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Chemistry BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time F100 2017
4 years full time including sandwich year F101 2017
4 years full time including foundation year F108 2017
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

If you enjoy mainstream chemistry and would like to apply the knowledge and skills you gain to industry, research or teaching, Kingston University's Chemistry degree is ideal.

What you will study

Three foundation chemistry modules in Year 1 will introduce you to the fundamental aspects of the subject. The modules will consolidate your existing knowledge and provide a base upon which you can develop advanced chemistry concepts. You will learn and develop the laboratory and practical techniques needed for the later years of the course. You will also broaden your knowledge through a module that discusses environmental chemistry.

In Year 2, you will take a more in-depth look at inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. You will continue to carry out experimental work, developing the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to become a competent professional. Additional modules, covering experimental and analytical chemistry, will expand your skills for interpreting the results of modern spectroscopic investigations.

In Year 3, you will undertake more specialised study of the inorganic, physical and organic chemistry taught in Years 1 and 2, with the chance to choose option modules in areas of materials or industrial chemistry. There is also a project module, which forms an important part of this year's work. An optional sandwich year provides an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how chemistry is applied in an industrial situation. The industrial placement tutor, based in the department, will help prepare you to find a placement.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module introduces the structure and isomerism observed in organic molecules, then describes the preparation and chemical reactions (including the mechanisms involved) of the hydrocarbons and monofunctional organic molecules. The main principles of molecular systems, chemical reactivity and kinetics, including those of gas-phase reactions, are described before presenting the essential principles of chemical thermodynamics and molecular quantum mechanics.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the structures and shapes of simple organic molecules, explaining the origins and effects of the different kinds of isomerism that can arise within them.
    • Describe the preparation and properties of hydrocarbons and monofunctional organic molecules, including the mechanisms involved in their reactions.
    • Explain the behaviour of gases and the kinetics of gas-phase reactions in molecular terms;
    • Apply thermodynamic and quantum mechanical principles to aspects of the energetics and structures of molecules, and to chemical reactions.
    • Carry out and report laboratory procedures according to given protocols.
    • Demonstrate appropriate Level 4 key skills in written communication, numeracy, data collection and analysis, including graphical analysis.
  • This module introduces various bonding models including the structure and bonding of inorganic solids. Trends in the periodic table are illustrated by coverage of the chemistry of Group 1, 13 and 17 elements. The module introduces atmospheric and aquatic pollution followed by the the impact of pollutants on the environment. 

    On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

    • Identify and explain the bonding, shape and reactivity of inorganic molecules, complexes and solids and the trends within the periodic table.
    • Solve numerical problems related to inorganic and environmental chemistry.
    • Describe the chemical and physical processes that occur after the release of chemicals into the environment.
    • Discuss the environmental consequences of the release of chemical species and potential solutions to environmental pollution.
    • Execute and report laboratory procedures according to given protocols.
  • On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Explain the purpose and principles of basic laboratory manipulations and calculations.
    • Explain clearly, the origin of the NMR, IR, UV and MS phenomena.
    • Apply knowledge to the interpretation of characterisation data published in spectroscopic correlation tables.
    • Apply  knowledge to confirm the presence of known organic compounds, and to identify unknown groups and compounds.
    • Perform laboratory procedures and preparations of simple compounds.
    • Apply  knowledge of spectroscopy to identify the products of the laboratory preparations.
  • This module aims to give a thorough grounding in mathematics, statistics, key and transferable skills (eg exam strategy, effective use of calculators, library and referencing, avoiding plagiarism, problem solving and personal development planning etc) and IT skills.


Year 2

  • This module builds upon the theory and principles developed in Foundation Inorganic Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry and applies them to second- and third-row transition metal, the lanthanides and Group 14. It introduces solid state chemistry with a consideration of defects and conductivity as well as bonding and reactivity of inorganic complexes and organometallics. Nearly 25% of the teaching time is spent in the laboratory carrying out synthetic work and quantitative analysis.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the structure of inorganic solids including defects and relate conduction to the band structure of solids.
    • Rationalise trends in the d-block and p-blocks group in terms of electronic structure, bonding, shielding, radial distribution functions and oxidation state diagrams.
    • Solve problems concerning the structure, bonding, electronic properties, stability and reactivity of a range of d and f-block compounds.
    • Work safely in a laboratory from instructions, record the results obtained in a clear and coherent manner, carry out calculations from those results and draw valid conclusions.
    • Demonstrate key skills of communication (workshop discussions; selecting, extracting and analysing a range of information); teamwork (organising and executing practical work in pairs or small groups); ICT (use of on-line communication); independent learning (locating and evaluating printed and electronic learning resources.
  • This module aims to develop the knowledge of both organic chemistry and medicinal chemistry in organic chemical reactivity as well as the basic mechanisms of drug addiction. The module deals with the methodology of organic synthesis following concepts dealt with at Level 4 to include important organic chemistry topics such carbanion reactivity of carbonyl compounds, the reactions of aromatic and heteroaromatic compounds, stereochemistry, asymmetric synthesis and retrosynthesis. In addition, the module deals with complex biological response, drug design and the role within the pharmaceutical industry. The use of spectroscopic techniques structure elucidation is also studied.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the synthesis, properties, reactivity and applications of aromatic and carbonyl compounds, particularly enolates, in synthetic and pharmaceutical chemistry.
    • Discuss advanced stereochemistry concepts including the importance of stereochemistry in the design of drugs and the resolution and the synthesis of chiral compounds.
    • Describe the structures and properties of simple molecules of biological importance such as proteins, carbohydrates and fatty acids.
    • Apply the principles of retrosynthetic analysis, chemoselectivity and protecting group strategy to devise potential routes for the synthesis of organic compounds.
    • Discuss the role of SAR, organic synthesis and other approaches to drug design and drug delivery and the structure, function and mode of action of therapeutic drugs.
    • Contribute to team work and present the team results using key communication skills.
  • This module discusses the electrochemistry of ionic solutions including both strong and weak electrolytes; cell electrochemistry and the associated applications to chemical thermodynamics; phase equilibria and colligative properties; transition state theory of chemical reactions; complex reaction mechanisms and their kinetic analysis; an introduction to statistical thermodynamics and partition function; and the quantum mechanics and theory underlying both rotational (microwave) and vibrational (Infra-red and Raman) spectroscopies, including rigid rotor and centrifugal distortion models and both simple harmonic and enharmonic vibration models and their interactions.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate their knowledge of the principles of phase equilibrium and be able to analyse the behaviour of one- and two-component systems.
    • Discuss the properties of electrolyte solutions and other non-ideal systems.
    • Analyse the behaviour of complex reaction mechanisms and chemical equilibrium via a combination of traditional and statistical thermodynamic approaches.
    • Analyse and predict the rotational and vibrational spectroscopic properties of small molecules.
    • Demonstrate the correct use of laboratory equipment appropriate to the above, and the reporting of experimental procedures and recording and analysis of results obtained.
    • Demonstrate appropriate level 5 skills in written communication and presentation, numeracy, data collection and analysis including graphical and predictive analysis.
  • This module develops the themes of analysis and practical procedures (with an emphasis on analytical and organic chemistry) that were introduced in previous modules. It incorporates both a more rigorous approach to laboratory work, coupled with developing the research skills required to devise experiments and then objectively assess results, followed by preparing high-quality reports and presentations.  he analytical methodologies and experimental techniques are those used routinely in academia, industry, and other laboratory research – spectroscopy; organic syntheses; molecular modelling; inorganic and physical chemistries; and the uses of applied separation technologies in common use. The modes of obtaining and evaluating findings, by use of electronic databases (eg Reaxys®) in addition to conventional printed literature sources.  The ability to write coherent, evidence-based, yet succinct reports is a component. 

     On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Discuss the practices of separation science, chemical manipulation, and using these methods to purify a range of compounds.
    • Show how the role of validation of procedures is vital to rigorous scientific methods.
    • Define the various stages in problem solving, understanding the value of viable experimental results in statistical testing.
    • Perform more advanced chemical experiments, in analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry fields, but with an emphasis on experimental organic chemistry.
    • Compile an accurate and critical account of experiments undertaken, typically as an abstract, that integrates previous learning and peer-reviewed reference material.

Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

  • This  module provides an opportunity to undertake a scientific project and develop skills required to plan a project, develop a methodology, analyse the data and disseminate the results. Two types of projects are offered: an experimental or a non-experimental project requiring a review and critical evaluation of data generated from laboratory experiments or collected from published works.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Organise, plan and develop an area of research after discussion with project supervisors.
    • Review up to date advances from the primary literature and other relevant sources.
    • Use relevant ICT resources competently (eg browse through relevant on-line scientific databases; use appropriate software for chemical drawing, molecular modelling or data processing).
    • Prepare a structured, critical evaluation of a research topic and the data collected in the form of a written report.
    • Present and disseminate their results to a scientific audience through written and spoken communication.
    • Demonstrate an ability to work independently and to make informed decisions on the progress of the project.
  • The module builds upon and develops further, topics studied at Level 5, for example, stereoselective synthesis and retrosynthetic analysis. In addition, new topics are introduced such as pharmacognosy, combinatorial chemistry, photochemistry, free radical chemistry and pericyclic reactions. The lectures and associated workshops will encourage the development of problem solving and team working skills, in preparation for the workplace. These skills will be practised during laboratory-based exercises involving  group work with 'mini-projects" which will be assessed using a range of methodologies that include oral presentations, report writing and poster presentations.

    • Identify different types of natural products isolated from various sources and their mode of action.
    • Explain what is meant by polymer support synthesis and combinatorial chemistry using suitable examples from drug discovery and peptide synthesis.
    • Apply semi-synthetic, retrosynthetic and stereoselective strategies to selected case studies within drug development
    • Describe pericyclic reactions; (cycloaddition reactions, electrocyclic reactions and sigmatropic rearrangements) in terms of their Frontier Orbital interactions
    • Understand free radical chemistry and photochemistry (in terms of fluorescence, phosphorescence, Jablonski diagrams etc), and be able to apply these in the synthesis of organic compounds.
    • Develop problem solving and team-work skills.
  • Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  • Polymer and Industrial Chemistry
    This module provides a grounding in polymer chemistry, natural and synthetic macro molecules and the measurement of polymer molar masses. The module explains the effects of structure and processing on polymer properties and how they can be modified. It also aims to give an understanding of typical applications of macromolecular materials, biomaterials and composites in industry and everyday life. The module introduces various aspects of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry pertinent to possible future careers and aims to cover a wide range of topics including green chemistry, patents, intellectual property, health and safety, and other legislation.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the main types of chemistry available for making polymers and related materials.
    • Discuss the range of physical and chemical properties which may be needed in commercial polymers and biomaterials, and describe how the required properties can be realised by choosing appropriate materials and processing.
    • Apply the fundamental principles discussed to such fields as textile fibres, elastomers, adhesives, electronic applications, drug delivery, ophthalmology and medical prosthetics.
    • Describe the nature and structure of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry and understand how management and operational aspects of the industry is implemented.
    • Describe the important applied aspects of these industry such as patents and licences, legislation, health and safety, ethics and quality assurance.
    • Critically evaluate chemical processes in terms of the 12 principles of Green Chemistry, calculating atom economies and explaining the importance of catalysts, alternative solvents and renewable raw materials.

    Advanced Analytical Science
    This module deals with the themes of spectroscopy in the development of a more rigorous theoretical footing and advanced applications. In parallel to this, there is an introduction to  analytical themes covering radiochemical analysis, electroanalysis and thermal analysis.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of quality management systems relating to the analytical laboratory.
    • Apply the techniques and methods studied to routine and non-routine chemical problems, in various situations.
    • Critically compare and assess a variety of analytical techniques with regard to performance and applicability.
    • Design and carry out experiments to measure and subsequently interpret data, using techniques and concepts directly or indirectly related to those developed elsewhere in the module.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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