The School of Chemistry's degree programmes provide the springboard into diverse and challenging careers.
Graduates with this skill-set are highly prized in diverse sectors. Understandably our graduates now occupy scientific roles in major and emerging companies, including the Pharmaceutical, Plastics, and Catalysis Industries. It is perhaps less obvious that the training embedded in our degree programmes opens further opportunities beyond the traditional Chemical Industry. You can see a list of some of the companies and roles that have been destinations for our graduates here. You'll see just how diverse the opportunities are!
Professional Skills training runs through the Chemistry degree curriculum and extended activities outside of the programme are encouraged and supported so that our students emerge as graduates equipped to achieve their full potential.
A degree in Chemistry is demanding and our programmes are necessarily time-intensive, combining theory with practical skills and experimental laboratory training. Success requires organisation and careful time-management, and these skills are taught from the outset. As each student progresses through the degree programme the responsibility shifts further onto their shoulders. Many of the skills are combined in the laboratory programme, where preparation and time-management are crucial. Students are guided in this process on a one-to-one basis with faculty and experienced postgraduate demonstrators, who similarly support scientific writing and communication skills in the laboratory report preparation. Feedback loops in formative (non-assessed) exercises allow students to improve their skills before submission of assessed reports. The School's Peer Assisted Learning programme gives students further opportunities to hone their communication skills and contribute to the UEA Chemistry community.
Perhaps the biggest step from School to University learning is the increased emphasis on critical thinking, analysis and problem solving – graduates will have the confidence to apply their knowledge to unknown situations and unknown outcomes – skills that make Chemistry graduates particularly attractive and versatile. Effective communication is similarly crucial, and clarity of thought and presentation go hand-in-hand. These skills and training are embedded in the day-to-day Chemistry curriculum but there are also formal professional skills training sessions and events throughout. Areas include written and oral presentation skills, team working and problem based learning. The skills are brought together in the MChem final year within "Advanced Topics in Chemistry". Students work together as part of a module-sized group to prepare for a synoptic examination question drawing on the accumulated experience of their degrees. The group is divided into pairs, each tasked with preparing a coherent learning package for a given topic. Typically the pairs will prepare a presentation and accompanying notes. This exercises their collaborative, planning, pedagogical and presentation skills. These presentations are recorded in screencast format. Student pairs edit these screencasts, adding video effects, pedagogical enhancements and interactivity thus gaining an additional suite of translatable skills. The enhanced learning objects are published and can become part of the student's digital portfolio.
The school hosts a series of lectures from visiting industrialists and non-academics who contribute to the broader curriculum by providing case studies of chemistry in context. Also, throughout their final year, all students receive a programme of one-to-one guidance from a faculty member on career planning and preparation, supported by dedicated activities and sessions, run by Careers.