Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hi everyone!

    It's been awhile since I last visited TSR but I found it immensely useful when I was applying to universities for the first time (back in 2005). Since then, I've graduated from Imperial and realise how much more competitive the education market has become, so I'm coming back on here to offer some advice!

    I'll be happy to assist any prospective undergraduates if you have any queries regarding chemistry (or any matters relating to the culture of Imperial in general etc.)
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've just recieved a conditional offer for chemistry

    whats the student perspective on imperial?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Congratulations!

    That's a bit of a general question, but I'll endeavour to answer it.

    There are a number of factors really. It's great to be studying in a vibrant, metropolitan city such as London and you're never short on what to do in terms of activities. The South Kensington campus is situated in one of the more luxurious locations in London as well, so if that tickles your fancy, you'll feel very comfortable living around the area. Prices aren't that much more expensive either - you'll find most of the food subsidised on-campus and there are some big supermarkets close by too.

    In terms of the course, you'll like it if you're really into your practical. I'm sure the admissions tutor probably enlightened you on the structure for your interview and warned that if you don't like practical, then don't come to Imperial. And it's completely true. Don't expect to slack off - workload is probably comparable to the amount you get at Oxbridge, if you take into account the number of lab reports you need to produce on a consistent basis. Difficulty is roughly the same as well. First year examinations DO count towards your overall degree mark - hence why I said don't slack off (too much)! You'll have a fantastic time, but you'll always be mindful of the 'work hard, play hard' attitude at Imperial. The last thing is the flexibility of the course. You can opt for joint honours if you want - and you can even change halfway through providing you've completed the compulsory two years of course content. You can also do three years. Compare this to Oxford where they're still only offering a mandatory 4 year MChem course.

    Job prospects? Depends what you want to go into. The Chemistry department (as with the rest of the uni actually) has strong ties with most industry leaders. For example, the Chemistry department will have ties with GSK, BP, AstraZeneca etc. This won't stop you from going into the banking sector either - I had quite a lot of friends who've secured jobs at investment banks.


    That's all I can think of for now. If you have anything more specific, then feel free to ask.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hello

    I've received an offer for chemistry.

    How are the lectures and tutorials? Is workload high in this subject?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Lectures are alright - you get the good lecturers but also the bad ones, and I think this applies to most unis across the UK. You'll find that as you progress on the course, you'll like one area of chemistry more than the other. So for me, my favourite was organic and I generally found these lectures more enjoyable than let's say inorganic. Tutorials on the whole are good but I did have some fantastic tutors teaching me. I know some people weren't so lucky so the same 'bad lecturer' principle applies. Don't expect the teaching to be standardised across the department. Once you're at uni, there's no babysitting anymore like you get in A Levels - it's more independent study than anything and if you don't do your work, then the professors won't care because it's your own problem. So just make sure you can get to grips with working independently rather than worrying about the level of teaching

    Workload is pretty high. As I said in the previous post, a lot of it will come from practical. Work gets progressively harder and longer as you jump into the 2nd/3rd years - I was doing 9am-5pm everyday for pretty much 2 consecutive terms. The more industrious people probably fitted in revision for their core modules in the evenings, but I found my time was spent on writing up the lab reports instead. Unlike other courses at Imperial, Chemistry has teaching right up to the middle of the 3rd term and exams occupying the weeks preceding breakup for summer, which can be a bit of a pain in the arse because all your mates from the other courses would have finished their exams by then. Having said that, it's quite rewarding after you've finished the year and you'll feel like you've learnt quite a lot in terms of transferable skills/knowledge since they develop these quite rigorously.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    So - did you enjoy the course overall? Do you wish you'd chosen a different university, or maybe something besides chemistry?

    And, being curious, what sort of chemistry-related things did you learn? You don't have to go into loads of detail or anything, maybe just mention what your favourite topics were, and what was developed on compared to AS/A2 level.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Accalia)
    So - did you enjoy the course overall? Do you wish you'd chosen a different university, or maybe something besides chemistry?

    And, being curious, what sort of chemistry-related things did you learn? You don't have to go into loads of detail or anything, maybe just mention what your favourite topics were, and what was developed on compared to AS/A2 level.
    Yeah, I enjoyed the course. I think if the course was more focussed on theory, it would have been a bit of a bore but luckily, the practical element keeps you on your toes and really broadens your horizon on what industrial chemistry is like. My aim was to stay firmly in London for my degree and realistically, I didn't think there was any other place better than Imperial for the course. UCL was a bit of a shocker in terms of facilities and the building needed some serious investment, whereas the Chemistry department at Imperial has kept improvements pretty constant over the last couple of years. I really enjoyed chemistry at A Level and that was the principal reason why I decided to pursue it at higher education. I'm of the belief that if you want to commit three/four years studying an advanced subject, then you need to know exactly what it entails and above all, you have to have a passion for it. So no, I don't have any regrets at all if that's what you're trying to get at.

    What we learnt on the course was very broad. As you know, you'll be studying three branches - organic, inorganic and physical.

    There'll be lots of curly arrow mechanisms in organic and understanding how to synthesise important structures using a variety of techniques. Your logic will also be refined in trying to figure out what reagents and compounds you need to synthesise something which is extremely complicated (some of which will require 10-12 steps). You'll also be able to understand the importance of yield more clearly when you start doing your experiments in organic synthesis and realising how some methods are more efficient than others in achieving a higher yield etc. You'll get the chance to use the expensive analysis equipment - mass spec/IR spec/UV spec. You won't be able to touch the NMR machine I'm afraid since it's like £1m...that's reserved for the postgrads.

    In inorganic - you'll be learning about organometallic compounds, some more advanced stuff about the elements in the periodic table, molecular orbital theory etc. There'll be lab work for inorganic as well. That's all I can remember, lol...I wasn't particularly too fond of inorganic.

    In physical, you'll be touching on deriving some of the equations that you use in A Level, like the thermodynamic laws, ideal gas law etc. You'll also be doing a lot of computational chemistry stuff and a very fun assessment where you have to create a wikipedia page about your favourite chemical! You'll learn some more advanced maths where complex numbers/matrices come into play, as well as using 2nd order differential equations to derive/solve Schrodinger's equation, bridging towards quantum mechanics etc. There'll be lab work for physical - the computational stuff counts towards lab, but you'll also be working on some physical experiments which include electronics/circuitry.

    Sorry if all of this seems a bit vague....it's been awhile since I graduated! I can't really say how the course was developed from A Level chemistry because I thought it was a huge step up and everything was quite different. They put you on a foundation course right at the beginning of the term so that everyone is on the same level as each other (since you all do exams from different examination boards), but even the stuff on the foundation course was pretty advanced. You'll find that university level chemistry requires much more logic than A level chemistry which revolves more around how much you can remember. It's a lot more application-based and finding innovation ways on solving the problems - so even if you're hopelessly stuck, if you're got good logic and you can remember some of the principles, then it's quite rewarding. Hope this helps!
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.