Chemical physics is an area of modern chemistry that will fascinate students who enjoy the science common to physics and chemistry. You will gain a fundamental understanding of the origins of chemical behaviour, while exploring exciting developments at the interface of chemistry with the other physical sciences.
- UCAS code
- 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2017
- Applications per place
- 7 (2015 entry)*
- Total intake
- 138 (2017 entry)*
- Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics required.
- English Language at grade C plus Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics required
A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics required
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, see A Level information for subject requirements.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a twelve-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- Consistently regarded as one of the best chemistry departments in the UK, we offer you an excellent education with high standards of teaching.
- You will benefit from our outstanding research profile as you are taught by lecturers who are experts in a wide range of chemistry-related fields.
- The department has a rich history at the intersection of chemistry and physics, and is home to UCL's Centre for Computational Chemistry and the Centre for Cosmic Chemistry and Physics.
- We offer access to state-of-the-art facilities, enhanced by our strong affiliation to other centres of excellence such as the London Centre for Nanotechnology.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Chemistry.
- 94% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
A short video with more information.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Chemical Physics is offered either as a three-year BSc programme or as a four-year MSci. Modules are identical for the first two years of study, so you can defer which to opt for until the end of your second year. We advise you, however, to select the four-year MSci programme initially as this gives you the most control over your plans.
Although the Chemical Physics BSc is based on core chemistry modules, there is more scope to develop skills in physics and theoretical aspects of chemistry, and either inorganic chemistry or organic chemistry is omitted after the first year in favour of mathematics, physics and specialist chemical physics modules.
In year one all modules are compulsory, and in year two you will take a combination of compulsory modules together with a number of optional chemistry modules and further optional modules from outside the department.
In the third year you take further compulsory and optional modules including a literature project and extended laboratory classes.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Basic Inorganic Chemistry
Basic Organic Chemistry
Basic Physical Chemistry
Introduction to Chemical Principles
Mathematics for Science 1
Mathematics for Science 2
Physics of the Universe
All first year modules are compulsory.
Introductory Classical Mechanics
Mathematical Methods In Chemistry
Principles of Physical Chemistry
You will select 1.0 credit of either inorganic chemistry or organic chemistry options, plus 0.5 credits from further Physics or Mathematics options.
Advanced Practical Chemistry
Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry
Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis
Concepts in Computational and Experimental Chemistry
Numerical Methods in Chemistry
You will also select a further 1.5 credits of Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry options and 0.5 credits from all approved undergraduate options.
Your learning will combine lectures, practical classes and group workshops. In addition you will attend tutorials in groups of four to six students which provide specialised support for the core modules.
Each module will usually involve at least two methods of assessment. These may include coursework (problem sheets, essays or poster presentations), an examination, or laboratory classes. We believe in providing feedback to students, such as face-to-face marking in laboratories. Your third-year project will be assessed through a written report.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Chemical Physics BSc.
As a UCL Chemistry graduate you will have developed both discipline-based and highly sought after analytical skills, for example in logical thought and numeracy.
On completion of your degree you will have the obvious option of pursuing a career within the chemical industry. This is recognised as one of the most exciting and successful contributors to the UK economy, for example in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanotechnology sectors.
Many recent graduates have continued as researchers at universities including PhDs at UCL, Imperial, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Edinburgh, Harvard, Manchester and NUS Singapore.
Our graduates are in great demand in many other fields such as management, the financial sector, information technology, scientific journalism, patent law, the scientific civil service, and in education.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of UCL Chemistry programmes include:
- Full-time student, PhD in Drug Discovery at UCL
- Technical Consultant, IBM
- Researcher, GlaxoSmithKline
- Investment Banking Analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012-2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2016/17 academic year.
- UK/EU students
- £9,000 (2016/17)
- Overseas students
- £21,320 (2016/17)
Fees for students entering UCL in September 2017 (i.e. for the 2017/2018 academic year) will be set in the summer of 2016 and published on the UCL Current Students website. Fees advertised by UCL are for the first year of the programme. UK/EU undergraduate fees are capped, but fees for other students may be subject to increase in future years of study by between 3-5%.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
UCL Chemistry offers a number of scholarships, including the Bader Bursaries, GSK Bursary, UCL Chemistry Entrance Scholarships and the Kathleen Lonsdale Bursary.
The scholarships listed below are for 2017 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2017 entry will be published when they are available.
- Up to £2,000
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on financial need
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
Together with essential academic requirements, we are looking for strong evidence in your personal statement of your interest in the subject and your understanding of it. These requirements may be evidenced by examples of project work, relevant work experience or, perhaps, through your knowledge of current events involving chemistry. We also look for your ability to communicate clearly in English.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2017
UK-based applicants who demonstrate their potential to meet our academic requirements will be invited to visit UCL for a day. The day will include talks, the opportunity to meet current students and a tour of the department and UCL. You will also attend a university-level lecture.
You will also have a 20-minute discussion with one of our academic staff in order to explore what studying at UCL will be like. This discussion will form part of our decision-making process.
If you are based overseas, attendance at a visit day is impractical. Instead, you will be sent a presentation of the material that is covered with UK-based students. You will also be sent a series of chemistry questions for discussion by email or telephone.
We aim to contact you about the outcome of your application within 48 hours of your interview or, if overseas, on concluding our discussion.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students