What is a General Degree ?

General degree is a 3-year degree. Students can select different subject paths. Selection to limited enrolment subject paths will be done by merit basis. Students are required take at least 90 total credits.

What is an Honours Degree ?

Honours degree is a 4-year degree with specific area of specialization. During the 4th academic year student has to carry out a research project on a given topic under the supervision of a senior faculty member of the department. Student will also write a thesis based on their research. Students are required to take at least 120 total credits of which at least 60% must come from the specializing subject.

What are the BSc Honours Degree programs offered by the Department of Chemistry?

Department of Chemistry offers two honours degree programs, `Honours Degree in Chemistry’ and `Honours Degree in Biochemistry’. Currently, up to 20 students are selected to follow the honours degree in Chemistry. Up to 6 students are admitted to the Biochemistry honours degree program.

What is the nature of the learning environment, student activities, and student-faculty interactions at the Department of Chemistry ?

The Department of Chemistry provides an interactive and positive learning environment for its students. Chemistry Department and Science Faculty provide an exceptional student support mechanism such as academic advisors, tutors, and counselors throughout the academic year. Department faculty members also offer 3h per week office hours to meet with students and discuss academic matters. Students who take Chemistry and Biochemistry subjects become office bearers of the Chemical Society and the Biochemistry Society. They organize various social, cultural, and charitable events and activities throughout the year. Department also promotes student-faculty interactions via meet & greet events, sports events, and get-togethers.

What are the career opportunities available for Chemistry/ Biochemistry Honours Degree graduates ?

Our honours degree graduates have an excellent track record of employment after graduation. Most of our graduates continue their academic career to pursue Doctoral Degrees in foreign universities. They usually receive assistantships or fellowships (financial assistance) from foreign universities during their postgraduate studies. Local industry and government institutions may also hire our graduates as chemists, biochemists, analysts, or research scientists.


I want to do a General Degree to qualify for a Chemistry Teaching position. How many Chemistry course credits should I take ?

Students who follow a general degree have to take at least 24 credits of Chemistry subject (CHEM) courses. Students take compulsory 10 course credits of Chemistry during the first year and compulsory 11 course credits of Chemistry during the second year. Students also take 1 compulsory Chemistry course credit during their third year. General degree students cover compulsory 22 Chemistry course credits. Therefore, you have to take additional 2 credits from optional Chemistry courses to meet 24 credit requirement.

How can I get information about Chemistry and Biochemistry course units and syllabus?

University of Kelaniya Faculty of Science Student Handbook provides information about Chemistry and Biochemistry course units and their course codes. However, you have to visit the department of Chemistry website to see detailed information about the course content/syllabus. Students can also talk with Chief Student Advisors or Subject Advisors to get more information.

What is the lectures attendance policy ?

Students are strongly advised to attend all lectures and actively participate in academic activities. Department will mark their attendance during Level 1 and Level 2 course lectures and award up to 10% marks for attendance for each course. If your attendance falls below 50%, you will not receive any marks for attendance. Students are required to participate in laboratory practical sessions regularly. If attendance for a laboratory practical is below 80%, the highest grade a student can receive is a C pass. If attendance for a practical falls below 50%, D is the highest grade.

Is there a compulsory Chemistry subject course that the credits are not counted for GPA calculation ?

Yes. CHEM 11511 `Calculations in Chemistry’ course is compulsory for Biological Science students. This course is optional for Physical Science students who take Chemistry subjects. This is also optional for students who follow Environmental Conservation and Management (ENCM). Auditing of this cause is possible for Physical Science and ENCM students. However, course credit is not counted for GPA calculation.  

Does the Department of Chemistry offer Honours Degrees with direct intake ?

No. The department of Chemistry does not offer honours degrees with direct intake. Students are first admitted to Biological Science or Physical Science BSc degree program. At the end of the second academic year, students are selected by merit basis to follow BSc honours degrees.

I am a new incoming student and I want to do a Honours Degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry in the future. What are the subject courses I should take during the first semester of the first year?

Students in the Biological Science and Physical Science streams are required to take all compulsory CHEM courses offered by the department of Chemistry during the first year first semester. Compulsory Chemistry courses are listed in the Faculty of Science Student Handbook. If a student wants to be considered for Biochemistry honours degree, he/she must also take BIOL11532 during the first year first semester. Because Biochemistry subject (BIOC) has limited enrolment capacity, students with best grades for BIOL11532 will be selected to follow Biochemistry subject path. Students who wish to follow Biochemistry honours degree must take Biochemistry courses offered from first year second semester until the end of second year.  At the end of the second academic year, students are selected to follow honours degrees.

What are the subject paths that will automatically consider me for a Chemistry or Biochemistry Honours Degree ?

Students who take any subject path that has Chemistry as a compulsory subject will be considered for Chemistry honours degree. Students who take a subject path that has Chemistry and Biochemistry as compulsory subjects will be considered for both Biochemistry honours degree and Chemistry honours degree. 

How can I find information about minimum requirements for applying BSc Honours Degrees at the Department of Chemistry?

Current students are strongly encouraged to refer the University of Kelaniya Faculty of Science Student Handbook and talk with their Academic Advisor to understand minimum requirements. Students who have met minimum requirements can apply for honours degree in Chemistry and/or honours degree in Biochemistry. However, having minimum requirements does not guarantee a position in the BSc honours degree program, because students are selected on the merit basis in a highly competitive environment.                                             

If I fail a course unit at level 4, can I repeat it and improve my grade ?

Yes. However, to get a Class, you need to complete degree requirements within 4 academic years.

Does the Department of Chemistry offer Postgraduate Degrees ?

Yes. The department of Chemistry offers MSc degree in Industrial and Environmental Chemistry. Information about the eligibility, application deadline, and course coordinator contact information can be obtained from the Faculty of Graduate Studies website. MPhil and PhD degree research projects are offered by the faculty members of the department of Chemistry, through the faculty of graduate studies.

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