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Undergraduate research

Student research opportunities are integrated into Chemistry degree programmes at all levels.

In year 1 you will undertake an open-ended investigations as part of the teaching lab programme. You will be supported in every step of this experience and will receive the necessary fundamental lab skills training. Outside of lab programme your modules contain skills components that will help advance your academic and industry research skills.

In year 2 your lab programme will include numerous research-based experiments and more scope for exploring what interests you about Chemistry the most. This involves real world context and aspects of interdisciplinarity to help you connect and apply your learning to solving pressing global challenges.

In year 3, lab experiments will be open ended in nature and lead you into new aspects of real-world scientific research such as experimental design and planning. You will be introduced to a problem (e.g., can we build a dye-sensitised solar cell using the natural dyes extracted from berries, and how can we maximise device performance?), and design your very own research mini-project and an experiment capable of solving this problem.

And finally, in year 4 you will put all of your training into practice and join Chemistry's departmental research culture, by undertaking a 60 CAT project within a research group supervised by a member of academic staff.

Studying Chemistry at Warwick is an opportunity to engage with the departmental research culture and work on one of the research themes in Chemistry at Warwick. As part of this research experience students get to work with our state of the art equipment. The instrumental and workshop facilities are superb, supervised by expert research and technical staff.

There is a range of placement opportunities available to both BSc and MChem students. To find out more about placements, our industry and overseas university partners visit Placements & Internships and Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS) pages.

Check out Warwick's Student Research Hub for more University wide opportunities and funding.

If you have any questions, please speak to your personal tutor or contact Director of Student Experience, Dr Bo Kelestyn.

Student Impact

There are plenty of opportunities for students to shape their own learning through independent research, as well as contribute towards ongoing departmental research in a similar way to our Doctoral Researchers and Research Fellows.

Examples of past MChem Projects that led to publication include:


Image of the scanning tunnelling microscope Oscar shares the following about his research and publication experience:

Working on my fourth-year research project was hugely rewarding, with the responsibility to work on impactful research alongside collaborators from other universities being a new, but ultimately very enjoyable experience. It was also exciting to gain knowledge of state-of-the-art equipment not previously used in my degree. Ending the year with a publication was a nice culmination of our work as a research group, knowing that the polymers we studied will have an impact on the research field going forward, with the insight gained helping chemists to develop new materials


Summer Projects

Aside from international and industrial placements, we encourage all students to take part in paid research internships through the Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (URSS). These projects are entirely optional taken in the summer holiday, provide a wonderful student research experience.


    Image of the scanning tunnelling microscope Talking about his URSS project experience, Tom Chua says:

    My URSS project on creating different biosynthetic pathways using identified halogenase enzymes in E. coli has been extremely fun and rewarding. I really enjoyed learning all the new chemical and biological techniques, such as growing microbial cell cultures which I didn't get to experience during my undergraduate studies. This experience has drastically improved my confidence and independence within the lab which will benefit my future career in research.

    I would encourage anyone who is thinking of doing further research to do a URSS project as this will give you a real insight into what academic research is like.

    Read about more amazing Chemistry URSS Summer Projects here


    Student Publications

    Student research as part of BSc, MChem and URSS in the department can lead to publications. This is an extremely valuable addition to any student's CV wishing to pursue further research or industrial career in the field. We encourage all students to participate in International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR), which takes place every year in September; British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) with funds available to support your participation; and the Reinvention: International Journal of Undergraduate Research.


    Grace MapstoneICUR 2019 presenter Grace Mapstone says the following about her experience:

    Presenting at ICUR was a great opportunity to showcase the research I had done through URSS. As the presentation is for an interdisciplinary audience, it forces you to take a step back and really understand the topic to ensure you can present in a way that is accessible to everyone. Taking part in Compass (a seminar program leading up to the conference) allowed me to connect with other people presenting from all around the world and learn from their experiences and research.



    BCUR 2021 presenter Ron Cvek says the following about his experience:

    BCUR was a great experience for me, I was able to learn about a wide variety of interesting research across different fields as well as get insight into the process of submitting research and writing an effective abstract. I think it would be an invaluable opportunity for anyone looking to go into further education or pursue a scientific career.

    ChemSoc

    Warwick ChemSoc’s very own Outreach team delivers fun science demonstrations and workshops to schools and youth clubs in the local community. Through active participation, this student-led voluntary project aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and provides a taste of what STEM subjects have to offer. Whether they’re exploring states of matter through dry ice, constructing lemon batteries to make an LED light up, or even providing talks on life at The University studying Chemistry, the volunteers have such a positive impact. The programme comprises a range of activities and talks to suit all ages, from primary to sixth form, with a focus on enhancing learning opportunities!

    ChemSoc organises an Annual Conference On Research in Natural Sciences (ACORNS) aimed at encouraging sixth formers to explore the sciences. The event ultimately aims to help students decide whether further study in a science would be in their best interests. A series of lectures presented by academics alongside the chance to engage with current students is designed to provide a snapshot of life at university. Alumni will be available to talk to sixth formers about their experience of completing a science degree as well as their possible career prospectives.

    Student research experience

    Chemistry's student bloggers frequently post about their experience and advice about engaging in student research opportunities as well as student life in the department and at Warwick more broadly. Find out more about Manpreet's fascination with her polymer URSS project and get an insight into what Shaumica' first week of computational URSS experience was like.