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Chemical Sciences (FD)


Chemical Sciences

Entry year
Academic Year 2024/25
Entry requirements
2 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
Applications for 2023 entry are still open for some programmes. View courses

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, medical devices, materials and sensors that can enhance our quality of life beyond measure.

The general aim of the Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences is to provide graduates who can progress to Stage 2 Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry degrees at QUB and elsewhere. It will also benefit both students in making an effective future contribution in the workplace and current employees who are offered the opportunity to develop their chosen career. In keeping with the QAA Subject Benchmarking Statement for Chemistry, this programme seeks to take a holistic view of the subject disciplines, and therefore encourages interdisciplinary thinking and analysis. Likewise, an integral work-based learning component is built into the course to enhance the student’s prospects for employability and effectiveness in the workplace.

Specifically, this programme aims to provide students with knowledge and understanding of scientific methods of enquiry and theoretical principles of chemical sciences, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context.

Chemical Sciences Degree highlights

This course is taught at Belfast Metropolitan College (Titanic Quarter Campus) and also uses specialized laboratories and other facilities at QUB.

Professional Accreditations

  • The Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences is accredited by Queen's University.
    Graduates will be eligible for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC) and with further experience, full membership leading to Chartered Chemist status.

Industry Links

  • BMC has excellent Industry links. There are also close working relationships between Industry and QUB School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering which inform course content and practice - 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. This leads to new opportunities to share knowledge and develop new applications.

Career Development

  • Inherent within its design, the Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences address a range of cognitive, transferable, knowledge-based and subject-specific skills in order to enhance student capabilities and employability.

Course Structure

IntroductionA student completing the programme should be able to:
* demonstrate an understanding of the relevance of the chemical sciences to the current
economic environment;
* show an understanding of the major subdivisions of the subject (organic, inorganic, physical
and analytical chemistry);
* demonstrate competence and dexterity in practical techniques in chemistry and cognate
disciplines (indicative practical work is integral to the course);
* demonstrate competence in subject specific key skills, problem solving, and a professional
approach to work, study and lifelong learning.
Stage 1Fundamentals of Science - this module covers the basic aspects of Cellular Biology, the structure of Atoms and relates the principles of classical physics to biology and chemistry.

Mathematical and Study Skills in Science - this covers basic algebra, calculus and statistics for application in data and equations and also the methodology of researching a scientific topic.

General Chemistry - this extends the Fundamentals of Science and includes further study of the Atom, Bonding, and Organic Chemistry.

Chemistry of Organic Molecules -this will extend the basic Organic Chemistry covered in General Chemistry and introduce some basic themes from Biological Chemistry.

Work-based Learning (Placement in Semester 3) - this module is central to the Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences and will form the basis of the 10-week work placement between Year 1 and Year 2.
Stage 2Analytical Chemistry & Toxicology - this module will focus on the development and application of laboratory skills, underpinned by the theoretical content.

Mathematics for Chemists - this module will extend the basic mathematics covered in Stage 1 and includes
Data Representation, Integration and Differentiation, Functions and Complex numbers.

Further Inorganic Chemistry - content includes Main Group and Co-ordination Chemistry and an introduction to Solids

Further Organic Chemistry - Common Mechanisms, Functional Group Conversions, Stereochemistry and Spectroscopy are the key areas covered.

Further Physical Chemistry - this covers key concepts in Phase and Chemical Equilibria, Kinetics, Quantum Theory, Thermodynamics and Electrochemistry.

Contact Teaching Times

Medium Group Teaching9 (hours maximum)
Laboratory Work - Nine hours per week
Large Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
Six hours per week
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial3 (hours maximum)
Three hours per week

Learning and Teaching


  • Cognitive Skills:
    *Demonstrate knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in chemical sciences
    *Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate different approaches to problem solving
    *Plan, execute and present investigations where time management, problem solving and independence are evident
    *Apply numerical skills and techniques to interpret data (modules)
  • Knowledge & Understanding:
    *Demonstrate an understanding of general scientific principles in chemistry, biology and physics
    *Select appropriate numerical methods to analyse data
    *Apply the founding principles of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry to academic and work-based scenarios
    *Devise simple synthetic routes in organic chemistry, including the selection of appropriate methods of analysis
    *Undertake complex chemical and instrumental analysis of components in various sample matrices
    *Link understanding of key themes in biochemistry and organic chemistry to a study of medicinal chemistry
    *Apply knowledge from all modules to specialist topics in modern chemistry using a case study approach
  • Subject-Specific Skills:
    *Perform route laboratory work in compliance with GLP, including organic synthesis and biochemical analysis
    *Operate common laboratory instruments (GC-MS, FT-IR, 1H-NMR; HPLC, UV-Vis) and be able to plan practical work involving comprehensive instrumental analysis
    *Devise and critically evaluate standard operating procedures relevant to the industrial context
    *Present laboratory data in a variety of formats.
  • Transferable Skills:
    *Information technology skills, including word processing, spreadsheet use, database use and internet use
    *Evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data including acquisition, interpretation and critical evaluation of data
    *Interpersonal skills; the ability to interact professionally with peers, staff and others, including appropriate written and oral skills
    *Time management and organization; ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working
    *Study skills for lifelong learning, including independent study
    *Skills required in the development of career action plans and in the management of the students own responsibilities
    *Creative skills developed through work such as projects, academic posters and work placement presentations
  • What You Will Learn
    Graduates of the Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences will have acquired a comprehensive range of theoretical and applied knowledge in the key areas of the subject and a professional approach to both employment and study.



  • Formal examinations shall be held during the designated assessment period and in August/September.
  • Forms of assessment other than formal examinations may take place at any point in the academic year.



  • Feedback will be delivered throughout the academic year using a variety of methods to ensure you are kept up-to-date with your progress.


Belfast Met has a well-equipped suite of teaching labs, including an instrument lab with a range of modern equipment, including GC-MS, HPLC and IR spectrometer. The College continues to invest in new equipment each year with e.g. plans for the installation of a bench-top NMR spectrometer this academic year. Canvas is used for the online learning environment.
Ongoing equipment investment continues to be made in QUB School Chemistry and Chemical Engineering extending its range of facilities. Research laboratories are augmented by excellent computational facilities and some of the most modern instrumentation available. The School has recently invested in a lab containing 18 brand new analytical instruments, from HPLC, GC and mass spectrometers, to FT-IR, UV-Vis and Fluorescence spectroscopy, dedicated to the training of analytical techniques.

In addition to an instrument pool containing a range of infrared and ultra violet / visible spectrometers, a circular dichroism spectrometer and polarimeter, major items of equipment possessed by the Chemistry School at QUB include NMR spectrometers, powder X-ray diffractometer,Time of Flight Mass Spectrometers, GC / mass spectrometers, Elemental analyser, Thermal analysers F.T. infrared spectrometers, BET, Scanning electron microscope and a range of the most modern facilities for laser-based spectroscopy, including nanosecond pulsed system.

Students on the course are entitled to:
(i) QUB Library borrowing rights;
(ii) Access to QUB student computer centres;
(iii) Access to Queen’s Canvas;
(iv) Student membership of the Physical Education Centre (PEC);
(v) Access to QUB sporting clubs and societies;
(vi) Access to Students’ Union facilities (excluding the sabbatical representative and financial
advisory services.

The University has the right to review entitlements on an on-going basis.




The information below is intended as an example only, featuring module details for the current year of study (2022/23). Modules are reviewed on an annual basis and may be subject to future changes – revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year.

  • Year 1

    Core Modules

    General Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Year 2

    Core Modules

Entrance requirements

CC including Chemistry and a second Science subject (Biology, Computer Science, ICT (not Applied), Environmental Science, Environmental Technology, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, Technology & Design) plus GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4.
Irish Leaving Certificate
H3H4H4H4H4/H3H3H4H4 including Higher Level grade H3 in Chemistry and H4 in a second Science subject (see list under A-level requirements) plus if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

Note: a minimum of five subjects will be required in the Irish Leaving Certificate, at least four of which should be at Higher Level.
Access Course
Successful completion of Access Course with an average of 55% with at least 60% in two Chemistry based modules (Level 3). GCSE Mathematics grade C/4 or equivalent in Access Course.
Other Qualifications
Students offering other relevant qualifications acceptable to the University will be considered on an individual basis.
All applicants must have GCSE English Language grade C/4 or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

Selection Criteria

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.

In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below 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. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.

A minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better (to include English Language and Mathematics) would be required, 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 two A-levels. The offer for repeat applicants is the same standard as for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.

For applicants offering the Irish Leaving Certificate, please note that performance at Irish Junior Certificate (IJC) is taken into account. For last year’s entry, applicants must have had a minimum of five IJC grades at C/Merit. The Selector also checks that any specific entry requirements in terms of Leaving Certificate subjects can be satisfied.

Applicants offering other relevant qualifications will also be considered. The same GCSE profile will usually be expected.

The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but, in the case of the Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences, 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. However, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.

Applicants are not normally asked to attend for interview.

If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/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 (, giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.

International Students

Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

English Language Requirements

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.

INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)



Career Prospects

Studying for a Queen's University Belfast Foundation degree at Belfast Metropolitan College will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organizations and academic institutions. Queen's graduates 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 Chemistry.

Employment after the Course
Chemistry graduates have entered careers in a wide variety of fields, including the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industry, publishing, marketing and teaching.

Employment Links
Belfast Metropolitan College offers assistance with finding course placements and has a dedicated Work Placement Tutor for Applied Science with excellent Industry links.
Queen's School of Chemistry regularly consults and develops links with a wide range of employers including Teva, Almac and Seagate and also has an Industrial Advisory board who advise on the relevance of course content to the needs of Industry.
Graduates of the Foundation Degree who choose to progress to further degree study may well find that they obtain work placements with these companies and thus advanced professional training.

Professional Opportunities
Belfast Met is the largest further and Higher Education College in Northern Ireland and one of the largest in the UK. The College has already built an excellent reputation with employers for offering relevant, high quality learning. BMC will build on this by focusing on developing long-term mutually beneficial partnerships and becoming recognized as an expert in key and emerging growth areas. Working in partnership, Belfast Met aims to increase the participation, progression, attainment and skill levels of all its students.
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.
The Foundation Degree in Chemical Sciences will provide excellent employment and further educational opportunities for its graduates.

Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

Degree Plus/Future Ready 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/Future Ready Award. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

Tuition Fees

Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £TBC
Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £TBC
England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £6,167
EU Other 3 £12,533
International £12,533

1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees.

3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Note that the tuition fees quoted above are for the 2023-24 academic year and are for indicative purposes only as the fees for 2024-25 have not yet been finalised. These fees will be subject to an inflationary increase. All tuition fees quoted relate to a single year of study and will be subject to an annual inflationary increase for each year of the course, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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

All Students

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.

Chemical Sciences costs

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


Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

International Scholarships

Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



How and when to Apply

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:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2024 from 1 September 2023.

Advisory closing date: 31 January 2024 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

Applications from UK and EU (Republic of Ireland) students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2024) subject to the availability of places.

Applications from International and EU (Other) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2024. If you apply for 2024 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

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 name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:

Apply via UCAS

Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

  1. 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 2024.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Download Undergraduate Prospectus





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Course Vacancy Status

Below is the current vacancy status for this course. For further information please contact us.

Student Type
Places available?
NI and RoI Students
GB Students
International and EU (not RoI) Students