Chemistry and Molecular Physics BSc


Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:FF31
Qualification:BSc Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Chemistry and Molecular Physics
UCAS code
UCAS code
Chemistry and Molecular Physics | BSc Hons
3 years full-time 
A level offer
Required subjects
including maths, physics and chemistry
IB score
34 (6 in maths at Higher Level plus 6, 5, in physics and chemistry in any order with both at Higher Level preferred)
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places
20 for FF31 and FFH1 in total


This course focuses on the area of overlap between the traditional disciplines of chemistry and physics. The course emphasises molecular and solid-state physics, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, and the more quantitative aspects of chemistry.
Read full overview

The BSc and MSci Chemistry and Molecular Physics (CMP) courses are three- or four-year single honours degrees which focus on the area of overlap between the traditional disciplines of chemistry and physics. The course emphasises molecular and solid-state physics, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, and the more quantitative aspects of chemistry. The Nottingham CMP degrees are a unique alternative to chemical physics courses offered elsewhere and our graduates enter a wide range of science-based careers or progress to research-level degrees. The courses are designed to be flexible; for example, it is possible to transfer to a chemistry or physics degree at the end of the first year.

Year one 

In the first year you will study introductory chemistry, physics and mathematics modules which are taken in common with other students registered for physical science courses at Nottingham. You will take practical chemistry classes in our teaching laboratories and a special module on data analysis and scientific computing.

Year two

In the second year lectures will concentrate on physical chemistry, spectroscopy, quantum mechanics and electromagnetic fields, and there are laboratory classes in both chemistry and physics. There is a choice of optional modules, covering specialised topics such as nanotechnology and atmospheric chemistry.

Year three

In the third year, core modules cover energetics and kinetics, magnetic resonance, surface science, solid-state physics, and atomic and particle physics. Project-based physics and chemistry practical work are also included. There are options to study molecular modelling, materials science and catalysis.

More information 

See also the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Entry requirements

A levels: AAB, including maths, physics and chemistry

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS. Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications 

For details see alternative qualifications page

Flexible admissions policy

We consider applicants’ circumstances and broader achievements as part of the assessment process, but do not vary the offer from the grades advertised as a result of these.

We value diversity and are committed to equal opportunity.

Notes for applicants 

Scholarships - please see for details of our current scholarship opportunities



Typical Year One Modules
Fundamental Physical Chemistry

In this module you'll cover units, quantities and conversions; the development of quantum theory; gases and the gas laws; intermolecular forces; an introduction to the kinetic theory of gases; an introduction to molecular orbital diagrams; an introduction to rotational and vibrational, spectroscopies; an introduction to thermodynamics (internal energy, enthalpy, entropy and free energy, and their temperature dependence); thermodynamics and equilibria; an introduction to electrochemistry; an introduction to reaction kinetics. You will spend around one hour per week studying this module.

Introductory Laboratory Work

This module introduces you to the essential laboratory skills that are required in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. You’ll spend around four hours per week in laboratory practicals performing experiments, and collecting and analysing data. You’ll present written reports of your experimental work that will form part of the assessment for this module.

From Newton to Einstein

This module will introduce you to topics which will underpin all subsequent physics modules such as: classical mechanics; vectors; Einstein's special theory of relativity; electromagnetism; electrical circuits and quantum physics. You’ll spend around five hours per week in lectures and tutorials studying this module. 

Computing For Physical Science

You’ll receive training in basic computing techniques using MatLab, and will be introduced to their use in solving physical problems. You’ll spend three to four hours in computer classes and a one hour lecture each week. 

Mathematics for Physics and Astronomy

You’ll study a selection of mathematical techniques that are used for analysing physical behaviour. Topics will include: complex numbers; calculus of a single variable; plane geometry; differential equations; calculus of several variables; and matrix algebra. You’ll spend around three hours per week in workshops and lectures studying this module. 


Typical Year Two Modules



Core Laboratory Work C

This module builds on the practical, analytical and communication skills developed in the first year and introduces experiments across the range of chemistry, based on your second year theory modules. You’ll spend around six hours per week in practicals for this module. 

Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry
You’ll explore the organometallic chemistry of the transition metals and will discuss the use of multinuclear NMR spectroscopy as a tool for the characterisation of molecules.
Intermediate Physical Chemistry

You’ll build upon the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics developed in Year 1. You’ll discuss the behaviour at liquid/gas and solid/gas interfaces and will be introduced to electrochemical cells and voltammetry.

Intermediate Spectroscopy and Quantum Chemistry

You’ll study quantum mechanics and show how it can be applied to confined particles, the  rotation and vibration of molecules, the hydrogen atom, and one-electron ions. You’ll be introduced to the principles of spectroscopy to predict and understand atomic and diatomic molecular spectra, and understand how electronic and molecular structure determines the appearance of spectra.

The Quantum World

You’ll be given an introduction to the theoretical and elementary applications of quantum mechanics. Beginning with a discussion of the motion of particles and the quantum theory of angular momentum, you’ll then study the importance of symmetry, quantum statistics and matrix mechanics. You’ll have four hours of lectures and workshops each week for this module. 

Classical Fields

Building on the year one module ‘From Newton to Einstein’ you’ll be introduced to the mathematics of vector calculus and will cover various aspects of electromagnetism including the treatment of magnetic media, electromagnetic waves and various techniques for the solution of electromagnetic problems. You’ll spend around four hours per week in lectures and workshops for this module. 

Experimental Techniques and Instrumentation

You’ll be introduced to a variety of topics including: basic techniques and equipment used in experimental physics; training in the analysis and interpretation of data; and training in the skills of record keeping and writing scientific reports. You’ll have around eight hours of practicals and lectures each week to study this module. 




Atmospheric Chemistry

You’ll study topics such as the physical properties of the atmosphere, chemistry of ozone in the stratosphere, global warming, and analytical methods in atmospheric chemistry in three hours of lectures each week, 

Principles of Analytical Chemistry

You’ll be introduced to the principles of analytical chemistry, including the principal types of instrumentation used and the statistical treatment of analytical results. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and workshops studying this module. 

Health Physics

In this module you’ll learn how physicists can harness the health benefits of using radiation, as well as measuring and controlling levels of radiation in the environment. You’ll examine the biological effects of radiation, the principles which govern safe exposure limits and the way issues of radiation protection are presented to the public. You’ll spend around four hours in lectures and seminars each week for this module. 

Force and Function at the Nanoscale

You’ll be given an overview of how forces at the nanoscale are different to those observed in macroscopic systems and will consider how they can be exploited in nanometre-scale processes and devices. You’ll focus on the physical basis and measurement of forces operating on the nanoscale, considering van der Waals, electrostatic, hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops studying this module. 

Molecular Biophysics

You’ll explore the structure of molecules which are biologically significant and their mutual interactions and dynamics. Emphasis will be placed on the physical determination of molecular structure and intermolecular forces through two hours of lectures per week. 


Typical Year Three Modules


Chemical Bonding and Reactivity

You’ll learn about the fundamental requirements for two molecules to react and how to assess the likelihood of reactivity based on energy level structure.  You’ll learn about experiments that can probe the outcomes of reaction and experiments that can promote reaction.  You’ll learn about some theoretical methods that can be used to understand reactivity.  The module will progress at two lectures per week, with four workshops interspersed throughout the semester and regular problem sheets.    

Solids, Interfaces and Surfaces 

You’ll study the relationships between structure and properties of solids, and develop electronic structure theories that account for a wide range of properties of solids. You’ll learn about semi-conductors, photoconductivity, LEDs and solar cells and attend around two lectures per week in this module.

Fourier Methods

You’ll be introduced to general methods for the discussion of wave propagation, specifically methods for the solution of differential equations and Fourier methods. You’ll spend around six hours each week in lectures and workshops for this module. 

Atoms, Photons and Fundamental Particles

This module will introduce you to the physics of atoms, nuclei and the fundamental components of matter. You’ll cover topics such as: particle physics; atomic physics; lasers; and nuclear physics. You’ll spend around four hours a week in lectures and workshops for this module. 

Introduction to Solid State Physics

Providing a general introduction to solid state physics, you’ll cover topics such as: bonding; crystal structures; band theory; phonons; and optical properties of solids and magnetism. You’ll spend around four hours per week in lectures and workshops studying for this module. 

Physics Project CMP

You’ll carry out a project within the areas of chemical and molecular physics, which may be experimental or theoretical in nature. Spending around two hours per week in lectures and tutorials, you’ll work in pairs to plan your project under the guidance of a project supervisor.

Advanced Laboratory Techniques

You’ll gain experience of advanced experimental techniques , spending around 12 hours per week in practicals. You’ll study the principles upon which modern experimental methodology is based, obtain and interpret physical data, and undertake project work and report writing.



Chemistry and Molecular Physics Literature and Communication Skills

You’ll undertake a literature review on a selected topic in the area of chemistry and molecular physics, presenting your work as a written report. You’ll also develop your communication skills through group work, presentations and writing for the general public. You’ll spend around two hours per week in workshops for this module. 


This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, catalyst promotion and the concept of catalytic cycles. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and seminars for this module. 

Self-assembly and Bottom-up Approaches to Nanostructure Fabrication

In this module you’ll study the approaches to the fabrication of molecular assemblies on the nanoscale. You’ll gain an understanding of the nature of intermolecular forces, paying particular attention to their application to self-assembly. You’ll spend around two hours per week studying this module. 


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



You will have a unique qualification in chemistry and molecular physics, with a sound understanding of the two disciplines. Your transferable skills will include problem solving, computer programming, communicating science and teamwork.

Professional accreditation

The Institute of Physics accredits bachelor and integrated masters degree programmes for the purposes of the professional award of Chartered Physicist. Chartered Physicist requires an IOP accredited degree followed by an appropriate period of experience during which professional skills are acquired. 

An accredited bachelor degree partially fulfils the academic requirement for Chartered Physicist status. Further study to masters level, or equivalent work-based experience, is required to achieve Chartered Physicist.

institute of physics

Average starting salary career progression

In 2014, 87% of first-degreegraduates in the school who wereavailable for employment had securedwork or further study within six monthsof graduation. The average startingsalary was £21,757 with the highestbeing £31,200.

Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2013/14.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

Home students*

There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.

To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.  

Key Information Sets (KIS)

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


How to use the data


seeing the world up close
It's #MeantToBe
Get in touch: 
+44 (0)115 951 3474
Find us on FacebookFollow us

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


Dr Nicholas Besley








Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
Make an enquiry