If you’re interested in learning chemistry, you have several options open to you. If you are still at school, you can try and find summer courses for an introduction to chemistry, or decide to go for GCSEs (most places offer Science GCSEs that include chemistry, biology and physics or mathematics) or an A-level in chemistry. If you want to pursue a career in chemistry, many UK universities have a chemistry department, often with the option of interesting specialisations.

Some institutions offer interesting courses on chemistry over several weeks for interested adults who don’t want to take university classes. Or you can engage a private tutor to take you through the basics of chemistry. Keep an eye out especially for those accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

What Options Do You Have To Learn Chemistry in the UK?

How can you study chemistry at school?

Some schools offer GCSEs in Science, which will include Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics, while a few will give you the option to do separate GSCEs in each of the subjects.

At A-levels, you can study Chemistry by itself. In fact, if you want to go on to a Chemistry degree at any city university, one of your three A-levels should be in Chemistry.

You will be taught the basics such as the periodic table of elements, organic and inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, basic lab practice and, in some cases, the principal aspects of environmental chemistry.

If you are having trouble or simply feel better going over the material again, there are institutions that offer revision courses, usually at Easter holidays or, if the worst does happen, retakes.

Find a good physics and chemistry tutor here.

Enjoy learning chemistry in Britain.
If you loved your chemistry set as a child, maybe you'll want to learn chemistry for your GCSEs or A-levels. Photo credit: unloveablesteve on Visualhunt.com

Chemistry courses at British universities

Each university has slightly different entry requirements, but generally speaking, if you want to attend a prestigious university you will need an A-level in Chemistry and two other science-related A-levels.

Depending on the university rankings and how many applications they get each year and the spots they have available, admission will require anything from A-B-B to A-A-B.

Fees vary depending on whether you are a British or an international student. They are slightly different depending on the university but generally are around the £ 9,250 range per academic year (in 2019). You will need to apply to scholarships independently of your university application.

Generally, the curriculum of the first two years will be a review of your A-levels, but much more in-depth and with more theory behind it and lab work to understand it. Bachelors of Science are three to four years; the last year is generally dedicated to your own research project. Most universities offer MSc opportunities that range from specialisations in the last two to three years to the opportunity for a year’s work experience to a year studying abroad.

Some universities offer specialisations starting with BSc in anything from Medicinal Chemistry to Forensic Science.

At university, you will attend lecture series covering the theoretical topics, work in a laboratory doing practical experiments to better understand the theory or doing your own independent research.

Get a chemistry tutor A level here.

Studying Chemistry with a Private Tutor

This has numerous advantages: you will be able to study whatever aspects you want and the rate and rhythm you need. If you are a more visual learner, your tutor can focus on graphs and charts and molecule models, or work more closely with textbooks if you learn better with a written text.

Your tutor will answer any questions you might have and will be able to adapt to your schedule rather than having fixed course times. You can also organise an online course for distance learning if you tutor lives too far away. However, if you want to go beyond theoretical chemistry, you will need to rent a laboratory and equipment for your experiments.

But where can you find the perfect instructor to get you through your A-levels or your tropical medicine course in Medicinal Chemistry?

Here at Superprof, we have more than 20,000 Chemistry tutors available throughout the UK. Just do a course search on our website to find a chemistry teacher near me, and take advantage of offers for free courses (usually only the first lesson.)

Check for chemistry tutor Edinburgh here.

Finding Chemistry Courses in London

England’s capital city offers a multitude of opportunities for those interesting in studying chemistry in London at school level or in top universities.

Summer courses in London

Still not sure of what you want to study? Enjoy the idea of chemistry but unsure if you want to pursue it in higher education?

A summer school might be just the thing for you.

Check for an A level Chemistry tutor online.

Get children excited about chemistry with summer schools.
Summer Schools let you explore the fun aspects of chemistry. Photo credit: David.R.Carroll on Visual Hunt

The Academic Summer has several science-based camps that might be of interest, letting you do experiments and see if you want to brave a university tuition fee to study chemistry in London.

School Chemistry in London

If you are looking to take chemistry starting sixth-form, Ashbourne, London Brookes College and Mander Portman Woodward offer both GCSE and A-level chemistry in the classroom. The North London Tutorial College has a GCSE programme while the Dave Game College and Kingston College both offer chemistry as A-level subjects.

Or perhaps you simply need some help with revision before the exams. MPW offers revision courses in addition to its full courses, while Hill Crest has revision courses for A-levels.

Studying Chemistry at a London School

More than one London university has Chemistry among their options for both undergraduate and graduate levels. Generally, the first two years are the same for a BSc or a MSc. Differences between the two can include specialising (such as Analytical Chemistry at Birkbeck College), Biochemistry or Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Kingston College); or else many MSc offers not only a lecture curriculum but an academic year abroad or industry training to help you find a placement after graduating. Most also offer postgraduate options if you want to go on to a PhD.

London universities offering Chemistry are:

  • Queen Mary University
  • University of East London
  • London Metropolitan University
  • University College
  • University of East London
  • King’s College

In addition, Birkbeck’s offers Analytical Chemistry, while Kingston University offers Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Chemistry Courses in Birmingham

Though Birmingham chemistry courses don’t have much on offer in terms of summer programmes, for all other fundamental chemistry courses, you will be sure to find what you need - from organometallic compounds to quantum chemistry.

Learning Chemistry in Birmingham

At GCSE and A-levels, you will be learning the basics - from the periodic table to main areas of organic and inorganic chemistry.

MPW - which offers 6th-form courses in London - also has a centre in Birmingham, and at the Birmingham Tuition Centre & 6th Form you can do GCSEs, A-levels as well as take revision courses. Or you can take A-levels at the South & City College or Joseph Chamberlain 6th Form College.

If you are an adult who didn’t have the opportunity to do Chemistry in school, BMet offers a 70-week course terminating at a Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Higher Learning in Birmingham

The University of Birmingham offers both an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree where you will learn the theory and practice of chemistry. You will attend lectures and work in state-of-the-art laboratories. In your final years for your degree, you will work on an independent research project.

Or if you want to become a chemistry teacher, the Birmingham City School of Education has a chemistry course for those already accepted for a teacher’s training course. This lets you revise what you learned in school and also gives you some insight on how to structure lessons and grade papers.

Chemistry classes in Birmingham and Leeds
Learn proper lab protocol in chemistry courses in Birmingham and Leeds. Photo credit: calvinnivlac on Visual hunt

Chemistry Courses in Leeds

There are some interesting offerings for those interested in learning chemistry in Leeds.

Supplementary Schools for chemistry students in Leeds

The Leeds Tuition Centre campuses, run by Educate First have science classes for children of all ages for a fair sum of 7£ a session. This can be a fun way for children to improve their knowledge of the world around them.

In addition, Leeds City College offers A-level chemistry as well as Applied Science Foundation Diplomas for children 16-18 and adults seeking a new career. For the latter, they also offer an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science that covers biology and chemistry as well as forensic science, medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry.

At A-levels, the Grammar School at Leeds offers education courses in Chemistry, including courses in forensics, green chemistry, medicinal chemistry, materials science, pharmacology and toxicology.

Free online courses for learning chemistry in Leeds

Perhaps uniquely, the University of Leeds has a series of online courses they offer in partnership with FutureLearn. With their free online chemistry lessons, they offer a series of 10-hour modules focusing on aspects such as organic chemistry, environmental chemistry or molecular science.

University level courses at the University of Leeds

Living in Leeds and interested in studying chemistry at a university level? Leeds has an excellent chemistry programme, with undergraduate qualifications in Chemistry alone or in a joint degree with Mathematics. Postgraduate courses include Chemical Biology.

Chemistry Courses in Manchester

Manchester has a wonderful choice of chemistry classes.

Chemistry lessons in Manchester.
One of the fun aspects of chemistry is playing in the lab. Photo credit: Brookhaven National Laboratory on Visual Hunt

Chemistry taught at school level

If you want to study chemistry at university, you will need A-levels in chemistry - and often in mathematics and another science subject. There is more than one institution in Manchester that can help you with a GCSE in Science or you Chemistry A-levels:

  • The Wilmslow Tuition Centre
  • Justin Craig Education
  • Abbey College
  • The Manchester College on its Shena Simon Campus

Manchester universities offering courses in chemistry

In Manchester you have a choice between three different universities offering degrees in chemistry:

  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • The University of Salford
  • The University of Manchester

You will be able to do the usual course of study for a UK university. Depending on the college, possible degrees include:

  • Chemistry with Industrial Experience, where you will be able to spend a year with a chemical company allied with the university and gain work experience - offered by the University of Manchester
  • Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry - offered by the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Salford. You will be concentrating on the chemical reactions within the human body and how they can be influenced.
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Manchester Metropolitan or the University of Salford - learn to design the drugs of tomorrow.
  • Chemistry with Environmental Chemistry at the University of Salford. Learn about the chemical processes that prevail in Nature and how they interact.
  • Biochemistry at the University of Salford.

Or you can study to become a Chemistry teacher at the University of Manchester, which offers the opportunity to assist teachers in surrounding schools in order to gain work experience in planning and teaching classes.

Chemistry Courses in Glasgow

If you want to learn Chemistry in Glasgow, the University of Glasgow has a Chemistry department with an excellent reputation. There you can study Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, but also Chemical Physics. The latter allows you to study Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics side-by-side in an interdisciplinary course that will give you an entirely new view of how the building blocks of the world around us function. The chemistry element focuses mostly on physical and inorganic chemistry.

Chemistry lessons in Glasgow.
Learn what the contents of all of these retorts can do with chemistry courses Glasgow. Photo credit: WilzDezign on Visualhunt.com

In addition, while Glasgow Caledonian University doesn’t have a separate Chemistry faculty, it does have several courses of study where chemistry plays an important part. You will learn a lot about chemical processes in addition to other aspects of science:

  • Forensic Investigation - use Chemistry to solve crimes
  • Pharmacology - develop drugs to cure disease
  • Food Bioscience - find ways to optimise food production or find out more about how different foods affect the human body
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Sonia is an Egyptologist turned writer and translator. She speaks 3 and a half languages, can translate hieroglyphs and enjoys yoga, singing, embroidery and travelling through all of time and space.