School of Natural and Environmental Sciences


Course: Chemistry (with Industrial Training Year)  MChem Honours

Choosing Newcastle

I chose to study Chemistry at Newcastle because of its reputation, the university is part of the Russell Group, a group of leading universities committed to maintaining the very best research, teaching and learning experiences.

As I’m a local lad, my sixth form often visited Newcastle University. I was able to see how modern and well equipped the laboratory facilities were and gauge a better understanding of how the course would be.

After 4 years of studying, I can say it was a great choice, the staff are very knowledgeable, helpful and welcomed feedback on ways of how to improve the teaching.

About your course

As part of my degree, my third year was spent in industry as a placement student, at the nuclear reprocessing site Sellafield. I studied two distance modules while working in full time in exciting world class facilities.

 I felt that the set of social skills I learned while on placement benefitted myself in a way which I wouldn’t otherwise be able to spend my entire degree in-house. Because of the placement I now feel as prepared as I can be to adapt from student to working life.

Being a student

It’s a great city! People are very friendly and there’s plenty in the area to do. Newcastle is well-known for its nightlife which as a student is a quite a good thing.

Three ‘top tips’

  • Keep on top of your work – Chemistry is a hard but rewarding degree, it’s far too easy to put off doing work, but try to read ahead and keep up. The lecturers are very helpful and there are tutorials aimed at helping your understanding of the topics covered in a class-like environment.
  • Go on placement – You don’t even have to a full year, although I recommend that you do. Many companies take on students in the summer months, you get paid and learn some very valuable skills which stand out on future job applications. 
  • Embrace it – make the most of your time here, whether it’s visiting the Northumberland coast, sticking to the best city in the world or getting involved in as much as you can in university, do it!