Undergraduate Degree Courses

Lab: landscape view

Descriptions of each course are given below. For more detailed information follow the links in the outlines.

Each programme is offered at BSc and MSci level, with the exception of F105 Chemistry (International Programme).


Detailed course description.

This is the ideal degree programme if you want a complete education in chemistry and would like to see how your interests develop before specializing. The programme covers all important areas of chemistry and allows you to develop interests in other subjects.

In the first year, the course entitled 'Introduction to Chemical Principles' consolidates A-level chemistry and generates an awareness of modern chemistry as an integrated whole. The fundamentals of the three main branches - organic, inorganic and physical chemistry - are introduced subsequently. Different courses in mathematics are offered depending upon whether you have studied it at A-level or not. You can then choose one or two elective courses from a wide range, including astronomy, biology, computing, languages, management, physics, psychology, geology, statistics etc.

The core second-year courses continue to develop the main themes of chemistry, leaving two half-units of elective courses which include chemical and non-chemical options.

Extensive laboratory courses are included in each of the core units in the first two years to give you a firm grounding in practical skills as well as developing  transferable skills.

In the third year, both degrees include considerable scope for developing your own interests through options, and up to one unit of experimental work is included. For MSci students, this unit, An Introduction to Research Methods , is a sound preparation for extended personal research projects in the fourth year. BSc students take a similar experimental half-unit course. Elective chemistry courses include Pathways, Intermediates and Function in Organic Chemistry, Principles of Drug Design, Numerical Methods in Chemistry, New Directions in Materials Chemistry and various others. Courses in the third year, and the fourth year of the MSci degree, reflect the many research interests of the staff and are at the forefront of current chemical developments. Options in other subjects can also be taken.

The MSci degree culminates in the fourth year in a two-unit advanced research project in which all of the many research facilities of the department become available. The project will be undertaken over two whole teaching terms for an average of 4 hours of every day. The aim of the project is to develop your skills further not only in performing advanced experimentation but also to devise and plan your own work. Many such projects lead to published work in internationally renowned journals.

As well as studies in science, BSc and MSci students will gain experience in the skills required in any modern profession: computer skills, the ability to express ideas orally and through written reports, skills in retrieval and analysis of material from the literature, and the ability to formulate and refine their own ideas.

Detailed course description.

Medicinal Chemistry

Detailed course description.

The past one hundred years have seen the beginnings of the realization of one of our most fundamental ambitions: the conquest of disease by the effective use of drugs. Medicinal chemistry is concerned with the discovery, design and synthesis of new drugs for clinical use. This degree programme include courses in biology, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology, along with the fundamentals of chemistry necessary to design and synthesize drugs. These provide an understanding of the link between chemical structure and clinical effectiveness, which underlies the courses on drug design.

UCL was the first UK university to offer such a degree programme, which originated from collaboration between UCL Departments of Pharmacology and Chemistry. In contrast to other similar courses (Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry for example), the life sciences are taught throughout the degree programme ensuring you build-up a broad understanding of biological systems to which the chemistry courses are applied. UCL Chemistry is also at the forefront of developments in Chemical Biology, enabling students on the MSci course to undertake highly relevant research projects both in the chemistry department and in associated UCL departments.

Detailed course description.

Chemical Physics

Detailed course description.

Chemical Physics is an area of modern chemistry that will fascinate students who enjoy the science common to chemistry and physics and can be taken by those with a mathematical background. Advanced topics will include quantum mechanics and computational chemistry. Research projects often span the disciplines of chemistry and physics: for example astrochemistry or nanotechnology.

Although the Chemical Physics degree is based on the core chemistry courses, there is more scope to develop skills in physics and theoretical aspects of chemistry. To allow for this, inorganic chemistry or organic chemistry is omitted after the second year in favour of mathematics, physics and specialist chemical physics courses.

An alternative to the Chemical Physics degree is to consider Natural Sciences at UCL, combining physical chemistry and physics streams. However, these do not allow you to develop skills in, for example, inorganic and organic chemistry.

Detailed course description.

Chemistry with Mathematics

Detailed course description.

Many aspects of chemistry, particularly physical and theoretical chemistry require a good understanding of advanced mathematical methods. In studying Chemistry with Mathematics you will take all the core chemistry units for Chemistry but, in addition, specialize in mathematics during the optional units and take relevant chemistry options such as Topics in Quantum Mechanics, Concepts in Computational and Experimental Chemistry and Numerical Methods in Chemistry. 

Detailed course description.

Chemistry with a European Language

Detailed course description.

Students graduating from this degree programme will gain a sound understanding of chemistry and a fluency in either French, German, Italian or Spanish. Students spend one quarter of their time studying their chosen language (using the options available) and the remainder studying the same core Chemistry modules.

MSci students will spend the entire fourth year carrying out research in a university in the country whose language they are studying. You are not expected to undertake taught courses during this year.

The MSci exchanges are part of UCL's Socrates programme which currently has chemistry links with universities in France, Germany, Italy and Spain. UCL's studying abroad webpage, detais their commitment and policies.

Graduates will be well placed to work in Europe or in a multinational company. The UCL Language Centre and the specialist language departments provide a continuous progression of language or language-related courses. Modern language aids such as computers, video and satellite links are actively used. Language is taught in small groups with common levels of fluency ranging from complete beginners - who will need a GCSE in a language but not necessarily the one they intend to study - up to those with A-levels in a language.

Detailed course description.

Chemistry with Management Studies

Detailed course description.

Chemistry students considering a career in management would find this an excellent degree programme. In addition to core chemistry, one unit of management is taken each year. The compulsory half-units include, 'Understanding Management', 'Managerial Accounting for Decision Making A', 'Project, Programme and Portfolio Management', and 'Business in a Competitive Environment B'. These are supplemented by half-unit courses chosen from 'Corporate Financial Strategy', 'E-business Environment and Management', 'Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice', 'International Business', 'Law for Managers' and others. These courses are part of a College-wide programme on Management Studies.

Outlines of the Management Course can be found on the Department of Management Science and Innovation webpage.

Detailed course description.

Chemistry (International Programme)

Detailed course description.

We offer the opportunity for students to study at selected North American and Australian Universities during their third year of a MSci degree.

Opportunities are available for a number of suitably qualified students to spend time at  overseas universities, although it is likely that they will be in competition with other students from UCL. 

The taught courses undertaken are selected carefully in discussion with the tutor for the programme to ensure that the level of instruction is suitable and prepares the student for the final year of the MSci.

Students return to complete their studies at UCL during their fourth year.

Detailed course description.

Entry requirements are given here.