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Your learning experience

Our award-winning staff have expertise across a broad range of areas. They use their research to inform their teaching, making your learning experience relevant to industry.


You'll learn through practical lab sessions, lectures, tutorials and workshops, placements, and research projects to develop skills that are highly valued by employers in the sector.

Student experimenting with gas-filled balloons


Lectures are delivered by experts from the Department and guest speakers from industry.

We have a range of innovative lecture techniques to help you learn, such as video links and "ask the audience" interactive response systems.

Tutorials and workshops

Small-group tutorial sessions give you the opportunity to further discuss what you’ve learned in lectures.

Small-group teaching helps build relationships with your peers and teachers, and are an important part of your programme. 


Practical lab sessions

Learn fundamental lab skills and specialised techniques through practical sessions in our Chemical Analysis Facility.

As you progress through your degree, the proportion of practical work increases, culminating in a research project in your final year.

Research projects

You have the opportunity to work alongside our researchers on your final-year project. You may choose lab-based chemical research, computer-based modelling, or an education-based project.

Many of our students have been named on internationally renowned scientific research papers as a result of their final-year project.

Academic tutor support

Your academic tutor is available to offer advice and guidance throughout your degree.

Chemistry graduate Mandeep Dhak met with his academic tutor regularly, receiving study and career advice.

Watch our video to find out more

Support sessions

The University offers Maths Support, a drop-in service designed to help with any areas of maths you find difficult during your studies.

Making chemical language easy

“We have a number of students who are the first generation in their family to go to university. We help them realise that they deserve to be here and help them to learn chemistry. Part of your role as a lecturer is developing them and pushing them to do their best.” 

 – Dr Philippa Cranwell

Learn through practical experience

We provide lots of opportunities for real-world experience, such as undertaking an industrial placement and studying abroad. You can also visit Diamond Light Source – the UK's national synchrotron science facility at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.


A placement year allows you to put what you've learned into practice, develop professional skills and make contacts in industry.

Dedicated tutors work with you and our industry contacts to find a placement that suits you. We'll help you hone your CV and interview skills so you have a head start on securing the perfect job when you graduate.

Our location in the heart of the Thames Valley means there are many potential host companies on our doorstep, although some of our students choose to go further afield.

Previous placement companies include GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Procter & Gamble, Johnson Matthey, Syngenta, BP Castrol, AkzoNobel, 3M, COTY (Rimmel), Alchemy Ingredients and even NASA.

Learn more about placement opportunities and who we work with

Placements that work for you

MChem Chemistry graduate, Hannah Newman, completed her professional placement year at local company CEM Analytical Services Ltd.

As an Analytical Chemist, she worked on the development of pharmaceutical drugs.

Watch our video to find out more.

Visit Diamond Light Source

As a chemistry student at Reading, you can visit Diamond Light Source, located just 30 minutes from the University.

The synchrotron accelerates electrons up to very high speeds. It produces focused beams of light that are 100 billion times brighter than a hospital X-ray machine or 10 billion times brighter than the sun.
"Working with Diamond Light Source is inspirational. Our students love to go, and  we've got some really exciting scientific results out of it. These visits are very good for their theses, and can even help them get a job after graduation."

Professor Christine Cardin, Professor of Crystallography

Read Christine’s story

Study Abroad

Our MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry/Research students have the chance to complete their third year abroad, gaining valuable international experience. 

We also have a long-established relationship with the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST). This allows us to invite students from China to study with us, and gives our undergraduates the chance to spend a semester in China.

Visit our Study Abroad website

Close-up of a scientist's hands on a microscope
“It looks very good to have international experience on your CV. Living and working in a different culture shows that you’re willing to go outside your comfort zone. What helped me a lot was the international network of friends I'd made through the Erasmus programme.”

Amie Parker, MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry/Research and Study Abroad student

Read Amie's story
Aisha Nuhu's body butter product

Aisha's story

It was the industry connections that helped me choose the University. Reading sits near a hotbed of big industry names and the close link between them and the University is very good news for students!
Aisha Nuhu, MChem Chemistry with a Year in Industry/Research graduate
A student recording the results of an experiment

Flexible courses

Many of our courses share core material, giving you the option to change courses right up until the end of your second year (subject to results).

With our core chemistry degrees, you could study modules such as Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Forensic Analysis.

With our pharmaceutical and cosmetic chemistry pathways, you could specialise in Pharmacology and Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Case Studies, Core and Further Cosmetic Science, and Launching a Product.

Visit our course pages to learn more about modules
Group of students chatting in a science lab

Life in the Department

You’ll be allocated a student mentor and academic tutor when you join our Department. You can also get involved in ChemSoc, a student-run society that organises events such as socials and career fairs.

Athena SWAN Silver Award