examination.
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 deliver 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 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.
Year 1 entry: AABB or AAAC (Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology/Human Biology, English preferred as fourth subject)
Advanced Higher* Chemistry and Maths recommended for S6 study
A Levels/Advanced Highers*
Year 2 entry: ABB (Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology/Human Biology)
Typical entry requirements: AAA
Year 2 entry: 34 (Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biology/Human Biology all at HL)
HNC: Year 1 entry: relevant HNC, A in Graded Unit
HND: 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
Deferred entry accepted
UCAS personal statements and references will also be taken into account
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.
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.
A degree in chemistry opens doors to a wide variety of employment opportunities. Developments in the techniques of forensic science move quickly, with new means of gathering and characterising the most minute traces of evidence constantly being sought.
The skills of analytical chemists are also increasingly in demand for checking the quality of our food and water, protecting the environment and monitoring industrial materials and processes.
Another emerging area is the restoration of artworks and historical artefacts, proving that the career opportunities for a well-trained analytical chemist are both wide and interesting.
This course is accredited by both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences. Graduates are eligible to apply for the status of Chartered Chemist, the qualification recognised in the UK and EU for professional chemists.
How much will I earn?
The average (median) salary of graduates in full time work is £18,500**
With management experience, you could earn up to £50,000.*
Where are they now?
86.4% of our graduates are in work or further study.**
Recent job titles include:
Bioanalytical Lab Assistant
Forensic Scientist Graduate Trainee
Medical Sales Representative
Systems Test Engineer
Recent employers include:
Encap Drug Delivery
St Aloysus College
* Information is intended only as a guide.
** Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2012/13, 2011/12 (aggregated data) .
All undergraduate applications are made through UCAS
Go to the UCAS website to apply – you can apply for up to five courses.
It costs £12 to apply for a course
The cost is £23 for two to five courses.
The deadline is 15 January each year
This is the application deadline for most courses. However, please check the details for your particular course. View a full list of UCAS key dates.
You might be asked to attend an interview
Most of our courses make offers based on the UCAS application. However some might ask you to attend an interview or for a portfolio of work. If this is the case, this will be stated in the prospectus entry requirements.
It’s possible to apply directly to Year 2
Depending on your qualifications, you might be able to apply directly to Year 2 - or even Year 3 - of a course. Speak to the named contact for your course if you want to discuss this.
There’s three types of offer
unconditional – you’ve already met our entry requirements
conditional – we’ll offer you a place if you meet certain conditions, usually based on your exams
unsuccessful – we’ve decided not to offer you a place
You need to contact UCAS to accept your offer Once you’ve decided which course you’d like to accept, you must let UCAS know. You don’t need to decide until you’ve received all offers. UCAS will give you a deadline you must respond by.
You’ll choose one as your firm choice. If the offer is unconditional or if you meet the conditions, this is the course you’ll study.
You’ll also have an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you don’t meet the conditions of your first choice.
You don’t need to send us your exam results (Scotland, England & Wales)
If you’re studying in Scotland, England or Wales, we receive a copy of your Higher/Advanced Higher/A Level results directly from the awarding body.
However, if you are studying a different qualification, then please contact us to arrange to send your results directly.
We welcome applications from international students