We normally accept around six undergraduates into each year of the course.
Brasenose chemists (in common with students at other colleges) study four separate subjects during their first year: Organic Chemistry with Biological Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry; Physical Chemistry with Physics; and Mathematics. In the second year, students concentrate on the three main branches of chemistry, and may undertake a short research project in one of the laboratories or study a supplementary subject chosen from a diverse range currently: Quantum Chemistry; Aromatic, Heterocyclic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Chemical Crystallography; Chemical Pharmacology; Modern Languages; History and Philosophy of Science). In the third year, students study more advanced aspects of core Inorganic, Organic, and Physical Chemistry; in addition, the department offers 15 Advanced Options courses that cover selected aspects of Chemistry to graduate/research level. Final examinations are taken in two parts, Part IA at the end of the second year and Part IB at the end of the third year. The whole of the fourth year (Part II) is spent undertaking a research project supervised by one of the academic staff and writing a short thesis to summarise the results. For most students, this year is the highlight of the course; working as part of a research group on a new problem is both academically and socially very rewarding.
The College tutors for Chemistry are Professor Jeremy Robertson, Professor Mark Wilson and Dr Vladimir Kuznetsov. Professor Robertson works on natural product synthesis and synthetic methodology, aiming to discover new molecular transformations and gain deeper understanding of reactivity and selectivity. Professor Wilson develops and applies models which help understand complex phenomena such as crystallisation, vitrification, polyamorphism and nanoparticle self-assembly. Dr Kuznetsov is the supervisor of the Inorganic Chemistry Teaching Laboratory.
The tutors strive hard to ensure that students (who are seen in groups of two or three) understand each topic and, being active research chemists, can give an insight into new developments in chemistry as they happen. The tutorials themselves give students the chance to receive expert guidance in areas of the subject they find difficult and to discover more about a subject than may be included in chemistry textbooks and lectures.
Employers recognise the breadth of the Oxford course, and the value of the Part II year in particular; as a result, Brasenose chemistry graduates are sought-after for entry into research (either for doctorates or within the chemical industry) or for professional positions within finance, management, and law. More recently, opportunities have arisen within the high technology industry and IT professions. For more information about Chemistry in general, visit the Departmental website. Details of tutors' research are also available there.