Published: 22 May 2018

A week in the life of a chemistry student

From busy days in the lab to nights out in Rubix, Emma Gornall describes the average week in the life of a first year chemistry student.

Emma Gornall


The following timetable is a general example – for the latest module information, visit the Chemistry subject page and select your degree programme.


9am – Industrial Chemistry lecture on how chemistry is involved in the real world

10am – Organic Chemistry lecture

11am – Physical Chemistry lecture

12pm – Quick lunch break

1pm – Two hour Transferrable Skills lecture

4pm – Trip to the gym at Surrey Sports Park with my course mates

7pm – Cook and eat dinner before reading up on tomorrow’s lab practical


9am – Prelab session where we talk about what we’ll be doing in the lab today

10am – Start of lab session

1pm – Quick lunch between lab sessions

2pm – Back to the labs to continue practical

5pm – Finish labs and head to the library to start on my write up

7pm – Cook and eat dinner before continuing with the lab report


9am – Physical Chemistry lecture

11am – Industrial Chemistry lecture

12pm – Lunch break

2pm – Check over and finish the tutorial work for the week along with finishing the lab report write up

6pm – Cook and eat dinner before taking the night off to go to the cinema


9am – Industrial Chemistry lecture

10am – Weekly meeting with my personal tutor group to discuss any problems and how the week has been

11am – Organic Chemistry lecture

12pm – Transferrable Skills lecture focusing on Maths skills

1pm – Quick lunch break between lectures

2pm – Organic Chemistry Tutorial (tutorial meeting in a small group to discuss questions and answers to the set weekly questions)

3pm – Physical Chemistry lecture

6pm – Cook and eat dinner before doing lecture notes


8am – Wake up and head down to the gym at Surrey Sports Park

11pm – Organic Chemistry lecture

12pm – Quick lunch break

1pm – Two hour Transferrable Skills workshop when we learn how to use software packages such as Chemdraw and MOE (Molecular Operating Environment)

4pm – Industrial Chemistry lecture

7pm – Time to relax! Have dinner and then head round to my mates for drinks before going to the Students’ Union club, Rubix, or into Guildford


10am – Wake up and cook a late breakfast of eggs or pancakes

11am – Start revision and write up of lecture notes

1pm – Make lunch and eat it while reading

2pm - Continue working on lecture notes

6pm - Cook and eat dinner before going for a walk around campus


9am – Wake up and head to the gym

11am – Weekly shop at Tesco on my way back

1pm – Lunch, which is normally fresh bread and fruit from my Tesco shop

2pm – Settle down to some work: either starting tutorial work for the week, checking over my lab report and submitting it, or doing any pre-lecture work for the week

6pm - Cook and eat dinner before taking the night off and watching movies with my flatmates


Outside of lectures and library sessions, there’s lots to do during your free time at Surrey.

Campus life

The Students’ Union lies at the heart of campus life. With over 100 sports clubs and societies on offer, it’s bursting with opportunities for you to discover new interests, have fun and make friends. The Union nightclub, Rubix, is a popular choice for nights out, and our beautiful lakeside campus has plenty of places to get a coffee, drink or bite to eat.

Ten minutes to town

The campus is also a short ten-minute walk from Guildford town centre, home to over 70 pubs, bars and restaurants. From ice skating at Guildford Spectrum to watching a film at the Odeon, Guildford has plenty to offer when you’re looking for a well-earned break from your studies.

Further afield

From London to the coast, discover some of the places our students like to visit during their free time at University.

Learn more about our chemistry degrees and read what our students have to say about life at Surrey to discover why we were ranked 5th in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2017

Explore our programmes in Chemistry.

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