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3.3.3.1    Chemistry

How can fish and other aquatic life survive when water freezes in winter? What are the components of the air you breathe in? Which has greater global warming potential methane or carbon dioxide? What happens when lightning streaks through the atmosphere? What is done to prevent barnacles from growing on the hulls of ships and what are the environmental consequences of this action? Have you ever wondered about questions like these? Chemistry supplies answers to these and countless other questions, and by its very nature, occupies a central position among the sciences. Our lives have benefited enormously from Chemistry. It is in our own interest, as literate citizens and consumers, to understand the far-reaching effects, whether positive or negative, that Chemistry has on our lives and to be able to make informed decisions about the role Chemistry has to play in our world. It is not surprising for topics in Chemistry to range from the mathematical such as Quantum Chemistry to the biological such as Bioactive Molecules.

Programme Structure & Curriculum Rationale

Aside from the foundational and introductory modules at Level-1000, the curriculum is built upon the following major branches of a chemistry education:

  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Together with the spectroscopic applications they form the bulk of Level-2000 modules and lay out the important concepts of bonding, intramolecular and intermolecular interactions and transformations. Students are required to read all of these modules to obtain a solid foundation for more advanced topics in the latter stages of the course, such as:

  • Instrument Analysis
  • Biomolecules
  • Transition Metal Chemistry
  • Organic Reaction Mechanisms
  • Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Thermodynamics

The course has been planned to incorporate maximum flexibility. The student can select predominantly from modules which provide a more detailed coverage of the area of focus, or opt for a larger proportion of modules which provide broadening into other chemical disciplines relevant to the industry and research.

Students who complete the BSc (Hons) Degree Programme and satisfy specific requirements have an option to file for graduation with specialisation in one of the following areas:

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Environment and Energy

Lecturers will impart knowledge gained from their own rich research experience in several frontier areas including Chemistry of Interfaces, Surface Chemistry, Asymmetric Synthesis, Specialty Polymers, Biomaterials, Drug Design, Supramolecular Chemistry, Computational Quantum Chemistry, Combinatorial Chemistry, Nanomaterials and various Modern Analytical Techniques in order to provide a stimulating learning environment for the students.

In addition to formal lectures, learning is also achieved through laboratory modules in order that the basis of all scientific knowledge on proper experimentation is fully appreciated. These include Advanced Experiments in Inorganic, Organic, Analytical and Physical Chemistry. The emphasis of this programme is on a hands-on problem-solving approach to Chemistry, drawing on knowledge gained during the lectures and tutorials, to obtain a critical evaluation and a high standard of presentation of experimental work, to gain proficiency in the use of advanced analytical instruments available in the Department and to attain familiarity with aspects of experimental design and laboratory safety.

Career Prospects

Chemistry students have the best possible combination of numerical and literal credentials that a prospective employer looks for. Not only are chemistry-related jobs open to students, but those at first sight not even remotely resembling chemistry are there for the taking; banking and finance, business, public relations, sales, engineering, administration, management, writing and journalism, and even politics.

The Department’s main mission is to train the vital human resource needed for the growth of the national economy. Our graduates, both generalists as well as specialists, are found in the private and public sectors. They can be found working in a myriad of jobs at all levels within the chemical, petrochemical, food, beverage, biomedical, pharmaceutical and electronics industries. Our graduates also serve in government and quasi-government organisations, as well as in our schools and junior colleges.

Graduates with advanced degrees also find ready employment in Singapore. Increasingly, R&D positions are becoming available in the universities, polytechnics, research institutes and industry.

Graduation Requirements

To be awarded a BSc or BSc (Hons) with a primary major in Chemistry, candidates must satisfy the following:

I. BSc in Chemistry

LEVEL

BSc IN CHEMISTRY

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

CUMULATIVE MCS
1000 CM1111     Inorganic Chemistry 1 

CM1121     Organic Chemistry 1

CM1131     Physical Chemistry 1

CM1191     Experiments in Chemistry 1

MA1421     Basic Applied Mathematics for Sciences or

MA1102R   Calculus

LSM1401     Fundamentals of Biochemistry or equivalent

24
2000 CM2101     Physical Chemistry 2 

CM2111     Inorganic Chemistry 2

CM2121     Organic Chemistry 2

CM2191     Experiments in Chemistry 2

CM2192     Experiments in Chemistry 3

44
3000 CM3291     Advanced Experiments in Inorganic and Organic Chemistry 

CM3292     Advanced Experiments in Analytical and Physical Chemistry

*Any other three (3) CM elective modules from Level-3000a (excluding CM3289)#.

64

*Students are allowed to replace 4MCs of Level-3000 CM elective modules with Level-4000 CM prefixed modules.

#UROPS CM3288 can be counted as 4 MC. However, if two semesters work of UROPS is completed, CM3289 is not counted.

a Please refer to the Department of Chemistry webpage at http://www.chemistry.nus.edu.sg/education/undergrads/PrimaryMajor/chemistry.htm for the list of Level 3 CM modules

II. BSc (Hons) in Chemistry (No Specialisation)

LEVEL

BSc (HONS) IN CHEMISTRY

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS

CUMULATIVE MCS
1000 CM1131  Physical Chemistry 1 

CM1111  Inorganic Chemistry 1

CM1121  Organic Chemistry 1

CM1191 Experiments in Chemistry 1

MA1421 Basic Applied Mathematics for Sciences or

MA1102R Calculus

LSM1401 Fundamentals of Biochemistry or equivalent

24
2000 CM2101 Physical Chemistry 2 

CM2111 Inorganic Chemistry 2

CM2121 Organic Chemistry 2

CM2191 Experiments in Chemistry 2

CM2192 Experiments in Chemistry 3

44
3000 CM3291 Advanced Experiments in Inorganic and Organic Chemistry 

CM3292 Advanced Experiments in Analytical and Physical Chemistry

52
3000/4000 Any seven (7) CM modules (or specified non-CM modules) at Level 3000 or 4000 with at least four such modules at Level 4000.a,b 80
4000 CM4199A Honours Project in Chemistry (16 MCs) 

OR

CM4299 Applied Project in Chemistry (16 MCs)

96

 

a Students may take up to one level 5000 module in place of a Level 4000 module.

b Please refer to the Department of Chemistry webpage at http://www.chemistry.nus.edu.sg/education/undergrads/PrimaryMajor/chemistry.htm for the list of Levels 3 and 4 CM modules

 

To be awarded a BSc (Hons) with Specialisation in Chemistry (in either Materials Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry or Environment and Energy), candidates must satisfy the following:

Level

BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with Specialisation

Minimum Requirements

Cumulative MCs
1000 Identical to BSc (Hons) in Chemistry 24
2000 Identical to BSc (Hons) in Chemistry 44
3000 CM3291 Advanced Experiments in Inorganic and Organic Chemistry 

CM3292 Advanced Experiments in Analytical and Physical Chemistry

52
3000/4000
  1. If CM4199A Honours Project in Chemistry is in area of Specialisation, any seven (7) CM modules (or specified non-CM modules) at Level 3000 or 4000 with at least four (4) such modules at Level 4000a and at least four (4) such modules in area of Specialisation;b,c  

Note: Specialisation Requirement is made up of at least four modules or 16MC from Level 3000 or 4000 CM modules in area of specialization plus 8MC from CM4199A, totaling at least 24MC.

OR

2. If CM4199A Honours Project in Chemistry is not in area of Specialisation or CM4299 Applied Project in Chemistry is read, any seven (7) CM modules at Level 3000 or 4000 with at least four (4) such modules at Level 4000a and at least six (6) such modules in area of SpecialisationC;

Note: Specialisation requirement is made up of at least six modules or 24MC selected from Level 3000 or 4000 CM modules in area of specialization.

80
4000 CM4199A Honours Project in Chemistry (16 MCs) 

OR

CM4299 Applied Project in Chemistry (16 MCs)

96

aStudents may take up to one level 5000 module in place of a Level 4000 module

b8 MCs of the Honours Project in Chemistry (CM4199A, 16 MCs) could be counted toward Specialisation requirement.

c Please refer to the Department of Chemistry webpage at http://www.chemistry.nus.edu.sg/education/undergrads/PrimaryMajor/chemistry.htm for the list of modules in each area of specialisation.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS BSc BSc (Hons) BSc (Hons) WITH SPECIALISATION
University Requirements 20 MCs 20 MCs 20MCs
Faculty Requirements 4 MCs* 8 MCs 8 MCs*
Major Requirements 64 MCs 96 MCs 96 MCs
Unrestricted Elective Modules 32 MCs 36 MCs 36 MCs
Total 120 MCs 160 MCs 160 MCs

* Faculty requirements of 12 MCs and 16 MCs required for the BSc and BSc (Hons) programmes respectively are partially fulfilled through the reading of MA1421 and LSM1401 within the major.

Students undertaking the BSc programme are required to fulfil the remaining 4 MCs of Faculty requirements from any oneof the following subject groups: Computing Sciences, Physical Sciences and ‘Multidisciplinary & Interdisciplinary Sciences’; but not from the following subject groups: Chemical Science, Life Sciences, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

Students undertaking the BSc (Hons) programme are required to fulfil the remaining 8 MCs of Faculty requirements as such:

  1. 4 MCs from any one of the following subject groups: Computing Sciences, Physical Sciences and Multidisciplinary & Interdisciplinary Sciences; but not from the following subject groups: Chemical Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences
  2. 4 MCs of Non-CM prefixed module from any subject group