Chemistry MChem

The MChem is now the established mainstream route to becoming a professional chemist in the UK. For the first two years of the course, you’ll follow a similar learning path to the BSc programme, then during your third and fourth years the course steps up a gear. You’ll focus on more advanced, master's level topics, with the option to specialise in either synthetic organic chemistry or materials / analytical chemistry. The end result is the kind of widely respected qualification that the major employers of chemists - and the Royal Society of Chemistry - are looking for.  

UCLan Chemistry was ranked 2nd in the UK in the Guardian 2020 University Guide


Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Four years (5 years with industrial placement), Part-time: Usually six years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:


  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Professionally accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) with the MChem Chemistry programme recognised as the route to chartered status.
  • Opportunity for you to undertake research internships - working on innovative research projects within state-of-the-art research laboratories, under the direct supervision of research-active academic staff.
  • Gain hands-on experience classes in the state-of-the-art JB Firth Building, including advanced analytical instruments, eg mass spectrometers, NMRs, electron microscopes, HPLC.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Core Skills for Chemist
  • Introduction to Chemical Concepts
  • Synthesis and Analysis of Molecular Materials
  • New Frontiers in Chemistry

Year 2

  • Laboratory Studies of Chemical Concepts
  • Chemical Concepts: Physical Measurements
  • Chemical Concepts: Developing Molecular  Materials
  • Analytical & Separation Science
  • Frontiers in Chemistry

Year 3

  • Advanced Chemical Concepts
  • Chemistry through Research & Innovation
  • Modern Advances in Molecular Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry of Drug Development (o)
  • Applications in Nanochemistry (o)
  • Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry (o)
  • Organic Synthetic Methods
  • Research Methods

For sandwich award:

  • Industrial Placement Year


  • Chemistry Project
  • Physical chemistry of Elemental and Surface Analysis
  • Applications in Synthesis
  • Advanced Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

(o) optional

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU). Sandwich year out £1,000 (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 UCAS Points including Chemistry Grade C.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 104-112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects including HL5 Chemistry.
IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSE: Maths and English Grade C/4 or equivalent.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

The issue of sustainability and the impact of our daily lives on the environment is of ever-increasing concern. In order to meet the demands of a sustainable future the chemical industry is adopting new, more environmental-friendly processes which have resulted in the term "Green Chemistry".

At UCLan, however, we tend not to think about chemistry in terms of separate branches of chemistry, instead we prefer to adopt a more interdisciplinary approach. Consequently, modules are designed to combine elements of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry to provide cohesive units that demonstrate the interdependence of each. The same is true of laboratory classes where experiments are designed as such that you utilise a number of concepts and techniques in order to study chemical processes.

Chemistry provides an important understanding of our world and how it works. Through an understanding of the chemistry of materials we can design and manufacture drugs to fight disease; computer chips to enhance communication; pesticides to protect our health and crops; fertilizers to grow abundant food; fuels for transportation; fibres to provide comfort and variety in clothes; plastics to package food and replace worn-out body parts; and much, much more. However it is becoming increasingly more apparent if we are to continue to enjoy the lifestyle which is so heavily reliant upon chemicals then we will have to give more consideration to the impact that this has on our environment.

Chemistry-based research is focused on Materials Chemistry within the Centre for Materials Science. As a result, specialist areas in Materials Chemistry provide a focus for study in the final year and topics include nano-structured materials, surface science, and catalysis and polymer science.

This course has commonality with the BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme for the first two years. During further years of the programme you'll focus more on advanced topics with the choice of some specialism towards synthetic organic chemistry or a more materials / analytical bias. There is an increased shift towards student initiated learning and a triple module project in the final year of the degree.

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Sandwich Placement Year

This course offers an optional 48-week sandwich placement in industry – this comes between the second and third years. You are responsible for finding your own placement. We will support you in preparation for this with the Faculty Placement Team and UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability. The benefit of the experience gained during a placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs.

A placement is invaluable to your development as a person and a developer, no matter in which field it is. I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to boost your CV above the rest and earn some amazing life and work experience while doing it. I met some amazing people whilst on placement, as well as doing some really meaningful and interesting work.”  - Ryan Sheff, Industry placement student

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Chemistry students

Chemistry students

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Read our student case studies

Lauren Bailey | Joe Rawlinson | Megan Critchley | Chlöe Foster

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Amazing Facilities

Chemistry at UCLan is famous for its excellent facilities. We have impressive new laboratories housed within our purpose-built JB Firth Building, with state-of-the-art equipment including mass spectrometers, NMRs and electron microscopes to give you hands-on experience of the latest techniques.

Chemistry Laboratory

Analytical Suite

Chemistry Laboratory

Chemistry Research Laboratory

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Chemistry is heavily reliant upon practical skills, consequently practical classes have an important role in the delivery of the course. Practical work is designed to reflect the multidisciplinary nature of the subject. Throughout the duration of the course, theory is delivered through lectures, tutorials, seminars and supported via the practical sessions. Modules typically consists of three hours contact time per week, however, it is anticipated that you will engage in approximately a further 6 hours of independent study per week per module studied. Modules are assessed through a combination of both coursework and examinations.

All students can access the eLearn spaces for the course and modules that they are registered for. Once logged into your eLearn area you can access material from the course and all of the modules you are studying without having to log in to each module separately.

“The significant amount of time doing laboratory practicals on the course has made it easier for me to transition to a more industrial setting. In the final two years of my studies the projects we ran have massively helped me with my independent working and time management which I have been complimented on at work.” 

Fern Walmsley, Chemistry graduate

Professional Accreditation

Both BSc (Hons) Chemistry and MChem Chemistry courses have been accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

Royal Society of Chemistry logo

"The MChem degree at UCLan has provided me with many opportunities and experiences it’s not just a degree! Invaluable hands-on experience with all the analytical equipment and the integration of research and teaching has resulted in me presenting at a conference and my work being published in scientific journals."

Fantastic Opportunities

Paid 10-week internships are available enabling you to work in research laboratories under the direct supervision of research active academic staff.

Our courses are underpinned by skills modules that not only allow you to develop your subject-specific skills but also focus on developing transferable skills, increasing your employability.

On graduating from University with a degree in Chemistry, the possibilities are almost endless. Careers in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food and drink industries, in chemical research and development, are all obvious career paths and our graduates are highly sought after, but other possible careers include nanotechnology, environmental science, forensic science, biotechnology and teaching.

Because so many of the skills you’ll learn are transferable, we have graduates working in accountancy and finance, law and even publishing.

"I have worked over summer on an area of chemistry I have become interested in - this involved being part of real-world research which improved my laboratory skills and allowed me to practically apply my laboratory skills gained within taught labs."

Connor Maguire, Chemistry, MChem (Hons) Student

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Megan Critchley

Megan Critchley

MChem Graduate and PhD Student

I chose to study at UCLan because of the location away from home, not too far but not too close! In addition, I really liked the chemistry course; it is not a big cohort, which allows for plenty of hands-on laboratory experience to concrete the theoretical knowledge and apply it into practice.

Fern Walmsley

Fern Walmsley

MChem Chemistry, 2017

UCLan Chemistry graduate, Fern Walmsley, has firmly established her career in science to become an Asphalt Technologist at Total UK.

Joe Rawlinson

Joe Rawlinson

MChem Graduate and PhD Student

I chose to study at UCLan because I had heard from family members, who work in the chemical industry that it was a good university with great facilities friendly teaching staff and great ties to industries in the area. I was ideally looking for a university in the northwest and had heard that students who went to UCLan really enjoyed their time. 

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Physical Sciences and Computing

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.