Chemistry is the science that explains the everyday world, and molecules are the pieces of the jigsaw that make up our reality. Chemistry makes possible many aspects of modern life – there’d be no digital world without the lithium battery, or advanced healthcare without synthetic chemistry.
The study of chemistry involves testing and refining existing ideas of how molecules and systems behave through exploration of the parts that we don’t understand. This can take many forms- creating new molecules and materials, measuring their properties, or conceiving theories that explain molecular behaviour and reactivity.
At Keble: 8
At the Faculty: 178
Past Admissions Feedback
Every year tutors prepare detailed feedback about the admissions process.
Links to the text from the last three years can be found below.
The Course at Keble
Keble has tutorial fellows in Inorganic and Organic Chemistry, three college lecturers in Physical Chemistry, and a Professorial Fellow with interests in supramolecular chemistry. We have one of the largest Chemistry intakes in the collegiate university, and are conveniently placed close to the Chemistry laboratories on South Parks Road.
The course itself comprises tutorials, which are taught in college, lectures, practical classes, and a research project that takes up the whole of the final year of the course. During the first three years of the course, a typical week in term time involves around ten lectures (each lasting fifty minutes), around twelve hours in teaching lab classes, and one or two tutorials. Preparing for these tutorials should take up the rest of your working week- for each tutorial topic, your tutors will provide worksheets containing points that you should be exploring, sample questions and suggested reading. Tutors will use your submitted work to explore your understanding of each topic, and will provide feedback and support in the tutorial itself.
The Chemistry section in Keble Library is well resourced, and provides chemistry undergraduates with copies of key general texts in each of the core areas of chemistry on long term loan.
You will have one tutorial a week in an aspect of core chemistry, moving through Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry on a three week cycle. In the first year you will also have weekly tutorial classes in Maths, and a number of tutorials in Physics.
You can choose to do chemistry projects during the summer vacation, and you can work with academics in Oxford or elsewhere to obtain a taste of research through a short project. We are fortunate to have a number of schemes that provide financial support for chemists at Keble working on such projects. The Walters-Kundert and Chemistry Research Bursaries are targeted towards Keble Chemists, while grants from the Keble Association can also be used in support of short projects.
In your fourth year you’ll work in association with a research group in Chemistry or a related discipline. You will be expected to work on a research problem through the year, and to prepare and submit a thesis that describes your studies and conclusions. As well as working in all of the core chemical disciplines, Keble students have often done projects on topics as diverse as Molecular Physiology and the History of Chemistry.