School of Natural and Computing Sciences – U. of Aberdeen

Environmental Chemistry

School of Natural and Computing Sciences – U. of Aberdeen
In Aberdeen

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Important information

Typology Bachelor's degree
Location Aberdeen (Scotland)
Duration 5 Years
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Aberdeen (Scotland)
  • Duration:
    5 Years

Innovative methods for learning and teaching ensure that students develop skills in computing and IT, problem solving, and personal skills in addition to the core theoretical and practical principles of Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry.

Facilities (1)
Where and when



Aberdeen (Aberdeen City)
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Elphinstone Road, Meston Building, Old Aberdeen, AB24 3UE


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To take into account

· Requirements

First year entry Scottish Highers BBBB or Advanced Highers CCC or A levels CCC, including good performance in at least two Science/Technology/Mathematics subjects. Advanced entry Advanced Highers BBB or A levels BBB, including Chemistry and Maths.

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What you'll learn on the course

Environmental Chemistry

Course programme

Environmental Chemistry is one of the public and friendly faces of chemistry. Decisions based on research in Environmental Chemistry have enormous consequences for all of us. You may think that Environmental Chemistry is mostly about pollution, but really it is a subject for people who want to understand how the world works. That is, in order to understand macroscopic processes in the environment (e.g. why are polar bears contaminated with mercury), we have to focus on the molecular level.

Environmental Chemistry is concerned with the behaviour of chemicals (natural or man-made) in air, water, soils and sediments. It is an interdisciplinary field at the cross roads of important scientific subjects centred around Advanced Analytical Chemistry. It requires knowledge of fundamental principles of many subject areas, including Organic Chemistry, Soil Science, Biochemistry, Toxicology and Ecology. Students of Environmental Chemistry need to learn about the chemistry of organic and inorganic compounds, whether they are produced on purpose or generated as by-products of industrial processes, and about their reactivity and their interactions with living systems.

Programme Structure & Content

First Year
Students study introductory courses in Chemistry, along with study of two other subjects, usually but not necessarily science ones. There is plenty of choice at this level.

Second Year
The four chemistry courses cover all the main areas of Chemistry and take up half the workload. Four more courses are selected from other departments, usually in science.

Third Year
Students spend all their time studying Chemistry, including a course on Communicating Chemistry targeted at transferable skills including computing, IT and presentation skills.

Fourth Year
All students have lectures on a range of specialised topics, and receive training in Methods of Research. Students have group-based practicals on Advanced Instrumental Techniques and a Mini-Project in fourth year.

Fifth Year
The MChem personal Research Project is in fifth year, and usually involves a placement in Europe.

Teaching & Assessment

In first year, traditional lectures and practical classes are now integrated with the support provided by the University's Virtual Learning Environment, WebCT. At higher levels, tutorials, individual and group project work, and essay and oral presentations, together with a rapidly increasing range of computer-based learning aids, also form part of the programme.

Additional information

Comments: Our MChem degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry to fulfil the academic requirements for AMRSC and eventual progression to Chartered Chemist (CChem) status.
Career opportunities: Chemistry graduates are very employable, because a degree in chemistry opens many opportunities for employment in areas such as drug development, environmental protection, food chemistry, petroleum chemistry, forensic science, and materials development. It is also considered to be an excellent preparation for a career in business, in particular because of the skills developed in problem solving and numeracy.

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