Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) or MChem – 2019 entry

Why choose this course

Our professionally accredited BSc and MChem Chemistry with Forensic Investigation programmes will enable you to acquire the problem-solving and presentation skills a forensic chemist needs, supported by a solid knowledge of investigative techniques and modern instrumentation.

Benefitting from our research-active academics and strong professional links, you will gain the confidence to translate your ideas into practice. Our small and friendly Department offers one of the best staff-to-student ratios in the country, ensuring that you will have an excellent, well-supported academic experience.

Our chemistry programmes are ranked top 10 in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2019.

What you will study

On our BSc and MChem Chemistry with Forensic Investigation courses you will study specialist topics such as forensic evidence, crime scene investigation, the toxicology of drugs, and DNA profiling, as well as core chemistry modules.

You’ll benefit from innovative teaching methods and have the freedom to conduct your own research project using state-of-the-art instrumentation.

We have excellent links with leading companies in the UK, and further afield, and you can choose to take a Professional Training placement year in industry or a forensics investigative environment. This will give you the opportunity to gain an invaluable insight into working life as a chemist – and a real edge over other graduates when you enter the job market.

You can apply to study for either a BSc or an MChem (Master of Chemistry) degree. The MChem builds on the BSc programme with a masters year, and is a direct route to a masters qualification which fulfils the academic requirements for chartered chemist status. If you study for an MChem, you’ll spend a year doing research with an industry partner before returning for a final year of masters-level modules.

Depending on your progress, you may have the option to switch to a BSc or MChem during your studies.

Course facts

Qualification Course length Professional Training UCAS KIS code
BSc (Hons) 36 months F1FK View KIS data set
BSc (Hons) 48 months F1FL View KIS data set
MChem 48 months F1F4 View KIS data set


Stag Hill

Professional Training placements

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.

Chemistry with Forensic Investigation placements

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

A placement will help you to become confident in problem­ solving and communication, and 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:

  • British Geological Survey
  • Cefas
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Institute for Nuclear Research
  • PerkinElmer
  • Intrinsiq Materials
  • Jacobs Douwe Egberts.

Applying for placements

Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.

Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.

Professional recognition

BSc (Hons) - Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for partially meeting the academic criteria for Chartered Chemist (CChem).

MChem - Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for fully meeting the academic criteria for Chartered Chemist (CChem).

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.

Over the last decade, our employment figures have been amongst the best in the UK, with our graduates securing impressive salaries. 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 (possibly for a MSc or PhD) or pursue other academic or professional qualifications. 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:

  • Scientist, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Research Technician, Battelle
  • Research Technician, Biointeractions
  • Analytical Chemist, Dextra Laboratories
  • Polymer Technologist, Plascoat Systems
  • Chemistry Teacher, Tormead School.

Study and work abroad

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. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.

You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training placement working in another country. Previous students have worked in Belgium, the Netherlands and Croatia.

If you work in Europe outside the UK you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, as well as your full student loan if undertaking an unpaid research placement in a European higher education institution 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.


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 will spend a great deal of time utilising these facilities.

For your final year research project, you will work within our research laboratories alongside active researchers.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Academic year structure

The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.


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

Please note: If there is an optional Professional Training placement as part of your course, you can view the full module listing for this on the relevant programme specification

Year 3

Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6

Choose two modules from: CHE3043, CHE3044 and CHE3045.

Choose one module from: CHE3053 and CHE3049.


Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).


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 will develop your oral presentation, graphic presentation, teamwork and leadership skills.

Each week you will 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.


This course is taught by academic staff from the Department of Chemistry.

There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.

Programme leader

AMODIO C Dr (Chemistry)

Personal tutor

All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:

  • Academic progress
  • Pastoral/welfare issues
  • Personal/professional development and employability.


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. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.

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 modules section for more information.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Academic Skills and Development and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Academic Skills and Development

Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

Additional Learning Support (ALS) is the University of Surrey’s disability and neurodiversity service. The ALS team supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.

We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

English language support

Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.

What qualifications do you need?



BSc (Hons): ABB-BBB. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

MChem (Hons): AAB-ABB. Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

Required subjects: Chemistry and a second science subject.

Please note: A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not accepted.

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

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


BSc (Hons): DDD-DDM.

MChem (Hons): DDD.

Required subjects: BTEC must be in a relevant subject.

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

International Baccalaureate


BSc (Hons): 32.

MChem (Hons): 34-32.

Required subjects:

BSc (Hons): HL5/SL6 in Chemistry and a second science subject.

MChem (Hons): HL5/SL6 in Chemistry and a second science subject.

GCSE or equivalent: English HL4/SL4 and Mathematics or Mathematics studies HL4/SL4.

European Baccalaureate


BSc (Hons): 78%-75%.

MChem (Hons): 82%-78%.

Required subjects:

BSc (Hons): At least a grade 7.5 in Chemistry and a second science subject.

MChem (Hons): At least a grade 7.5 in Chemistry and a second science subject.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language (1/2) - 6 English Language (3) - 7 Mathematics 6.

Access to HE Diploma


BSc (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit to 45 Level 3 credits overall including 27 at Distinction and 18 at Merit.

MChem (Hons): QAA-recognised Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits overall including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit to 45 Level 3 credits overall including 30 at Distinction and 15 at Merit.

Required subjects: Modules must be in relevant subjects.

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

Scottish Highers



MChem (Hons): AAABB-AABBB.

Required subjects: Chemistry and a second science subject.

GCSE or equivalent: English Language - Scottish National 5 - C Mathematics - Scottish National 5 - C.

Welsh Baccalaureate


BSc (Hons): Pass overall with ABB-BBB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

MChem (Hons): Pass overall with AAB-ABB from a combination of the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and two A-levels.

Required subjects: A-level Chemistry and a second science subject.

GCSE or equivalent: Completion of GCSE English and Mathematics equivalents within the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.

Science Practical Certificate

Applicants taking the Science Practical Endorsement are required to pass.

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, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Select your country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

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.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Qualification Course length Professional Training UK/EU fees Overseas fees Professional Training fees
BSc (Hons) 36 months £9,250 £20,100 Not applicable
BSc (Hons) 48 months £9,250 £20,100 £1,850
MChem 48 months £9,250 £20,100 Not applicable

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

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.

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this BSc (Hons) course:

  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - New students are required to purchase a labcoat, marker pen and lab book.

Grand total: £20

There are associated costs with this MChem (Hons) course:

  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - New students are required to purchase a labcoat, marker pen and lab book.

Grand total: £20

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.

How to apply

Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.

Admissions information

Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Open Days

05 July 2019


Join a webinar and speak to our current students

Our students


Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Placement location

As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement which would require attendance off campus, depending on where you secure your placement.

University of Surrey

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH