BSc(Hons) - undergraduate degrees - Chemistry - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Bachelor of Science with Honours Degree BSc(Hons) in Chemistry

The University of Canterbury BSc (Hons) (Bachelor of Science with Honours) degree is a one-year, 400-level, postgraduate course that can be taken by high-achieving students as an advanced degree in its own right or as an accelerated route to a research degree. Entry into this programme is normally preceded by having qualified for the award of BSc with a high grade-point average, and it requires the approval of the Head of Department and the Dean of Science. Canterbury BSc(Hons) graduates are highly regarded nationally and internationally, and most progress directly to PhD studies, either in New Zealand or overseas. They are in demand by employers of scientist and many eventually find themselves in academic or research positions in New Zealand or overseas.

Chemistry Honours Programme

The Department of Chemistry Honours Programme is a stimulating course with a complementary mix of theory and research. The group quickly becomes an intergral part of the department.

The Chemistry Honours Programme normally requires a mix of the courses listed below, but variations can be negotiated with the Director of Postgraduate Studies:

If you wish to be considered for entry into this programme, or want more information, you should contact the Director of Postgraduate Studies as early as possible in you university career.

  CHEM321 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry: From Structure to Function 30 points Whole Year
  CHEM322 Organic Chemistry 30 points Whole Year
  CHEM324 Analytical and Environmental Chemistry 30 points Whole Year
  CHEM325 Biological Chemistry 30 points Whole Year
  CHEM333 Materials and Interactions 15 points Semester
  CHEM343 Advances in Chemical Technology 15 points Semester
  CHEM381 Advanced Synthetic Techniques 15 points Semester
  CHEM382 Instrumental Methods 15 points Semester
  Four courses CHEM421-424 plus 4x30 points Whole Year
  CHEM480 Research Project 30 points Whole Year


Normal entry into the Chemistry Honours Programme

The Director of Postgraduate Studies is happy to discuss details of entry requirements, but, as a general guide, a student should look to have:

  • 120 or more points, from 100-level study with
  • An average grade of B+ or better, and
  • Strong passes (A- or better) in CHEM111 and CHEM112, and
  • Strong passes in 200 level Chemistry

Students seeking to join the Honours Programme must gain approval from the Director of Postgraduate Studies for an appropriate course of study. The selection of advanced-level subsidiary subjects is important; most students take courses in Mathematics, Biochemistry, Biology, Physics or Geology. This still leaves the opportunity to pursue other interests through subjects taken at 100-level or above.

Direct entry into the Chemistry Honours Programme

Students with outstanding NCEA Level 3 results may be permitted to enter directly into 200-level study without having to complete 100-level the Chemistry courses. In a period of two years , direct-entry students are required to achieve a minimum 240 points (including 200-level and the 300-level CHEM courses listed above) after which they transfer directly to a BSc(Hons), which they can therefore complete in three years, rather than four.

To ensure that students are not disadvantaged by skipping the first year of university, the criteria for direct-entry are stringent – a successful candidate must have:

  • A high level of attainment in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry, and
  • Comparable achievement in related subjects such as Physics, Mathematics and Biology.

400-level Honours Courses

The 400-level year of a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry normally involves four advanced-level lecture courses, although variations can be negotiated with the Director of Postgraduate Studies It also includes CHEM480, an individual research project carried out under the guidance of a member of the academic staff. These projects are the students first exposure to independent scientific research; they are a significant part of the department's research programme and the results are often published in international research journals.

On the basis of the results obtained in this year, the student is awarded a “class of Honours”. Those who are awarded a BSc (Hons) degree with first- or second-class Honours can proceed directly to PhD studies without having to complete an MSc qualification.

  • Phone: +64 3 364 2100
    Fax: +64 3 364 2110
  • Department of Chemistry
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800, Christchurch
    New Zealand
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