Chemistry study guide 2023/24

Chemistry at Bristol

The University of Bristol's School of Chemistry offers a unique environment in which to study chemistry. As the country's only Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in chemistry, you will be taught by internationally renowned scientists in world-class labs. We are ranked in the UK top 10 for Chemistry (Guardian Universities League Table 2022) and 3rd in the UK for Chemistry research (Times Good University Guide 2022).

We offer a superb laboratory teaching environment with a unique laboratory experience provided through Bristol ChemLabS plus a Virtual Reality lab for undergraduate teaching. Our academic staff include the authors of textbooks that are used globally for teaching undergraduate chemistry.

Unit structure

The school's units are taught across the academic year (known as 'TB4' units), which means they start in September and end in May/June. Only Study Abroad students studying at Bristol for the full academic year can request units from the school.

Unit levels

The school offers units across all undergraduate levels of study – Year 1 (Level C/4), Year 2 (Level I/5), and Year 3 (Level H/6) – and selected postgraduate units (Level M/7). Level M/7 units are normally taken by students who have studied the subject for at least 3 years beforehand and are at an appropriate level of study to take postgraduate units.

Unit codes

Unit codes in the School of Chemistry begin with 'CHEM'. This is followed by a number indicating the year (1, 2, 3). For example:

  • CHEM10000 = year 1 unit
  • CHEM20000 = year 2 unit
  • CHEM30000 = year 3 unit.

For more information about each unit, check the University's unit catalogue for 2023/24. Applicants on all study abroad programmes must review the unit details on the catalogue before listing unit choices on their application form. This includes checking the format of assessment for each unit. The unit catalogue for 2023/24 is expected to be updated by the end of April 2023.

Your unit choices cannot be guaranteed. Some units may not have capacity to accommodate all of the unit requests we receive. Registration on a unit also depends on whether you meet the pre-requisite conditions through prior study at your home university.

Study Abroad (Subject pathway)

If you have been nominated to Bristol on the Study Abroad (Subject pathway), you must take the majority of your credits in this department.

Project units

The following project units are open on the condition that you have decided on a research project topic prior to your arrival in Bristol and confirmed these details with the School. You will receive an academic supervisor for project units. If a supervisor is unavailable to support a project, students may be required to select an alternative unit.

  • Advanced Chemistry Project (TB4) - CHEM30004
  • Project for MSci Chemical Physicists (TB4) - CHEMMNEW (code to be confirmed)
  • Project for MSci Chemistry (TB4) - CHEMMNEW (code to be confirmed)
  • Project Research (TB4) - CHEMMNEW (code to be confirmed)

Units available on the study abroad programme in 2023/24

The following units from the School of Chemistry are open to inbound Study Abroad students.

The majority of Chemistry units run in Teaching Block 4 'TB4' (September-June), and are available to students studying with us for the full academic year.

Year 1 (level C/4)

Teaching Block 4

  • Big Ideas in Science (TB4) - CHEM10001 
  • Building Blocks of Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM10013 
  • Introductory Practical Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM10004 
  • Life Chemistry: Life through the chemical lens (TB4) - CHEM10012 
  • Materials Chemistry: The materials world (TB4) - CHEM10016 
  • Quantitative Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM10010 

Year 2 (level I/5)

Teaching Block 4

  • Biological Life Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM20011 
  • Chemical Models and Prediction (TB4) - CHEM20008
  • Core Concepts in Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM20007 
  • Environmental Life Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM20012 
  • Intermediate Practical Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM20004 
  • Materials Chemistry: Materials for Energy (TB4) - CHEM20005 

Year 3 (level H/6)

The majority units are all in Teaching Block 4 (September-June), and therefore available to students studying with us for a full academic year.

Teaching Block 1

  • Data and Literature Skills (TB1) - CHEM30027

Teaching Block 4

  • Advanced Applications of Computing in Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM30023
  • Advanced Biological Life Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM30028
  • Advanced Chemical Models and Predictions (TB4) - CHEM30032
  • Advanced Chemistry Project (TB4) - CHEM30004
  • Advanced Environmental Life Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM30029
  • Advanced Practical Chemistry (Teaching Laboratory) (TB4) - CHEM30005
  • Materials Chemistry: Material Interfaces (TB4) - CHEM30031
  • The Art of Chemistry (TB4) - CHEM30026

Year 4 (level M/7)

The School is introducing new Year 4 units for 2023-24. The majority of their units run in Teaching Block 4, but they offer two units in the second semester.

Teaching Block 2

  • Mastery of Chemistry with Education (TB2) – CHEMM0031
  • Mastery of Chemistry with Innovation (TB2) – CHEMM0033

Teaching Block 4

  • Advanced Topics in Current Research (TB4) - CHEMM0029
  • Advanced Topics in Current Research for Chemical Phys. and Chemistry with Computing (TB4) - CHEMM0030
  • Project for MSci Chemical Physicists (TB4) - CHEMM0008
  • Project for MSci Chemistry (TB4) - CHEMM0001
  • Project for MSci Chemistry with Scientific Computing (TB4) – CHEM0020

Suggested unit combinations

It is not possible to take units across different year group levels due to the complexity of the timetables. We advise that you select all your units from one year level.

Application queries

Contact the Centre for Study Abroad inbound team if you have any queries about the application process for the study abroad programmes:

Phone: +44 117 39 40207


Students cannot audit units. Study abroad students are fully registered on units for credit purposes and must attend teaching only for classes that they are registered on.

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