Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Chemistry with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code F105

2017

Chemistry is the science of everyday life – allowing us to explain properties of substances, their structures and the changes they undergo. Consequently, the chemical industry is central to the modern world economy and chemistry graduates have a wide range of employment options open to them in oil, gas, energy and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in consumer products.

Overview

At the School of Physical Sciences we have a strong teaching record in analytical chemistry and we are proud to link our world-leading research on materials chemistry to our undergraduate programmes. All practical classes take place in our newly refurbished laboratories, where you use the latest equipment.

This programme is for students who have previously studied science subjects but who lack the qualifications needed for direct entry into Stage 1 of the BSc.

Our four-year, year in industry programme offers you the opportunity to further enhance your employability by spending a year working on a placement. Alternatively, on our four-year MChem chemistry programme you work as part of a research group conducting cutting-edge research.

Please note - this programme follows the same Course Structure as Forensic Science with a Foundation Year (F412) in Stage 0, and then Chemistry (F107) for Stages 1-3.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2016, Chemistry at Kent was ranked 3rd for overall satisfaction.  Of those graduating in 2015 with a degree in chemistry, Kent students were the most successful in the UK at finding work or further study opportunities, according to the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey*.

*conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Course structure

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Foundation year

This programme is for students who have previously studied science subjects but who lack the qualifications needed for direct entry into Stage 1 of the BSc. It includes lectures in chemistry and mathematics, together with practical classes, and is taught entirely on the Canterbury campus.

Modules may include Credits

This module will focus on the topics which are fundamental across mathematics and the sciences. We will learn about the properties of many functions such as straight lines, quadratics, circles, exponentials, logarithms and the trigonometric functions. The focus of this module is on applied problem solving in many real-life situations, as well as some coverage of the rigorous theory behind many of these ideas. The material is delivered through lectures and examples classes, so that students have many different ways to learn. Many harder, extra-curricular examples are provided for keen students.

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15

  • Arithmetic

    Calculations

    Significant figures

    Standard form

    Fractions

    Simplification of fractions

    Percentages and fractional changes

    Indices

    Logarithmic and exponential functions

  • Algebra

    Basic rules (operations and indices).

    Solving equations (substitution and order of operation).

    Changing subject of a formula

    Inverse operations

    Rules of indices

    Long division

    Expansion and Factorisation

    Quadratic equations

    Solving linear and simultaneous equations

    Partial fractions

    Binomial Theorem

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  • 15

    The mole; chemical equations; titrations; atoms and molecules; energy levels; acids and bases; orbitals; bonds; molecular shapes; spectra; bond energies, hydrogen bonding.

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    30

    Lattice energy; polymorphism; chemical equilibrium; the Periodic Table; solubilities; transition metals; isomerism; organic chemicals; shapes of organic molecules; organic analysis; optical activity; basic reactions of organic compounds; organic problem-solving; reaction kinetics.

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    30

    States of matter; radioactivity; real and ideal gases; water. main group inorganic chemistry; phase diagrams, ideal solutions; miscibility, electrochemistry, forensic science techniques.

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    30

    Stage 1

    Modules may include Credits

    Introduction to the concept of programming languages, and to Fortran 90 in particular.

    Introduction to the UNIX operating system: including text editors, the directory system, basic utilities, the edit-compile-run cycle.

    Introduction to Fortran 90, including the use of variables, constants, arrays and the different Fortran data types; iteration (do-loops) and conditional branching (if statements).

    Modular design : subroutines and functions, the intrinsic functions.

    Simple input/output, such as the use of format statements for reading and writing, File handling, including the Fortran open and close statements, practical read/write of data files. The handling of character variables.

    Programming to solve physical/chemistry problems.

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    15

    Chemistry in context

    In this module, you will study particular cases in which disasters occur (for example, explosions, volcanic eruptions, exposure to chemical warfare agents and accidents in the chemical industry), either as a result of human participation or in the natural course of events. We will explore how science, and in particular chemistry, is integral to the understanding and mitigation of such events. You will then focus on an aspect particular disaster and give a short oral presentation on it alongside a written report and press release. Note: this module constitutes the writing component required by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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    15

    This module introduces and revises the basic concepts of chemistry that underpin our understanding of the stability of matter. This starts with introducing atomic and molecular structure, with a focus on understanding the electronics of bonding in the molecular compounds around us. You will then study the laws governing the behavior of gases and origins of other interactions that hold solids and liquids together, alongside describing some of their basic properties such as conductivity, viscosity, and the way in which ions behave in solution. In the final aspect of this module we cover the critical role thermodynamics plays in determining the stability of matter, including the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and the importance of equilibrium in reversible reactions.

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    15

    This module reintroduces the basic concepts of organic chemistry that are vital in understanding pharmaceutical and biological substances. You will study the basics of the chemistry of carbon, the element critical to underpinning life, including its basic building blocks and functional groups. We also cover the mechanisms by which basic organic reactions including elimination, substitution and oxidation processes occur. This module concludes with studying aromatic compounds and chirality, which crucially influence how organic molecules interact within living systems.

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    15

    Chemistry in context

    Using an organic chemistry perspective, you will study the fundamentals of biochemistry, the chemistry of life, including enzyme reactions, protein chemistry, DNA, lipids and carbohydrates. These topics are underpinned by the role chemical phenomena such as thermodynamics and intermolecular interactions play in a biological context. We then explore the nature and discovery of drugs, how they work, and the potential effects of their misuse.

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    15

    This module will introduce you to core scientific chemical concepts including chemical equations and stoichiometry, kinetics and activation energies for reactions in solutions and acid and base chemistry. You will learn the theoretical background and terminology needed to understand these core concepts, along with the mathematical skills required by a practicing chemist. Hands-on laboratory experimentation is a key component of this module, teaching you the basic methodology used for understanding the physical chemistry of reactions, with a particular focus on their kinetics and thermodynamics. As part of this you will be taught how to effectively use fundamental laboratory equipment and instrumentation (Lab component).

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    15

    In this module you will be introduced to the key concept of periodicity and how, through a deeper knowledge of the periodic table, chemists are able to understand and predict the chemical properties, reactivity and compounds formed by the elements. You will also be introduced to redox chemistry, which plays a key role in the reactivity of the elements and the forms in which they are found.

    This module also has a significant focus on experimental chemistry. You will therefore complete a set of laboratory practicals, enabling you to develop the laboratory skills and knowledge to work safely in an experimental environment and carry out fundamental organic and analytical chemistry procedures, including basic spectroscopy. This will be supplemented by teaching you the essentials of laboratory safety awareness and the skills needed to write scientific reports, including ways to clearly present data arising from experiments. To enable you to achieve this you will learn, through examples of physical science applications, the basic mathematics required to understand, plot and analyse graphical information, including differentiation and integration. This will be supported by lessons in how to use simple computer programs for drawing molecular and crystal structures and carry out basic calculations on the energy levels of chemical systems (Lab component.)

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    30

    Teaching and assessment

    There are approximately eight one-hour lectures each week, laboratory classes, project work and problem-solving seminars.

    Assessment is by a combination of written examinations, continuous assessment and other assignments. You must pass the Stage 1 examinations in order to go on to Stage 2. Coursework assessments include practical laboratory skills, presentation skills as well as essay and report writing.

    Please note that you must pass all modules of the foundation year in order to progress onto stage 1.

    Programme aims

    The programme aims to:

    • instil a sense of enthusiasm for chemistry, an appreciation of its application in different contexts and involve students in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying
    • provide a broad and balanced foundation of chemical knowledge and practical skills
    • provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable
    • develop in students the ability to apply their knowledge and skills to the solution of chemical science problems and to be able to solve theoretical and practical problems in chemistry
    •  impart practical skills including the knowledge, understanding and ability to assess safety in the laboratory environment
    • develop a range of generic skills, of value in chemical and non-chemical employment
    • provide a stimulating, research-active environment in which students are supported and motivated to achieve their academic and personal potential
    • enable students to graduate with an understanding of scientific methodology, the ability to use this in the solution of problems in and outside of a laboratory environment, and the ability to undertake and report on an experimental investigation using such methodology
    • foster an appreciation of the importance and sustainability of the chemical sciences in an industrial, academic, economic, environmental and social context
    • provide students with the knowledge and skills to gain graduate-level employment or to pursue further studies.

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding

    You gain knowledge and understanding of:

    • core and foundation scientific physical, biological, and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units, conventions, and laboratory practise and methods in relation to the chemical sciences
    • areas of chemistry including properties of chemical elements, states of matter, organic functional groups, physiochemical principles, organic and inorganic materials, synthetic pathways, analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, fires and explosions
    • developments at the forefront of some areas of chemical sciences.

    Intellectual skills

    You gain the following intellectual abilities:

    • the ability to understand essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to apply this knowledge to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems
    • the ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data
    • the ability to use computational methods for the practical application of theory and to use information technology and data-processing skills to search for, assess and interpret chemical information and data
    • a knowledge of essay writing and presenting scientific material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to a range of audiences and the ability to communicate complex scientific argument to a lay audience.

    Subject-specific skills

    You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

    • the safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including specific hazards associated with their use and risk-assessment of such hazards
    • the ability to carry out documented standard laboratory procedures involved in synthetic and analytical work in relation to organic and inorganic systems. Skills in observational and instrumental monitoring of physiochemical events and changes and the systematic and reliable documentation of the above. Operation of standard analytical instruments employed in the chemical sciences
    • the ability to collate, interpret and explain the significance and underlying theory of experimental data, including an assessment of limits of accuracy
    • the ability to implement research projects including competence in the design and execution of experiments.

    Transferable skills

    You gain transferable skills in the following:

    • communication, both written and oral
    • to be able to undertake further training of a professional nature
    • problem-solving in relation to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information
    • numeracy and computational skills, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation
    • information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including online computer searches
    • knowledge of IT such as word-processing and spreadsheet use, data-logging and storage, internet communication
    • interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a professional environment
    • time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working. Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support life-long learning
    • study skills required continuing professional development and professional employment.

    Careers

    Kent science graduates have an excellent employment record, in part because we ensure they have the transferable skills necessary for success in today’s employment market. We teach you how to communicate your ideas effectively and write technical information in an accessible way, you learn how to work independently and as part of a team.

    Recent graduates have gone into areas including research and development, contract laboratories, material and pharmaceutical industries as well as the oil industry.

    Entry requirements

    All applications for the Foundation Year will be considered individually, however evidence of previous level 3 (i.e. A level, BTEC, etc.) relevant scientific study is required.

    Home/EU students

    The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

    It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

    New GCSE grades

    If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

    International students

    The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.

    If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.

    Meet our staff in your country

    For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events. 

    English Language Requirements

    Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

    Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme. 

    General entry requirements

    Please also see our general entry requirements.

    Fees

    The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

    UK/EU Overseas
    Full-time £9250 £16480

    UK/EU fee paying students

    The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

    In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.

    For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

    The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

    General additional costs

    Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

    Funding

    University funding

    Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

    Government funding

    You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

    The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.

    Scholarships

    General scholarships

    Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

    The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

    At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

    The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.

    The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

    If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.