Course overview

Chemistry plays an important role in our society. It is central to finding sustainable solutions to global problems. This includes developing new drugs and vaccines, researching clean energy resources, and feeding a growing population.

You'll be taught by experts who will feed your curiosity for this exciting subject. You may even recognise some of our staff from the popular Periodic Videos YouTube channel.

You'll study all the key areas of chemistry, including organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. Optional modules allow you to tailor your degree to your own interests, such as studying the links between chemistry, physics and biology.

Sustainable chemistry

Green and sustainable chemistry is a key research interest here at the University of Nottingham. We have active research in using chemistry as a tool to tackle global challenges. These challenges include developing benign synthesis for manufacture, decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels for power generation and how to develop next-generation materials that impact batteries and solar panels. On this degree, you can study optional modules in green and sustainable chemistry. These modules will give you an understanding of how to make chemical processes more environmentally friendly, and how to use chemistry to tackle environmental challenges.

Medicinal chemistry

Chemistry is key to understanding drugs and treating illnesses. You can choose to study modules that cover medicinal chemistry and drug development throughout your degree. In these optional modules you’ll learn about design and synthesis of pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, metabolism and targeting. View our Medicinal and Biological Chemistry BSc >

Careers and employability

The University of Nottingham is the second-most targeted university in the UK by leading employers (High Fliers' Graduate Market in 2022). A degree in chemistry will prepare you for a wide range of careers. You’ll develop the necessary academic and practical skills for a career in industry, whether that be in pharmaceutical, petrochemical, cosmetics or others. You’ll also develop your written and oral communication skills, and gain transferable skills such as problem-solving, numeracy and data analysis. A significant proportion of our students go onto postgraduate study.

Why choose this course?


Optional modules

Choose from a range of optional modules that interest you

Modern facilities

Put theory into practice in our modern labs and facilities


Flexibility to transfer between most chemistry degrees

Small-group learning

Benefit from small-group tutorials that support your learning

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to apply to study abroad and gain a global perspective of chemistry

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level AAB-ABB including chemistry at grade A.

Please note: Applicants whose backgrounds or personal circumstances have impacted their academic performance may receive a reduced offer. Please see our contextual admissions policy for more information.

Required subjects

A level chemistry at grade A. GCSE maths at grade 4 (C) (or equivalent), plus GCSE in English at 4 (C) or above

IB score 32-34 (including 6 in chemistry at Higher Level).

A levels

  • AAB-ABB at A level including chemistry at grade A.
  • Typical offers will vary depending on the A level subjects offered in addition to chemistry.
  • A pass is normally required in science practical tests, where these are assessed separately.


  • Mathematics at grade 4 (C) (or equivalent)
  • Plus GCSE in English at 4 (C) or above

Foundation progression options

If you don't meet our entry requirements there is the option to study the science foundation programme. You may have the opportunity to progress onto the Chemistry BSc programme, subject to your performance on the foundation programme. There is a course for UK students and one for EU/international students.

Mature Students

At the University of Nottingham, we have a valuable community of mature students and we appreciate their contribution to the wider student population. You can find lots of useful information on the mature students webpage.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Computer labs

How you will be assessed

The academic year is divided into two semesters and you will complete 120 credits of study per year.

Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained for your second and subsequent years of study. Year two is worth 33% with year three worth 67%.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Lab reports
  • Research project
  • Written exam
  • Group project

Contact time and study hours

There are typically 10 lectures in addition to 8 to 10 hours of laboratory classes per week.

You will be assigned a personal tutor who will support you through your studies and help you make the most of the opportunities available at Nottingham. Your personal tutor will guide your personal and academic development, offering you help, encouragement and guidance.

Core modules are typically delivered by assistant professors, associate professors, or professors.

Study abroad

A study abroad opportunity isn’t offered on this course. If you are interested in studying abroad, you can consider Chemistry with an International Study Year MSci.

Year in industry

A placement year isn't offered on this course. If this is something you are interested in you may want to look at Chemistry with Year in Industry MSci.

A year in industry gives you the opportunity to spend a year on placement with an industrial partner. This can help improve your employability and enables you to apply your learning to a practical setting.

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

School of Chemistry facilities

See what it is like to study in the School of Chemistry. Take a look at our modern labs, teaching environment and research areas. Our STEM lab has capacity for 150 students. The teaching laboratory is fully equipped with cutting-edge facilities and equipment for research and teaching.


Build up your pre-university studies through modules in core chemistry.

If you do not have A level mathematics (or equivalent) then you will take the Mathematical Toolkit module to prepare you for this aspect of the chemistry course.

Introduction to Structure, Periodicity and Coordination Chemistry

This module builds on your previous studies in chemistry and provides a firm foundation in topics including:

  • atomic and molecular structure
  • the shapes of molecules
  • chemical bonding
  • Lewis structures
  • molecular shape and symmetry
  • Intermolecular interactions and periodic trends in the properties of the elements of the s- and p-blocks
  • the chemistry of the transition metal elements and their coordination complexes.

You’ll attend two lectures per week for this module.

Introduction to Spectroscopy, Energy and Bonding in Chemistry

In this module you will learn about the development of quantum theory and the spectroscopy of the hydrogen atom. You will examine the theories used to describe the bonding in molecules and will develop an understanding of microwave and infra-red spectroscopies.

The module also introduces you to some of the key concepts in thermodynamics including enthalpy, entropy and free energy and their application in describing equilibria and electrochemical processes. You will develop an understanding of the key concepts in reaction kinetics. 

You’ll attend two lectures per week for this module.

Introduction to Organic Molecules and their Reactivity

You’ll examine the fundamental principles of organic chemistry. This will include nomenclature, bonding concepts, orbitals and the shape, stereochemistry and acid-base properties of organic molecules.

Later the module will focus on reactivity and important reactions and transformations in organic chemistry.

You’ll attend two lectures per week for this module.

Foundation Laboratory Work

This module introduces you to the essential laboratory skills that are required in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

You’ll spend around eight hours per week in laboratory practicals performing experiments, and collecting and analysing data.

You’ll present written reports of your experimental work that will form part of the assessment for this module.

Chemistry Study Skills

You’ll follow this introductory module right at the start of your course. It is designed to develop your study skills so that you can work effectively at University.

The module will also introduce you to first-year undergraduate laboratory chemistry.

You’ll spend around four hours in your first week in practical sessions studying this module.

Calculations in Chemistry

This module is for those who already with A level maths will teach you the essential mathematic skills required for chemists. You will learn how to use your maths skills to solve a variety of problems in chemistry.

There will be two hours of lectures per week with a one hour workshop.

Optional modules

To provide students with a basic knowledge of the main mathematical techniques required in following a Chemistry-based course. Topics are:

  • functions of single variable
  • differential calculus of a single variable
  • integral calculus of a single variable
  • first-order ordinary differential equations
  • elementary probability and statistics
Introduction to Green Chemistry and Processing

In this module you’ll look at green chemistry in its broadest sense, covering the fundamental concepts and chemistry involved in making chemical processes cleaner and more environmentally benign.

You’ll spend one hour per week in lectures, seminars and workshops over the whole year studying this module.

Molecules of Life

You’ll learn about Nature's building blocks including the structure and functions of lipids, amino acids, carbohydrates and nucleotides. You'll also learn about the reactivity of these molecules and their biological roles through case studies.

Frontiers in Chemistry

This module will introduce you to selected topics at the forefront of current research in chemistry from a physical chemistry perspective.

Example topics include:

  • nanochemistry and its applications
  • energy generation and storage technologies
  • chemistry in the digital age
  • the chemistry of ions
  • the application of advanced photon sources
Mathematics for Chemistry 2

This module provides ancillary mathematics knowledge and skills for students majoring in chemistry-based courses.

Complex numbers are introduced and used with a study of solutions of linear second-order differential equations. Matrix algebra is developed to solve systems of equations and to study eigenvalue problems. The differential calculus of several variables is introduced. An introduction is provided to algebra of matrices and their applications in chemistry. Topics are

  • complex numbers
  • solution of second-order ODEs
  • differential calculus of several variables
  • vector algebra
  • matrix algebra
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 01 August 2022.

In the second year, theoretical and practical modules further develop the knowledge and understanding gained in the first year. Optional modules will allow you to specialise in an area of chemistry that particularly interests you.

Core modules

General Inorganic Chemistry

You’ll spend two hours per week in lectures studying topics including the synthesis, bonding and reactivity of organometallic compounds, the use of symmetry and group theory to interpret infra-red spectra and NMR spectroscopy in inorganic chemistry.

Further support is provided by tutorials every third week.

Principles of Analytical Chemistry

You’ll be introduced to the principles of analytical chemistry, including the principal types of instrumentation used and the statistical treatment of analytical results.

You’ll attend two lectures each week studying this module.

Synthesis and Spectroscopy

In this module, you’ll discuss the reactivity of, suggest synthetic routes for and interpret the spectroscopic characterisation of organic compounds including some natural products.

Topics studied include:

  • modern spectroscopic techniques
  • carbon-carbon bond forming reactions
  • the influence of heteroatoms on reactivity

You’ll attend two lectures each week in this module and tutorials every third week.

Core Laboratory Work

This module builds on the practical, analytical and communication skills developed in the first year and introduces experiments across the range of chemistry, based on your second year theory modules.

You’ll spend around 10 hours per week in practicals for this module. 

Energy, Spectroscopy and Solid State Chemistry

In this module you'll study  the physical principles underlying chemical phenomena, with emphasis on energy, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy. You'll also be introduced to solid-state chemistry, including the structure, characterisation, energetics and the band theory of solids.  

You’ll attend two hours of lectures each week in this module. 

Optional modules

Atmospheric Chemistry

You’ll study topics such as the physical properties of the atmosphere, chemistry of ozone in the stratosphere, global warming, and analytical methods in atmospheric chemistry in two lectures each week.

Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Biology

The fundamental building blocks of life are essential for life as we know it but what exactly are they and how can this aid us in the development of medicinal drugs? This module will provide you with the fundamental concepts in molecular biology, medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, enabling you to understand the mode of action of anti-cancer agents, antibiotics and toxins.  

You’ll study: 

  • Molecular Processes in Cells, including Cell Signalling, DNA replication, Transcription, Translation, Protein Folding, Protein Transport and Protein Degradation
  • Analysis of Pharmacodynamic and Pharmacokinetic Data 
  • Cell Cycle, Cancer and Apoptosis
  • Microbiology, including anatomy of bacterial cells and action of antibiotics 
  • Viruses and viral diseases, as well as anti-viral agents studied in case studies 

 You’ll attend two lectures each week for this module. 

Advanced Calculus and Differential Equation Techniques

You will be introduced to the differential calculus of functions and vector operators. You’ll consider the development of techniques for the solution of boundary and initial value problems for ordinary differential equations. 

Sustainable Chemistry

This module covers material related to developing a more sustainable approach to chemistry. You will learn what constitutes sustainable chemistry, the significance of new technologies such as synthetic biology, and recognise the problems in achieving sustainability.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

You will study core chemistry in advanced and practical modules. A range of optional modules will allow you to focus on areas of particular interest.

Core modules

Bioinorganic and Metal Coordination Chemistry

The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of coordination chemistry in the context of macrocyclic, supramolecular and bioinorganic chemistry and its applications in metal extraction and synthesis.

You will gain an appreciation of the importance of metals in biological systems, and be able to explain the relationship between the structure of the active centres of metallo-proteins and enzymes and their biological functions.

The module is assessed by a two-hour written exam.

This module aims to provide a framework for understanding the action of heterogeneous catalysts in terms of adsorption/desorption processes and for understanding catalyst promotion in terms of chemical and structural phenomenon and also describes a wide variety of homogeneous catalytic processes based on organo-transition metal chemistry.
Chemical Bonding and Reactivity

To provide a fundamental understanding of molecular structure and of the requirements for reactivity.

To introduce modern electronic structure theory and demonstrate how it can be applied to determine properties such as molecular structure, spectroscopy and reactivity.

Organometallic and Asymmetric Synthesis

This module will introduce you to a range of reagents and synthetic methodology. You will learn how to describe how it is applied to the synthesis of organic target molecules.

By the end of the module you will know how the use of protecting groups can be used to enable complex molecule synthesis and how modern palladium-mediated cross-coupling reactions can be used to synthesise useful organic molecules.

Your problem-solving and written communication skills will be developed.

Pericyclics and Reactive Intermediates

Use of frontier molecular orbital analysis to explain and predict stereochemical and regiochemical outcomes of pericyclic reactions (Woodward-Hoffmann rules etc).

Examples will be drawn from Diels-Alder reactions, cycloadditions [4+2] and [2+2], [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangements (eg Claisen and Cope), [2,3]-sigmatropic rearrangements (eg Wittig and Mislow-Evans).

Generation and use of reactive intermediates in synthesis (ie radicals, carbenes, nitrenes).

Solids, Interfaces and Surfaces

This course aims to teach the relationship between structure and properties of solids, structure of Solids and characterisation.

It aims to teach a general introduction to Interfaces and Surfaces.

Chemistry Project

For the project, you will put into practice methods of accessing, assessing and critically appraising the chemical literature. The module will provide experience in experimental design and methodology, the recording, analysis and reporting of physical data (both in written and verbal form).

Optional modules

Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
This module covers inorganic mechanisms and the overarching fundamental principles of greener and sustainable chemistry as applied to processes, inorganic reaction mechanisms, and discussion on the theme of greener and sustainable chemistry
Chemical Biology and Enzymes

Students should gain a good appreciation of the applications for a range of enzymological, chemical and molecular biological techniques to probe cellular processes and catalysis at the forefront in chemical biology research.

This module represents a culmination of principles and techniques from a biophysical, molecular, biochemical and genetic perspective.

Structure Determination Methods

A general introduction to lasers, including laser radiation and its properties will be given.

A number of current laser spectroscopic methods will be reviewed, which allow the determination of vibrational frequencies and structures.

Examples will cover ground and excited state neutral molecules, radicals and complexes, as well as cations of these.

An introduction to modern diffraction methods will be given, involving neutrons, electrons and X-rays.

Applications will cover solids (crystalline and amorphous), liquids and gases.

Throughout, there will be extensive examples from the research literature.

Protein Folding and Biospectroscopy

This module will develop an understanding of protein structure, stability, design and methods of structural analysis. In addition you will understand the protein folding problem and experimental approaches to the analysis of protein folding kinetics and the application of site-directed mutagenesis.

You will also be expected to develop a number of spectroscopic experimental techniques to probe protein structures.

There will be two hours of lectures a week.

Contemporary Drug Discovery

What influence does a chemist have in the modern drug discovery process? And how can chemists use their knowledge to aid the development of new therapeutics? In this module you will apply knowledge of how chemical structures influence drug potency, pharmacokinetics, and their safety. You will gain insight onto the developmental process of designing a drug and their action once they have reached their desired target.

You’ll study: 

  • Drug Targets and How They Bind 
  • Measuring Drug Activity 
  • Lead Compounds and Strategies for Improving Drug Potency and Selectivity 
  • Pharmacokinetics (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination) 
  • Drug Design in a Safe Manner  
  • Desired Drug Properties  
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Fees and funding

UK students

Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget alongside your tuition fees and living expenses, including:

  • scientific calculator,
  • model kit (optional).

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies.

Due to our commitment to sustainability, we don’t print lecture notes but these are available digitally. You will be given £5 worth of printer credits a year. You are welcome to buy more credits if you need them. It costs 4p to print one black and white page.

Personal laptops are not compulsory as we have computer labs that are open 24 hours a day but you may want to consider one if you wish to work at home.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships


Our graduates can find roles in the pharmaceutical, chemical, food and drink, and energy sectors. This course will develop your skills in practical and theoretical chemistry, data-analysis and problem-solving. These skills are also valuable for careers in finance, education and the media.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Boots
  • Cancer Research 
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • HSBC
  • NHS
  • Unilever

Many students continue their studies in chemistry or a related discipline working towards a PhD degree. Read our chemistry alumni profiles to see what careers some of our recent graduates have gone into. 

Average starting salary and career progression

86% of undergraduates from the School of Chemistry secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £25,121.*

  • Data from UoN graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Royal Society of Chemistry

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.