This certificate has one stage, comprising 90 credits.
You’ll study a 60-credit module covering essential concepts in chemistry and attend a lab school. You’ll also study a further 30-credit chemistry module.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 17 March 2021.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. This qualification uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying mainly online material. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- undertaking practical work using campus-based and online laboratories
- working with specialist reading material such as scientific journals
- using specialist software
- working in a group with other students
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- finding external/third party material online.
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.
Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding.
- Cognitive skills.
- Practical and professional skills.
- Key skills.
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
Read the detailed learning outcomes here
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Professional Certificate in Chemistry.
Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
- UK bachelors degree (or equivalent) in a STEM subject, or
- A level Chemistry at Grade C or above (or equivalent).
Check you’re ready for Chemistry: essential concepts (S215), your first module in this certificate.
How much time do I need?
- Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
- This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Skills for career development
This certificate will provide you with a solid foundation in chemistry and an appreciation of the broad scope of the subject which touches all aspects of our lives. The experimental nature of chemistry is emphasised throughout the qualification.
This certificate is particularly useful if you are required to teach secondary school chemistry, but your background is in another science discipline, or if you’re thinking about training to be a chemistry teacher.
Exploring your options
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond this qualification):
- science teacher
- science technical writer
- analytical scientist
- forensic scientist
- food technologist
- pharmaceutical development scientist
- science communicator
- environmental consultant
- patent attorney.