King’s chemistry department rises again

King’s College London has re-opened its chemistry department eight years after concluding that it was unsustainable.

September 2, 2011

The high-profile closure of the department in 2003 occurred amid what is described on the new departmental website as “a national climate of declining student numbers”, and was preceded by a mass exodus by chemists to other institutions.

However, King’s still has around 30 chemists working in other departments, such as forensic science and biochemistry.

Chris Mottershead, vice-principal for research and innovation at King’s, said the restoration of the chemistry department reflected a sense that the college’s chemists needed an “identity” and to feel they were valued by the institution in their own right.

It also reflected the fact that the number of students who wanted to study chemistry had increased in recent years.

But Mr Mottershead emphasised that the institution would not be “trying to do chemistry as we did previously”.

Its new four-year undergraduate course in chemistry with biomedicine, which will begin in 2012, would be “a proper accredited chemistry degree but one very focused on the careers [in the medical field] people would have afterwards”.

He also emphasised that the impetus for the course had come from the academics themselves, who “wanted to teach chemistry and think chemistry is an important thing to be taught”.

Chemists from all over King’s will be involved in teaching the course, but the college will also recruit another five chemists to work in the new department’s physical “hub”.

“The [existing] research will stay where it is being applied at the moment,” Mr Mottershead said. “But we have to have a physical centre as well or the whole thing will be too difficult to run.”

paul.jump@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

John McEnroe arguing with umpire. Tennis

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman explain how to negotiate your annual performance and development review

But the highest value UK spin-out companies mainly come from research-intensives, latest figures show