Chemistry is a core science subject that touches almost every aspect of our daily lives, and will become increasingly important in our future knowledge-based society. Chemists develop life-saving drugs, polymers, pest-control agents and catalysts that can enhance our quality of life beyond measure.
Four-year MSci degrees are available for high-calibre students with the ability and aspiration to practise Chemistry at the highest levels. BSc students with excellent performance may transfer to the MSci up to the end of Stage 2.
Note: the School has also introduced a new degree in Engineering Chemistry which covers core elements of both chemistry and chemical engineering, and will prepare students for a wide range of careers. It is available in two options - the MSci or the MEng, the award dictated by the modules studied
Medicinal Chemistry Degree highlights
- The BSc degrees are recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Chemistry in Ireland, and the MSci Chemistry is accredited by The Royal Society of Chemistry
While providing dedicated subject-specific learning, our Chemistry degrees strongly emphasise opportunities to develop generic problem-solving and reflective-working practices applicable to a range of career paths and patterns of employability.
Many of the elements of the BSc are in common with the MSci programme, and allow students to transfer between the two pathways, subject to meeting the appropriate programme requirements.
All degrees are modular, with six modules each year. All provide a thorough training in the three main subject areas (Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry) through compulsory core modules which offer in-depth study of these three areas.
Students study a common programme with the Chemical Engineers, giving them an understanding of how the two subjects relate to each other and an opportunity to transfer if they decide they are better suited to the other discipline. Key to this is a course structure permitting students to study both introductory Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering, alongside a couple of skills modules equipping students to proceed on either degree programme.
In the second semester students then take three modules covering the main fundamental subject areas; inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.
Stage 1 courses are outlined below:
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Introduction to Mathematics for Chemists and Engineers
Skills for Physical Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry 1
Organic Chemistry Level 1
Students are required to take six modules of chemistry, designed to extend their knowledge of the traditional subject areas of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, in addition to introducing aspects of applied chemistry, spectroscopy and theoretical chemistry. Each of the modules contain both practical and coursework components allowing students to develop, practice and demonstrate a wide range of professional skills.
Stage 2 courses are outlined below:
Organic Chemistry 2
Inorganic Chemistry 2
Introductory Principles in Medicinal Chemistry
Industrial and Green Chemistry
In addition to advancing the three main subject areas of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, students can also can select a number of applied options allowing opportunities to specialise. Students have the choice of taking either a double-weighted research project directly supervised by a member of staff, or experiencing the full breadth of the subject through taking a series of three extended mini-projects in each of the main subject areas, making up a double-weighted module. Key to both of these options is the acquisition of both subject-specific and generic skills to act as a springboard to a successful career.
Different pathways offer opportunities to specialise. In the later stages there are optional specialist modules and extended practical/project work. The specialist pathways available consist of additional elements which are detailed below:
Chemistry with Study Abroad: students take French or Spanish alongside Chemistry in Stages 1 and 2, then spend a year abroad studying Chemistry in French or Spanish, and then return to Queen's for Stage 3.
BSc Sandwich Degrees: students spend their third year working in industry (subject to the availability of a suitable placement), then return to Queen's for a final year of study.
Medicinal Chemistry: students take modules which include Biochemistry, Genetics and Medicinal Chemistry, and undertake a medicinal or biological project.
Students take modules which include Biochemistry, Genetics and Medicinal Chemistry, and undertake a medicinal or biological project.
Stage 3 courses are outlined below:
Advanced Practical Work in Medicinal Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry 3
Organic Chemistry 3
Advanced Chemistry Options
People teaching you
Dr Gary Sheldrake
Director of Education
Chem & Chemical Engineering
Dr Sheldrake is a senior lecturer in Chemistry. He specialises in Synthetic and Bioorganic Chemistry.
Contact Teaching Times
|Large Group Teaching|
7 (hours maximum)
7 hours of lectures or seminars
|Medium Group Teaching|
6 (hours maximum)
6 hours of practical classes or workshops each week; laboratory hours will increase as more project work is undertaken at Levels 3-4 (as applicable)
24 (hours maximum)
22–24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities, etc.
|Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial|
2 (hours maximum)
2 hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) each week
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the MSci in Medicinal Chemistry we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society. We make use of innovative technologies and a world class library to enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Information associated with lectures and assignments is typically communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. Opportunities to use IT programmes associated with data manipulation and presentation are embedded in the practicals and the project- based work.
Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic and professional development through the discussion of selected topics
These are essential to the training in this laboratory-based subject area. You will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. Most of the core taught modules at Stages 1 and 2 have practical components associated with them, whilst stage 3 has a double weighted practical module (CHM3015). Typically at stage 1 you would be in the lab for two afternoons and in stages 2 to 3 it is two full days per week.
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, preparation for seminars / tutorials, writing of laboratory reports can be completed. You are encouraged to undertake private reflection on feedback, and at the later stages undertake independent research using the primary literature to support project work and critically review taught course material.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 6-10 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups as well as using them as a route to providing individual feedback.
In the final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research. The supervisor and a second academic member of staff will formally meet, interview and review the work at the half way stage, and then provide support in the write up stage, although weekly contact is anticipated in most projects within the School.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students through the VLE, and on the School’s own web-site.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
Placement employer comments or references
Online or emailed comment.
General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H4H4/H3H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Chemistry and a second Science subject + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 80% with no less than 70% in any module including sufficient relevant modules in Chemistry. GCSE Mathematics grade C or equivalent in Access Course.
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance notes on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Once your on-line form has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form, which is considered by the Selector for courses in Chemistry along with a member of administrative staff from the Admissions and Access Service. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For entry last year, applicants for programmes in Chemistry must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or better (to include English Language and Mathematics), though this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of GCSE and/or A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS would also be considered. The minimum acceptable is two subjects at A-level plus one at AS though candidates offering this combination will be considered on an individual basis depending on the degree for which they have applied. The offer for repeat candidates may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, the International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate or an Access course, will also be considered.
For applicants offering a relevant HNC, the current requirements for admission to Stage 1 are successful completion of the HNC with 1 Distinction and remainder Merits. For those offering a Higher National Diploma, there may be the possibility of advanced entry to Stage 2 depending on relevance of the HND and first year results (at least half of the first year units must be at Merit grade). Where offers are made for entry to Stage 2 students would be required to achieve 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits in all units assessed in final year. Those not eligible for entry to Stage 2 would be considered for entry to Stage 1 provided at least one first year unit is at Merit grade. Students would be required to achieve Merits in all units assessed in final year. For those offering a HNC or HND, some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile.
Candidates offering Access/Certificate in Foundation Studies courses will be considered individually on their own merits.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of degree courses in Chemistry, these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking would not normally be considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a School Visit Day, which is usually held in the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice and the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS - FOUNDATION AND INTERNATIONAL YEAR ONE PROGRAMMES
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a medicinal chemistry degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from the chemistry degree programmes at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including medicinal chemistry.
Medicinal Chemistry graduates have entered careers in a wide variety of fields, including the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industry, publishing, marketing and teaching. The MSci in Medicinal Chemistry with professional studies is a new programme and it is anticipated that graduates will go on to study for a PhD in a variety of leading institutions or take up a graduate grade position in the pharmaceutical industry.
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Warner-Chilcott (international pharmaceutical company), Almac, Invista, Seagate, and Johnson Matthey who are members of the Industrial Advisory board for the course.
Our past students have also gained work placement with organisations such as:
Norbrook (Veterinary pharmaceuticals)
Randox (Medical diagnostics)
Boehringer Ingelheim (Pharmaceuticals)
Other Employer Links
Many of the research projects within the School have industrial input, and are in collaboration with a wide variety of companies operating in the chemical sector. Given the close working relationships, between industry and the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering new opportunities to expand placements, industrial contact and career opportunities are continually developing.
Other Career-related information
Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast full Employability Statement for further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives
Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,275|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£9,250|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,275|
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Medicinal Chemistry costs
Students are required to buy a laboratory coat in year 1 at a cost of £15. Students have the option to hire a locker, at a cost of £5 per student per year. Students have the option to join the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) at a cost of £19 per annum.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/apply.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2019 from 1 September 2018.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2019 (18:00).
Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions (www.qub.ac.uk/Study/TermsandConditions) which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2019.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
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