Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) or MChem (Hons) – 2018 entry

The Chemistry Department at Surrey has a good reputation, offering a wide range of courses, each with the option to take a Professional Training year.

There’s a good balance of theoretical and practical work. I’d definitely recommend Surrey if you like a more ‘personal’ approach to your study.

What you'll study

Our Medicinal Chemistry programmes, which include modules delivered by our School of Biosciences and Medicine, teach the fundamentals of this fascinating field and enable you to make your own discoveries. By the end of the course you will have the knowledge and skills you need to enter the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries.

Programme overview

On our Medicinal Chemistry programmes you will benefit from being part of a small, friendly Department which offers one of the best staff-to-student ratios in the country. You’ll get an integrated training in core and medicinal chemistry, including studying topics such as physiology, pharmacology and cell biology.

We have excellent links with leading pharmaceutical companies in the UK and further afield, and many of our students opt to take a Professional Training placement year. This gives them an invaluable insight into working life as a medicinal chemist – and a real edge over other graduates when they enter the job market.

Programme structure

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specification documents which include further details such as the learning outcomes. Please be aware that these specifications are applicable to the current academic year.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Professional Training placement (optional)

Many of our students opt to do a Professional Training placement. These normally begin at the end of the second academic year for BSc degrees and finish in time for you to begin the third year of study.

Professional Training placements offer students the opportunity to gain access to the world of work, including meeting employers, developing job search skills and acquiring the employability skills that employers look for. Find out more about Professional Training placements.

Our MChem degrees have a compulsory Industrial Research year.

Indicative distance learning modules (MChem only):

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 4 (FHEQ Level 7)

Professional recognition

Our MChem and BSc degree programmes are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Graduation, with experience, can lead to Chartered Chemist status (CChem) with an MChem degree, and admission to the Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC) professional grade with a BSc degree.

The Chemistry with Forensic Investigation programme has also been accepted into corporate membership of the Forensic Science Society.

Royal Society of Chemistry logo


On our programmes you will experience a variety of teaching methods, including project-based laboratory work, tutorials, problem-solving classes and assessed coursework, alongside lectures and seminars.

The Transferable and Quantitative Skills modules develop oral presentation, graphic presentation, teamwork and leadership skills.

Each week you spend around 24 hours in lectures, practical classes and tutorials. This provides you with the opportunity to explore topics in small group tutorials and utilise computer-assisted learning packages to enrich your understanding.

Personal study time is primarily taken up with coursework and practical assignments.

Discover more about our academic staff in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science.


Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.

You are required to achieve 60 per cent on assessments in Years 1 and 2 to continue on the MChem programmes. Students achieving less than this will continue their studies on the BSc programme.

Marks towards the final degree classification of our MChem programmes are accrued from the Year 2 assessment (25 per cent), Industrial Research year assessment (35 per cent) and Year 4 assessment (40 per cent).

Marks towards the final degree classification of our BSc programmes are accrued from Year 2 assessment (35 per cent) and Year 3 assessment (65 per cent). A Professional Training year may be taken in the BSc programme, but this does not contribute to the degree classification.

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's Module Catalogue. See the programme structure section for more information.


The laboratories in which you undertake practical work have recently been refurbished with modern equipment. Our commitment to the development of your practical skills means that you spend a great deal of time utilising these facilities.

For your research project in Year 3, you will work within our research laboratories alongside active researchers.

Academic support

You are allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on your option choices and future career, helping you to get the most out of your time at Surrey.

You are also paired with a student from the year of study above you. They provide a peer-based form of support, advising on options and study skills, allowing you to benefit from their recent experience on the programme.

Global opportunities

We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. To check where you can go, visit our Global Exchanges pages.

You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country.

Students have worked in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Australia and in many European countries. Students typically work in a research laboratory at a partner institution.

If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, as well as your full student loan if undertaking an unpaid research placement at a partner university such as La Sapienza in Rome or Aalto in Finland.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also to improve or learn another language.

Careers and Professional Training

We are very proud of our track record for graduate employability. One of the main reasons for our graduate employability success is our Professional Training placement programme which is one of the largest in the World, with over 2,300 partner organisations in the UK and overseas. To find out more visit our Careers and Professional Training pages.

Our programmes provide you with the opportunity to undertake a placement year with an industrial leader in the UK or overseas.

Placements help you become confident in problem solving and communication, and to acquire management and leadership skills. This industry experience will give you a real advantage in whatever career you choose to pursue – whether in science, industry, government or education.

In the increasingly competitive world of graduate employment, research shows that companies are more likely to consider applicants who have had previous professional experience. Many companies hosting Professional Training placements offer our students employment upon graduation.

Companies that participate in our scheme include:

  • BP
  • British Geological Survey
  • De La Rue International Ltd
  • Dow Analytical Technology
  • Grace Davison
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • LB Foster Rail Technologies
  • Procter & Gamble
  • RJ Hill Laboratories
  • 3M

The Professional Training year is optional for BSc degrees.

There is a compulsory Industrial Research year for MChem degrees.

Graduate prospects

Over the last decade, our employment figures have been amongst the best in the UK, with impressive salaries being paid. We place 70–80 per cent of our graduates into graduate-level jobs, compared with the national average of 66 per cent.

While many of you will enter the chemical industry, as positions often follow naturally from successful Professional Training placements, others will continue studying (MSc or PhD).

Our graduates are very successful, not only in the industrial sector but also in finance, government and education.

Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:

  • EDF Energy, Graduate Trainee
  • GlaxoSmithKline, Quality Assurance Scientist
  • LGC Forensics, Forensic Scientist
  • Novartis, Scientific Associate
  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Electrophysiologist
  • Oxis Energy, Research Scientist
  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Assistant Editor

2018 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?


For BSc programme: ABB

For MChem programme: AAB

Chemistry and a second science A-level subject are required.

Access to HE Diploma

For BSc programme: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit

For MChem programme: 45 Level 3 credits overall including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


European Baccalaureate

For BSc programme: 74 per cent overall

For MChem programme: 75 per cent overall

International Baccalaureate

For BSc programme: 32 overall including 6,5,5 at Higher Level

For MChem programme: 34 overall including 6,6,5 at Higher Level

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass

Scottish Highers

For BSc programme: AABBB

For MChem programme: AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate

For BSc programme: Pass overall with ABB from the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels

For MChem programme: Pass overall with AAB from the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C(4) (or equivalent)

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2017 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BSc (Hons) 3 years F150 View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 4 years F151 View KIS data set
MChem (Hons) 4 years F121 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

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Phone: +44 (0)1483 681 681

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