MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry

Full Time
Degree of Master of Chemistry

UCAS Course Code
A-Level typical
AAB (2016/7 entry) See All Requirements
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Key facts

This course satisfies the academic requirements for Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Chartered Scientist (CSci).

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Key facts

(Guardian, 2016)


The School of Chemistry prides itself on research excellence across its spectrum of activities, from synthetic chemistry and drug discovery to spectroscopy and analytical and biophysical chemistry, as confirmed by successive Research Assessment Exercises.

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Chemistry & Pharmacy Summer School 2 – 4 July 2017

Offering Year 12 students the chance to experience an exciting and interactive two-day residential to help enhance their personal statement for the UCAS application.

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Key facts

(2014 Research Excellence Framework)

Gain the academic training needed to become a professional chemist, whilst improving your career prospects with experience and contacts during a year in industry. Chemistry at UEA has a prestigious reputation – in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) we ranked 4th in the UK for research outputs. It is this cutting-edge research in chemical sciences which underpins the teaching of the course, ensuring your learning is at the forefront of scientific thought.

Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, this integrated four-year course provides you with an advanced knowledge of chemistry. In the final years of your degree, you will tailor your study to specialise in the areas which reflect your interests and undertake an individual research project. Your third year will be spent on an industrial placement, meaning you will graduate with invaluable practical experience and industry links.


This four year degree offers you the opportunity to take an industrial placement in year 3. Completion of a Year in Industry programme will ensure you graduate with relevant work experience, putting you one step ahead of other students.

Chemistry helps shape the world around us, from the materials we use to the medicines we take. Understanding how chemicals interact at a molecular level is both fascinating and of critical importance to the well-being of an individual and the economy as a whole. This is the chemistry degree to choose if you intend to be a professional chemist.

Our Chemistry MChem is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, demonstrating the high quality of our course. This four-year degree programme is a aimed at giving you a broad understanding of chemistry at an advanced level, with the opportunity to explore in depth specialised areas through optional modules.

Course Structure

In each of the years based at UEA you will study core inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, with practical experiments in associated laboratories. Training in laboratory skills is emphasised because chemistry has a strong practical component, whether it is in the synthesis of new compounds, characterisation of these compounds by spectroscopic methods or studying their properties.

Year 1
The first year of the chemistry programmes will develop your scientific skills – building upon your A level subject knowledge in chemistry but will also include areas such as mathematics and physics for those students who have not taken A levels in these subjects.

Year 2
You will study topics in organic and physical chemistry, together with molecular structure and energy levels, extending your knowledge in the core areas of chemistry and honing your practical skills.

Year 3 (Year in Industry)
You will spend your third year on industrial placement. Throughout the work placement, you keep in contact with staff members at UEA, one of whom will visit you at least once during the year. In addition to a detailed final report on the work undertaken you will also complete a distance learning module assessed by coursework and short course tests.

Year 4
The fourth and final year of the MChem involves an extended research project, which could be a computational or a laboratory project, and further modules in advanced topics in chemistry. For the project you will spend time in a research group, usually working alongside postgraduate students and doctoral researchers. The research project will not only build up your research skills, therefore improving your employment prospects, but it is also an enjoyable and stimulating experience, frequently leading to publication in a scientific journal.

Year in Industry

Completion of a Year in Industry programme will ensure you graduate with relevant work experience, putting you one step ahead of other students. This exciting degree programme provides you with this opportunity.

There is no greater asset in today’s competitive job market than relevant work experience. A Year in Industry will give you first-hand knowledge of not only the mechanics of how your chosen field operates but it will also greatly improve your chances of progressing within that sector as you seal valuable contacts and insight. These courses will also enhance your studies as theory is transformed into reality in a context governed by very real, time and financial constraints.

Our Industrial Links

A wide range of companies participate in this scheme, including: GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Infineum, Xennia, Napp and British Sugar to name but a few. Students are engaged in a large range of projects: in organic synthesis and pharmaceuticals, analysis, physical chemistry, materials chemistry and environmental and forensic chemistry.

Financial Benefits

A big attraction to this type of course, apart from the enhanced career prospects, is that students will pay much reduced tuition fees for that year (see fees and funding tab). There is also a realistic chance of being paid by the placement provider during the year which is a great way to help fund your continued studies. For the latest on financial arrangements for our Year in Industry students please visit the UEA Finance webpage.

How it Works

The Year in Industry degree programmes are four years in length with the work placement taking place during your third year. They are a minimum of nine months full-time employment and a maximum of 14 months.

Throughout the work placement, you keep in close contact with an assigned mentor at UEA who will also visit you at least once during the year. You keep a regularly updated work diary, so that your mentor will be able to ensure you are fulfilling all of the necessary learning objectives. Some introductory sessions are provided prior to commencing the work placement to help you gain the most from your year in industry, and you will enroll on a Work Based Learning module during you final year back at UEA.

We expect students to seek their own work placements and in the first two weeks of your second year you will be asked to write a curriculum vitae and to apply to a range of companies. Not only will this ensure that you work within your preferred field of chemistry, it will also provide you with the essential job-hunting skills you will require after graduation. We will, of course, offer our guidance whilst students are identifying and negotiating placement opportunities.

Please note that we cannot guarantee any student a work placement as this decision rests with potential employers and students will be expected to source these placements themselves. The Faculty of Science will provide support for students trying to obtain a placement in preparation for the year in Industry placements and students are expected to make use of any help offered within the Faculty/School as well as the Careers Centre.

If you were unable to secure a work placement by the end of your second year you will have the option to apply to be transferred onto the equivalent three-year degree programme without a Year in Industry.

“I have secured an industrial placement as a medicinal chemist at the pharmaceutical company Novartis for next year. During this year I will earn a decent salary as well as complete distance learning modules which count towards my MChem. This year should help me decide which area of research I would like to work in once graduating, or if I would prefer to do a PhD first. It will also look excellent on my CV, as I will have a year of experience in an industrial environment, learning some of the essential skills needed for the work place.”

Helen Newson
MChem Biological and Medicinal Chemistry with a Year in Industry

View our Year in Industry brochure.

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits


After an introduction to chemical bonding (taught jointly with CHE-4101Y), atomic and molecular structure and chemical principles, this module will provide an introduction to the structures, properties and reactivities of molecules and ionic solids. The latter part of the course will concentrate more on fundamental aspects of inorganic chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationships between chemical bonding and the structures and properties of molecules. This module is the prerequisite for the 2nd year inorganic module CHE-5301B. The first few lectures of this module are integrated with CHE-4101Y. The course is supported and illustrated by the bonding, structrure and periodicity experiments of the first year practical modules, CHE-4001Y and CHE-4602Y.




This is a laboratory based module covering experimental aspects of the "core" chemistry courses CHE-4101Y (Chemistry of Carbon-based Compounds CCC), CHE-4301Y (Bonding, Structure and Periodicity BSP) and CHE-4202Y (Light, Atoms and Materials LAM). A component on Analytical Chemistry is also included. The use of spreadsheets for analyzing and presenting data is covered in the LAM section of the course.




After a shared introduction to atomic structure and periodicity (taught jointly with CHE-4301Y), 4101Y introduces the concepts of # and # bonding and hybridisation, conjugation and aromaticity, the mechanistic description of organic reactions, the organic functional groups, the shapes of molecules and the stereochemistry of reactions (enantiomers and diastereoisomers, SN1/SN2 and E1/E2 reactions, and epoxidation and 1,2-difunctionalisation of alkenes). These principles are then elucidated in a series of topics: Enolate, Claisen, Mannich reactions, and the Strecker amino acid synthesis; the electrophilic substitution reactions of aromatic compounds, and the addition reactions of alkenes, and the chemistry of polar multiple bonds. Organic synthesis and spectroscopy are discussed, with a survey of methods to synthesise alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, alkyl halides, ethers, amines and carboxylic acids, and the use of IR, UV and NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to identify the products.




This module introduces students to the major areas of classical physical chemistry: chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, electrolyte solutions and electrochemistry as well as spectroscopy. Chemical kinetics will consider the kinetic theory of gasses and then rate processes, and in particular with the rates of chemical reactions taking place either in the gas phase or in solution. The appropriate theoretical basis for understanding rate measurements will be developed during the course, which will include considerations of the order of reaction, the Arrhenius equation and determination of rate constants. Thermodynamics deals with energy relationships in large assemblies, that is those systems which contain sufficient numbers of molecules for 'bulk' properties to be exhibited and which, are in a state of equilibrium. Properties discussed will include the heat content or enthalpy (H), heat capacity (Cp, Cv), internal energy (U), heat and work. The First Law of Thermodynamics will be introduced and its significance explained in the context of chemical reactions. It is very important that chemists have an understanding of the behaviour of ions in solution, which includes conductivity and ionic mobility. The interaction of radiation with matter is termed spectroscopy. Three main topics will be discussed: (i) ultraviolet/visible (UV / Vis) spectroscopy, in which electrons are moved from one orbital to another orbital; (ii) infrared (vibrational) spectroscopy, a technique which provides chemists with important information on the variety of bond types that a molecule can possess; (iii) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), which allow chemists to identify 'molecular skeletons'.




This module will include: Mathematical skills relevant to the understanding of chemical concepts; Statistics as applied to experimental chemistry; Error propagation in physical chemistry and Physical principles through applied mathematics. This part of the module aims to bring students' understanding of mathematical ideas and physics to a sufficient level to study core physical chemistry in later stages. The module also contains a broadly based series of lectures on science, coupled with activities based upon them. The twin objectives for this part of the module are to provide a contextual backdrop for the more focused studies in other concurrent and subsequent degree courses, and to engage students as participants in researching and presenting related information.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


History of forensic science, forensic collection and recovery methods, anti-contamination precautions, microscopy, glass refractive index, introduction to pattern recognition including footwear; introduction to Drugs analysis; forensic statistics and QA chain of custody issues. The second half Introduces the student to the fundamentals of DNA and biotechnology essential for an understanding of forensics technologies. Topics covered include: nucleic acid/chromosome structure, replication, mutation and repair; concepts of genetic inheritance; DNA manipulation and visualisation; DNA sequencing; DNA fingerprinting. Teaching and learning methods: lectures, practicals and mentor groups (pbl). Presentation of a case study.




THIS MODULE CANNOT BE TAKEN WITH ENV-4014Y OR ENV-4013Y. This module is designed for students with maths A2 level (grade C or above) or IB SL (grade 4 or above). It is also for students transferring from the SCI Foundation year who have taken MTHB0002B Basic Mathematics II. It covers differentiation, integration, vectors, partial differentiation, ordinary differential equations, further integrals, power series expansions, complex numbers and statistical methods. In addition to the theoretical background there is an emphasis on applied examples. Previous knowledge of calculus is assumed. This module is the first in a series of three maths modules for students across the Faculty of Science that provide a solid undergraduate mathematical training. The follow-on modules are Mathematics for Scientists B and C.




This module gives an introduction to important topics in physics, with particular, but not exclusive, relevance to chemical and molecular physics. Areas covered include optics, electrostatics and magnetism, and special relativity. The module may be taken by any science students who wish to study physics beyond A-Level.



Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


The module describes the structure, bonding and reactivity patterns of inorganic compounds. The aspects covered are set out in the content summary. The module is a prerequisite for the 3rd level inorganic course CHE-6301B. Further details will be provided in the course information booklet.




Quantum mechanics, one of the key scientific ideas of the 20th century, has had a wide impact in chemistry. In the first part of the module you will be introduced to the language and methods of quantum mechanics. In the second part, the close relation between spectroscopic measurements of small molecules and quantum theory will be discussed. Further methods of spectroscopy will then be introduced, beginning with the most widely used of all techniques in structure determination, NMR spectroscopy. This will be followed by a discussion of molecular electronic spectra which are widely used in chemical analysis.




This course builds on CHE - 4101Y (the first year organic chemistry course). Four main topics are covered. The first "Aromaticity" includes benzenoid and hetero-aromatic systems. The second major topic is the organic chemistry of carbonyl compounds. Spectroscopic characterisation of organic compounds is reviewed and the final major topic is "Stereochemistry and Mechanisms". This covers conformational aspects of acyclic and cyclic compounds. Stereoelectronic effects, Neighbouring Group Participation (NGP), Baldwin's rules, Cram's rule and cycloaddition reactions are then discussed.




The module covers a number of areas of modern physical chemistry which are essential to a proper understanding of the behaviour of chemical systems. These include the second Law of thermodynamics and entropy, the thermodynamics of solutions, chemical kinetics, surface chemistry and catalysis. The module includes laboratory work. Due to the laboratory-based content on this module students must have completed at least one level 4 module containing laboratory work.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


The module covers the theory and practical application of some key instrumental techniques for chemical analysis. Molecular spectroscopy, chromatography and electroanalytical techniques are the important instrumental methods included. Laboratory practicals using these techniques will reinforce material covered in the lecture programme.




An introduction to the basic principles of polymer synthesis is presented, together with a discussion of their physical properties. Speciality polymers are discussed. Materials chemistry is developed further with the introduction of inorganic structures and the concept of ferroelectric properties together with powder x-ray diffraction as applied to cubic crystals. Ion conductivity and basic band theory are also discussed. Semiconductivity is introduced and related to the band description of these materials. A series of practical experiments in polymer and materials chemistry supports this module and are designed to improve and enhance laboratory skills through experiments, which cover important topics in modern chemistry.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


Atmospheric chemistry and global change are in the news: stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, greenhouse gases, and global scale air pollution are among the most significant environmental problems of our age. Chemical composition and transformations underlie these issues, and drive many important atmospheric processes. This module covers the fundamental chemical principles and processes in the atmosphere from the Earth's surface to the stratosphere, and considers current issues of atmospheric chemical change through a series of lectures, problem-solving classes, seminars, experimental and computing labs and a field trip to UEA's own atmospheric observatory in Weybourne/North Norfolk. A solid background in chemistry, physics or maths is recommended.




This module explores the structural, kinetic and thermodynamic properties of biological systems and the methodologies used to define them. Using predominantly examples from protein biochemistry, these topics will be discussed within three major themes: 1) Binding, activation and transfer in biological systems, 2) Enzyme catalysis, and 3) Macromolecular size, shape and structure determination. The concluding lectures will explore protein disorder, folding and structure to illustrate how biophysicists integrate concepts and methods from each of these themes when addressing a specific research topic.




Following on from CHE-4701Y, where the emphasis was on collection of evidence, this module introduces more in-depth forensic chemistry, looking at the way evidence gathered at a crime scene may be analysed in the laboratory. The module will deepen the knowledge of forensic statistics and cover basic detection and recovery techniques for body fluids; dna analysis; fingerprint development and recovery; advanced microscopy and spectroscopy and their application to fibres including the theory and practical application of infra-red and raman spectroscopy, paint and other particulates; the use of elemental analysis in forensic science including atomic absorption spectroscopy; and questioned document examination including counterfeiting.




This module is the second in a series of three mathematical modules for students across the Faculty of Science. It covers vector calculus (used in the study of vector fields in subjects such as fluid dynamics and electromagnetism), time series and spectral analysis (a highly adaptable and useful mathematical technique in many science fields, including data analysis), and fluid dynamics (which has applications to the circulation of the atmosphere, ocean, interior of the Earth, chemical engineering, and biology). There is a continuing emphasis on applied examples.




This module introduces medicinal chemistry using chemical principles established during the first year. The series of lectures covers a wide range of topics central to medicinal chemistry. Topics discussed include an Introduction to Drug Development, Proteins as Drug Targets, Revision Organic Chemistry, Targeting DNA with Antitumour Drugs, Targeting DNA-Associated Processes, Fatty Acid and Polyketide Natural Products.




This course covers the foundation and basics of quantum theory and symmetry, starting with features of the quantum world and including elements of quantum chemistry, group theory, computer-based methods for calculating molecular wavefunctions, quantum information, and the quantum nature of light. The subject matter paves the way for applications to a variety of chemical and physical systems - in particular, processes and properties involving the electronic structure of atoms and molecules.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module is only available to MChem students on their year in industry and to FF41 students attending the FIU in Miami during the second semester. Students will study core level 3 chemistry through a series of distance learning assignments. It provides, through distance learning, the essential material from the third year chemical sciences syllabus. Study of this material will equip the student for further study at M level in all major sub-disciplines of Chemistry. It is a pre-requisite for entry to the level M units for students on industrial placement degrees.




Students will be evaluated against the goals of their work during industrial placement. This assessment will be made by the UEA supervisor in consultation with the industrial supervisor(s). This module is only available to MChem students on their year in industry.




Students will prepare a report and presentation covering agreed aspects of their industrial placement work. The presentation will typically be given at UEA following the students' return. This module is only available to MChem students on their year in industry.



Students must study the following modules for 60 credits:

Name Code Credits


A supervised research project available only to students registered for the MChem programme.



Students will select 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This 20-credit module is an option for all final year M level students. It is classed as a taught postgraduate module; this implies that it can be flexible in some aspects of assessment and aims to present material that is not necessarily covered in standard textbooks. The module provides M level coverage in selected topics of inorganic chemistry and builds upon the prerequisite Level 6 module CHE-6301Y. The material will be presented in three lecture blocks, covering (i) homogeneous catalysis, focussing on dehydrocoupling and stereoselective alkene polymerisation(ii) frustrated Lewis pairs and their applications in catalysis and (iii) recent advances in gold chemistry




This is a 20-credit module for final year MChem The module provides advanced level coverage in selected topics of organic chemistry. Topics will include Asymmetric synthesis and catalysis, mechanism in organic chemistry and supramolecular chemistry. Lectures will be seminar-style.




This 20-credit module is classed as a taught postgraduate module; it can be flexible in some aspects of assessment and aims to present material that is not necessarily covered in standard textbooks. The contents in seminar series are not assessed in the final exam. The module provides M level coverage in selected topics of nanochemistry and physical chemistry and follows on from the respective 3rd year modules. The material will be presented in two lecture blocks, covering (i) advanced synthesis of nanomaterials and related considerations, functionalization and characterizations, single molecule methods in biophysical chemistry, and nanoparticles in nanomedicine; (ii) physical chemistry and reaction kinetics, molecular photophysics and spectroscopy.




The module describes some advanced forensic chemistry topics including stable isotope analysis, explosives, chemometrics and the practical application of DNA to Forensic science from basic genetics to interpretation in a casework context. It also develops the practical application of stable isotope analysis to provenancing of human remains and introduces students to Forensic Archaeology. .the module contains an important revision element. Students will give oral presentations on selected year 1 and year 2 material of fundamental importance and will prepare handouts suitable for use as revision notes. The formative exercise will be set in week 1, Semester 1 for a 20 minute presentation in week 5. Students then draw together all the ideas learnt in past forensic modules and apply them to the investigation of a major case scenario. The module culminates in a mock court exercise run in conjunction wwith the Law School where the student will take personal accountability for the work done during the module.




This module concerns important concepts and methods that are widely employed in Biochemistry, Biological and Biophysical Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. There are two main areas upon which this module focuses: The first focusses on biological systems covering key areas such as the role of metal-containing proteins, electron transfer - metalloproteins; biocatalysis, membrane proteins, including transport across biological membranes, glycobiology and modern developments in chemical biology. The second part of the module develops further the understanding of key characterisation tools used in chemical and structural biology. It develops the spectroscopic/structural theme covered in the B.Sc. course by providing an in depth, specialist view of key biophysical methods at the forefront of research in biological chemistry. These include (i) high resolution crystallographic techniques and x-ray spectroscopic techniques (eg SAXS, SANS, EXAFS and XANES) (ii) magnetic resonance techniques (both advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) methods); (iii) advanced optical techniques (eg MCD and Mossbauer), (iv) Computational approaches (eg molecular dynamics) for structure determination and structure-function studies as well as understanding and determining protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.




The aim of this module is to provide an overview of important classes of organic natural products, aspects of their synthesis and biological / pharmaceutical action. For example, the biosynthetic origin of terpenes is discussed, in terms of classical organic chemistry, arrow pushing and alongside their properties their applications by Nature in generating more complex natural products. The module examines examples of biogenesis, chemical synthesis and biological action of selected products and pharmaceutical chemicals. Specifically the chemistry associated with natural products that contain important bioactive motifs. The roles of coenzymes in the mevalonate and methylerythritol pathways to the "isoprene" building blocks for terpenes and steroids, and the significance of substrate folding in the action of terpene synthases and the enzymes that produce steroids will be described. The historical development and applications of multicomponent reactions as well as the use of microfluidics (flow and continuous), microwave and biphasic chemical synthesis is discussed. Finally target molecule synthesis associated with natural product synthesis and the chemistry associated with organosulfur, organosilicon and organoselenium chemistry is discussed in the context of new reactions and natural product synthesis.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: Home and EU Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for Home and EU students and for details of the support available.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

Home/EU - The University of East Anglia offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships.  To check if you are eligible please visit 


Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support: International Students

Tuition Fees

Please see our webpage for further information on the current amount of tuition fees payable for International Students.


We offer a range of Scholarships for International Students – please see our website for further information.


How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Service prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Service
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

Please click here to register your details via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    Next Steps

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