The course

UCAS code
Up to 5 years
Delivery type



Students can experience at first hand US education, which is a system based upon the Scottish model, by spending the fourth year of the programme at one of our partner universities in the USA. Accommodation is guaranteed in the US on safe and secure campuses. Students will be chemistry graduates who have broadened their experience by being fully immersed in the US university system and culture for a year.


Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for partially meeting the academic criteria for Chartered Chemist (CChem).

Course content

   Detailed course guide
Year 1

Students gain a good understanding of the fundamental principles of Chemistry, and are introduced to lab skills illustrating various experimental techniques. Mathematics and an optional subject are also studied.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:34%
  • Independent study:66%
  • Placement:0%


  • Written:57%
  • Practical:6%
  • Coursework:37%
Year 2

Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry lectures continue, with emphasis on the relationship between theoretical principles and experimental measurements. An optional subject, either the same or a different one from that chosen in Level 1, is also studied.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:35%
  • Independent study:65%
  • Placement:0%


  • Written:66%
  • Practical:20%
  • Coursework:14%
Year 3

Advanced Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry courses are studied. Communication and team working skills are developed, and laboratory work becomes more advanced.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:37%
  • Independent study:63%
  • Placement:0%


  • Written:66%
  • Practical:15%
  • Coursework:19%
Year 4

Research is undertaken at a partner US Chemistry Department. Students have a local supervisor and are visited by Heriot-Watt Chemistry staff. There are no US tuition fees to pay. Written and oral reports are presented.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:6%
  • Independent study:19%
  • Placement:75%


  • Written:15%
  • Practical:38%
  • Coursework:47%
Year 5

Courses are taken in advanced Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry at the research level, plus specialist Chemistry courses and a short research project.

Learning and teaching

  • Scheduled learning:53%
  • Independent study:47%
  • Placement:0%


  • Written:21%
  • Practical:31%
  • Coursework:48%

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