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We recognise that chemistry is a central science interfacing with biochemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and geology and appropriate courses are offered to recognise the importance of these interfaces.


Chemistry is a vibrant and exciting subject which is involved in everything around us from the making of new materials to understanding biological systems, the food that we eat, the medicines which keep us healthy, ensuring the purity of the water we drink and the air that we breathe. The chemical and allied industries – fuels, pharmaceuticals and fragrances – are the most important manufacturing industries to the UK economy, recording trade surpluses of more than £4.8 billion each year. These industries employ large numbers of chemists in research, development, sales, marketing and management. The intellectual training (i.e. numeracy and problem-solving skills, team work, communication) obtained in studying for a degree in Chemistry is also ideal for a career in areas not directly related to chemical sciences.


As a School we pride ourselves on our educational and research achievements and place particular emphasis on offering modern programmes that address the challenges of the twenty-first century.


We offer a range of exciting and stimulating degree programmes that allow students to develop skills in a variety of areas key to the future needs of society. Our MChem degree takes your knowledge of chemistry to a higher level than a traditional BSc course. The MChem degree gives you the best possible training for entering the job market or for higher degrees like a PhD. The course can last either four (with direct entry to second year) or five years. For Joint subjects, entry into second year is more complicated as requirements must be met for all subjects involved.


Direct Entry to Second Year For both our BSc and MChem degree courses, it is possible to enter directly into the second year of study. Students who enter into the second year can complete their MChem degree after four years or their BSc after three years. This option is offered to students with excellent Advanced Higher, A-Level or IB qualifications. We would be delighted to discuss the possibility of direct entry into the second year with any prospective students.


MChem or BSc? The MChem is the degree tailored to the intending professional chemist who plans to enter into the chemical industry or carry out postgraduate study, for example the PhD, after graduation.


The BSc is designed for those who have decided that they will not pursue a career in chemistry but have identified areas such as management or accountancy as future career paths.


Chemistry With Medicinal Chemistry The MChem and BSc degrees in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry focus on the important interface of chemistry with biology. The Human Genome has recently been sequenced and with this comes huge possibilities for new developments in drug discovery. At St Andrews we feel it is important to have a specialist course in this area as industry is increasingly aiming to recruit individuals with training both in chemistry and in biomolecular sciences. The MChem in Medicinal Chemistry is an advanced degree. This five-year course includes the option of a one-year placement in the pharmaceutical or agrochemicals industry (direct entrants into Year 2 can complete the course in four years). The course will cover all aspects of chemistry in the early phase of the degree but it will specialise in biomedical topics. The successful development of new drugs requires a clear understanding of how to design small molecules that interact with proteins. This is a major emphasis of the course.


Biomolecular Science St Andrews is a pioneer in working at the interface between Chemistry and Biology and a world class research record in this area. Lecturers working at this interface are researching new treatments for flu, tropical diseases and cancer. In 1998, St Andrews became the first UK university to build a Centre for Biomolecular Sciences. The degree programme came about because most people now agree that future cures for disease will have to blend chemistry, medicine and biology and this degree builds on our research strength in this area. Its aim is to equip students with the skills required for the modern pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Thus students will gain expertise in chemical synthesis, enzyme kinetics, structural biology and molecular biology.


Unlike the BSc Biochemistry degree, the BSc Biomolecular Science degree offers a unique opportunity to blend module courses from Chemistry and Biology throughout all four years. In the first two years you study a common core of subjects from Biochemistry and Chemistry. In the third and fourth years you specialise in courses that balance chemistry and biology. The final year research project will be supervised by a member of the Centre for Biomolecular Sciences.


broad daylight


broad daylight


broad daylight Chemistry


Sugar samples from the early twentieth century research on naturally-occurring sugars by Thomas Purdie, Professor of Chemistry and Professor Irvine, later Principal of the University.


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