Degree Apprenticeship BSc (Hons)

Chemistry (Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship)

School of Science, Engineering and Environment




Five year

Next enrolment

September 2020


In a nutshell

A laboratory scientist applies specialist knowledge and broad scientific understanding to carry out a range of technical and scientific activities in their specialist discipline: Chemical Science, Life Sciences, Research and Development, and Analytical. They analyse, interpret and evaluate relevant scientific information, concepts and ideas and use these to develop subsequent experiments or investigations and to propose solutions to problems.

The chemistry programme has been developed through consultation with employers to meet the needs of the chemical industries.

The apprenticeship route integrates traditional academic learning on a degree programme with work-based learning through employment in a suitable approved chemical company. It provides a new route for developing and retaining the future chemical scientist workforce that is complementary to the academic route, ensuring that graduating apprentices are competent chemical scientists able to meet the future needs of employers.

You will:
  • Study the core branches of organic, physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry
  • Study an exciting programme, which will provide you with the sought after skills needed to work in the broad chemical industries sector
  • Explore the most versatile scientific discipline
Course details

All about the course

Modules intro

Year one

Chemical Structure Determination

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.


Biochemical & Pharmaceutical Skills

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

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.

Year two

Introduction to Physical Chemistry

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.

Introductory Biochemistry

The aim of this module is to introduce principles of biochemistry. You will study biochemical pathways and organelles, relevant to cell biology.

Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry

In this module you will learn the principles of key areas of chemical analysis and inorganic chemistry such as electrochemistry, voltammetry and chromatography.

Year three

Core Organic Chemistry

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 three projects and taught modules.

Core Physical Chemistry

The aim of this module is to further develop knowledge of physical chemistry focusing upon topics such as quantum mechanics, spectroscopy and thermodynamics.

Chemical and Biochemical Research Skills

The aim of this module is to help you understand how to conduct scientific research from basic principles including: critical searching, citation and evaluation of research-based literature, data interpretation, analysis and presentation, report writing and communication.

Year four

Bio-inorganic Chemistry

In this module you will learn the principles of inorganic chemistry and its applications to human health and to the environment.

Green Chemistry

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.

Applied Chemical Skills

This module is designed to help you advance your laboratory techniques relevant to chemistry.

Year five

Frontiers in Inorganic Chemistry

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.

Advanced Organic Chemistry

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.

Advanced Physical Chemistry

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.

Work-based Research Project

An opportunity to work with a research group and contribute to original research in a relevant area of medicinal chemistry

Year six

End Point Assessment (Duration 6 months)

In addition to the assessments detailed in the programme, in order to complete the apprenticeship, students will be required to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA).  This will take place after completion of the modules and has a maximum duration of six months. The EPA comprises assessment of:

  • workplace synoptic project primary journal article & presentation with questioning
  • vocational competence discussion

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

You will participate in off the job training through day release and block delivery during your studies with work-based learning being supported as part of your work commitment. A variety of teaching and learning methods with be employed, as appropriate, these include:

  • Lectures
  • Team work
  • Student presentations (individual and group)
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Laboratory and workshops
  • Independent and guided learning

Apprentices will be expected to undertake significant additional learning. It is suggested that a further 10% allowance be given by the employer for work towards completion of the degree. Work based modules are taken at each level.

Assessment is both formative and summative and is achieved by a variety of methods which are focused around the workplace. You will be assigned a specific academic tutor and will benefit from a workplace mentor and training programme. This team will meet you regularly and will support your studies. Each module will be assessed by coursework and/or end of module examination. Apprentices will also complete an EPA as part of their final work based module (a project-related oral presentation and a practical based assessment).

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Graduates from the course will be highly skilled and particularly well suited to address the skills shortages in the chemical sector. The sector has highlighted the requirement for chemistry graduates with a knowledge of sustainability and green chemistry which this course provides. Potential employers of chemistry graduates include chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

A BSc in Chemistry will provide you with chemical and transferable skills, both of which are highly regarded by employers from different sectors including CRO (contract research organisations), small and big pharma, analytical based companies (both independent and governmental - such as forensic analysis), and a varied range of chemical industries including lubricants, synthesis, quality control, food, cosmetics, materials, construction, toiletries, clinical settings and more. Transferable skills will allow you to seek work in several areas such as research, development, quality assurance, teaching, on legal cases, within government and more.

A taste of what you could become

Quality control analyst

Synthetic chemist

Analytical scientist

and more...


What you need to know

You must be employed and individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprenticeships. Academically, students registering to the programme will need to satisfy the relevant degree entry criteria.

You will need to hold GCSE Maths, English and Science at Grade C or above in addition to standard entry requirements.

Application Deadlines

Please be aware of the application deadlines below for each of our intakes. If an application hasn’t been received by this date, consideration will be given for the next available intake.

September 2020 – Friday 31 July 2020

Standard entry requirements


English language and mathematics at grade C or 4 or above

UCAS tariff points

120 points

A Level

120 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 three

Foundation Degree

Possible entry to year three

Scottish Highers

120 points from Higher Level including appropriate science subjects (biology and chemistry)

Irish Leaving Certificate

120 points from Higher Level including a science subject (biology and chemistry)

How Much?

The cost of the full degree apprenticeship programme is £27,000. The cost of the apprenticeship will be covered by your employer and/or the government. You will need to cover the cost of any study materials plus travel to and from campus if required.

Apprenticeship Funding

The apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 and requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill of over £3 million each year to invest in apprenticeships.

The funding policy supports the changes to the way apprenticeships in England are paid for, underpinned by the apprenticeship levy of 0.5% of the annual pay bill for companies paying over £3 million per year.

There is also a co-investment model for companies who will not be paying into the levy. The government will cover 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship and the employer will only have to contribute the remaining 5%. Once payments have been declared to HMRC, employers will now have access to a digital apprenticeship account from which they will be able to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training.

The maximum amount of money allocated to each standard falls into one of 15 funding bands, ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. The Laboratory Scientists standard has been allocated the following funding band:

Funding band: 15

Funding band maximum: £27,000

Find out more at

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID 0000

Institution S03