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MChem (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Chemistry and Biochemistry

UCAS Code: F136

Start Date(s): September


3 years full-time
4 years full-time with Professional Studies (placement year)
Up to 6 years part-time


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • You will carry out two separate research projects at levels 6 and 7, preparing you for research and development roles or a PhD after graduation
  • All final year taught modules are optional giving you the opportunity to specialise in your preferred area of chemistry
  • Contributions from external experts and links with the industrial sector are embedded into the programme.
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

MChem Chemistry is a four-year integrated Masters programme leading to a level 7 qualification. You will gain a thorough grounding in all aspects of chemistry and carry out two separate research projects in addition to a full training in modern laboratory methods. You can choose from a wide range of specialised optional modules in the fourth year.

Chemistry at Salford integrates the core branches of organic, physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry in a package that meets the needs of employers for highly skilled chemists across the range of modern chemical industries.

With an emphasis on integrating your understanding of concepts and applying laboratory skills to find answers to current problems, you will appreciate how chemistry and its applications can transform the world we live in. You will gain experience in aspects of sustainable chemistry, a vital area of  the  modern  chemicals  industry,  also known as ‘green’ chemistry.  

At the University of Salford we pride ourselves on our research and have recently invested extensively in our facilities to ensure that our students are able to complete research projects that are exciting and inspiring, contributing useful findings to the field. Examples of research areas that you  can  explore  include:  nanotechnology,  drug design and repurposing, cancer and antimicrobial research, natural products, biomarkers, analytical detection of volatiles, mass spectrometry, computational studies, skin modelling, environmental assessment, pollution and remediation, toxicology and much more.    

Chemistry is one of the most versatile scientific disciplines and opportunities in the field continue to grow and develop. Our chemistry students are curious to know more about our world – how it works as well as having a thirst for new ideas about how to improve everyday lives. This course is  for  you  if you have an inquiring mind and a need to ‘experiment’ and enjoy the laboratory.

Why Study Chemistry at Salford?

Salford alumnus and Barclays Iconic UK Male Entrepreneur of 2017 Dr Darrin Disley visits our Bodmer Laboratories 

Discover our £3m Bodmer laboratories

Course Structure

In year one you will build your foundation in core areas of chemistry. In year two you will develop chemistry-based analytical skills and decide if you want to follow the Chemistry or the Chemistry with Environmental Chemistry route. At the end of year two, you can undertake an optional year away from University on an appropriate placement, which you arrange with our support. After the placement, which in some cases may be salaried, you return to complete your final year, making it a five year course overall. In the third year, emphasis will be placed upon chemical research and highlighting new developments in the field of chemistry. In your final year, you can choose from a wide range of specialised optional modules.

Year one                      

This module introduces the subject of molecular characterisation and looks at the principles of spectroscopic analysis using ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy.                                                
The aim of this module is to introduce organic chemistry through structure and mechanism. You will study organic reactions of key functional groups such as alkenes, carbonyl and aromatic compounds.                                                
The aim of this module is to introduce physical chemistry through energy and chemical bonding. You will study topics such as reaction kinetics, chemical equilibria and atomic and molecular structure.                                                
In this module you will learn the principles of key areas of chemical analysis and inorganic chemistry such as electrochemistry, voltammetry and chromatography.              
The aim of this module is to introduce principles of biochemistry. You will study biochemical pathways and organelles, relevant to cell biology.                                                
This module is designed to help you facilitate and develop effective use of laboratory apparatus in the performance of basic techniques, and to develop practical laboratory skills relevant to biology and chemistry.                                                

Year two                      

This module is designed to help you advance your laboratory techniques relevant to chemistry.                                                
The aim of this module is to help you understand how to conduct scientific research from basic principles and includes: critical searching, citation and evaluation of research-based literature, data interpretation, analysis and presentation, report writing and communication.                                                
In this module you will learn the principles and application of inorganic chemistry to human health and to the environment.                                                
The aim of this module is to build upon topics covered in the Introduction to Organic Chemistry module. You will study organic reactions in more detail and develop practical skills in organic chemistry. This module will also prepare you for year 3 projects and taught modules.                                                
In this module you will learn principles and application of sustainable chemistry, including microwave synthesis, flow reactions, use of biotechnology, combinatorial and high-throughput green chemistry.                                                
The aim of this module is to further develop knowledge of physical chemistry focusing upon topics such as quantum mechanics, spectroscopy and thermodynamics.            

Year three        

The aim of this module is to expand your knowledge in the area of inorganic chemistry, placing emphasis in the application of techniques such as radiation, biomaterials, metals, supercritical solvents, nanoscience and symmetry.                        
In this module you will study more advanced topics in organic chemistry such as concepts and rules governing pericyclic reactions and designing stereoselective routes to chiral molecules.                        
The aim of this module is to advance your knowledge of physical chemistry focusing upon topics such as application of kinetics, NMR, spectroscopy, condensed matter and colloids and thermodynamic methods.                        
This module focuses upon key areas of the scientific industry such as marketing, health and safety and legal issues. External contributions from industry experts will enhance your learning on this module. It is aimed at improving student employability.                  
This project provides you with an opportunity to work with a research group and contribute to original research in a relevant area of chemistry. The module also focuses upon key professional skills aimed at improving employability.                        

Year 4        

An intensive research project on a topic of your choosing, lasting from September to January and leading to an article in Salford’s own online journal.                              
Choose three optional modules:          
You will use synthetic case studies to gain an in-depth knowledge of modern synthetic methods.                              
You will use the most up to date methods and instrumentation to detect, identify and characterise molecules.                        
You will become expert in the physical, inorganic and organic aspects of catalyst design and application.                        
You will look at essential medicines right from their discovery/design through to clinical use.                              
You will study the latest techniques, computational and genomic used for drug discovery.                              
This module will provide you with practical experience and a theoretical basis of computational chemistry.            
You will learn about the synthesis, analysis and properties of modern materials

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Minimum grade 5 in GCSE maths and English
UCAS tariff points 128 points
GCE A level 128 points including Chemistry at A2 or equivalent. A Pass in the practical element of Science A levels must be achieved
BTEC National Diploma DDM in a suitable science subject
BTEC Higher National Diploma Possible entry to year 3
Foundation Degree Possible entry to year 3
Scottish Highers 128 points from Higher Level including chemistry
Irish Leaving Certificate 128 points from Higher Level including chemistry
International Baccalaureate 30 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

You will have a strong grounding and a clear interest in chemistry either from an A-level background, a BTEC route or via our Chemistry with Foundation Year programme.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year


Teaching, learning and assessment are inclusive, balanced and progressive to facilitate and encourage independence and self-responsibility for learning during advancement through the programme.

A variety of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment are combined to fit with the intended learning outcomes and level of study, such as:

  • Two extended research projects providing opportunities to demonstrate depth of learning.
  • Project-based learning, providing the chance to manage your time and learning.
  • Workshops and seminars to give you the opportunity to improve your presentation and communication skills.
  • Group activities, giving you the chance to practice problem solving and its applications.
  • Contributions from industrial partners and external experts.
  • Individual and small-group oral and poster presentations to reflect on professional practice.
  • Laboratory activities, one of the key elements in science, to gain competencies in different methods.
  • Lectures to provide you with core knowledge and problem solving skills.
  • Small-group tutorials for pastoral support but also to develop those important scientific skills.


Assessment throughout the course is by a combination of different forms of coursework and examination and is broken down as follows:

Year 1:

  • 25% coursework
  • 75% examination

Year 2 and 3: 

  • 60% coursework  
  • 40% examination

Year 4:

  • 70% coursework  
  • 30% examination

Continuous formative and summative assessment include:

  • Research projects (2)  
  • Laboratory reports 
  • Essays
  • Data analysis 
  • Presentations (poster, project, talk)
  • Literature reviews
  • Exams (both closed and open book)


Career Prospects

Graduates from the programme will be highly skilled, particularly in research areas. The sector has highlighted the requirement for chemistry graduates with a knowledge of sustainability and green chemistry which this programme will provide. The number of job vacancies within the UK and North West for chemists increased in the five years to 2017 by 64% and 52% respectively. 

Potential employers of chemistry graduates include the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries but MChem graduates are also highly employable outside of their discipline. The University of Salford places much emphasis on employability, placements and technical support meaning that Salford chemistry graduates are fully equipped to enter into industry or pursue further study.

Links with Industry

The focus on research-led teaching means that Salford chemistry students will benefit from research active staff, many of whom are focusing on emerging areas of research that will link into existing activities of environmental science, drug discovery and development and translational medicine. The school is also home to researchers who work with the children’s cancer research charity, Kidscan, and has growing industry links with the Alderley Park innovation centre (Biohub). Close links with organisations such as these provide you with unique opportunities for chemistry-related placements and research projects that are not available to students from other institutions.

Furthermore, this course has links with the international chemical company BASF and the Manchester Communications Academy. Academics within the university are continually working on developing more links with other companies in different chemical sectors in the North West and further afield in order to provide you with the best possible opportunities and experiences.

Further Study

  • PhD in chemical or biochemical research
  • Facilities

    We have recently invested £3m in newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories, opened by Sir Walter Bodmer earlier in 2015.  Our facilities include: NMR, IR, HPLC-UV/Fluorescence, LC/GC-MS/MS, microwave reactors, ICP-OES, XRF and several techniques for organic, physical and inorganic chemistry.

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