Published: 07 October 2022

A week in the life of a chemistry undergraduate

From lectures to laboratory-based practicals and personal tutorials, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BSc or MChem chemistry student at Surrey.

How will I be taught?

You will be taught through a combination of seminars, tutorials, lectures, workshops, laboratory-based practicals and online learning. You’ll receive approximately 28 contact hours per week.

You’ll also be expected to carry out independent study, including reading and coursework. We have a range of study spaces available, including our library, open 24/7, and more relaxed spaces like the new Hillside Coffee café.

What will I be taught?

A typical week will cover the following modules: Mathematics; Periodicity and the Reactivity of the Elements; Principles of Analytical Chemistry; Fundamentals of Forensic Science; and Chemistry of the Environment.

Read more about our undergraduate chemistry courses.

What about other interests? Will I have time for those?

That’s what Wednesdays are for: you have most of the day to focus on sporting, society or employability events. Students have access to more than 180 student clubs and societies, with interests ranging from mixed martial arts to mah jong, and poker to politics. A good way to meet other chemistry students is through ChemSoc, which organises social events throughout the year.

Nearby Surrey Sports Park is a £36m facility, offering state-of-the-art training facilities such as a climbing wall and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

What’s life like outside lectures?

We’re a campus university so everything you need is within a five-minute walk, including the Students’ Union building, grocery shopping, wellbeing and support services, the launderette and the medical centre.

Guildford’s picturesque cobbled high street boasts a wide range of shop and restaurants, plus an excellent range of pubs and a busy nightlife. The town is also only a 35-minute train journey to London.

Expect more

Find out why you should expect more at Surrey and when our next undergraduate open days will be. 

Disclaimer: The modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.

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