Does anyone have any knowledge or experience on where are the best places to go for a degree in chemistry in the UK, excluding the obvious (Oxbridge/Imperial College), with good reputation for quality and resources. Does Trinity College Dublin have a good reputation for chemistry? Also, an idea of what main areas of topic to expect from the course (for example, I have heard 'hybridization' will be a point of focus) and any books or other resources that could be recommended for further research and development in the area. Please bare in mind that I am in AS, so I have a lot to learn. Similarly, I am doing an EPQ this year, this is the 'Extended Project Qualification' which is in addition to A Levels, and I am planning on doing it around chemistry, which will apply largely to the degree. I want to keep the argument broad, in which it applies to any/most aspects of chemistry, such as 'the interaction between molecules and how these are affected'. However, I am still unaware of the areas to look at. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
If the course is reasonable balanced (ie organic, inorganic, physical) I wouldn't worry too much about the exact content. Employers who are that specific tend to only recruit from specific places. Is there something very specific you want to end up doing? In my case, I've spent 10 years learning about one minor part of Chem which appears in practically no chemistry course. We expect to take people on with proof of ability in chemistry, and let them learn the specifics of out business. We would assume any established Uni who does Chemistry would be OK. Thinking through recent starters, Durham, Bath, Sheffield and Cardiff feature, along with Oxford and Cambridge.
The Guardian produced a list of top universities for certain courses. You could google that. I would also suggest that you aim for the best university possible given your predicted results. Employers focus much more on the quality of the university you went to rather than the quality of the course. Trinity College for example does have a good reputation as a university.
The other thing to consider is where you would like to study. No use doing a degree anywhere if you don't like the place you are living in. If you love city life then don't apply to Bangor. Likewise if your hobby is mountaineering then don't apply to East Anglia.
Personally I would look at solid redbricks such as Birmingham or Manchester as well as Durham and University College London. Have you also considered chemical engineering? Very strong employment prospects with a course like that. Good luck!
There are several sources of info on which are the "best" degree courses in the UK. One of the most useful is Unistats where you can compare the statistical info of different courses unistats.direct.gov.uk/searchresults/
What do you want to do with your degree? This makes a big difference to the 'best' place to study. Most RG universities are very strong in organic chemistry for example, but weak in analytical chemistry except Manchester, which has some fantastic analytical chemists on their staff. Strathclyde also has a good reputation for analytical chemistry. Look at the research profiles of staff and this will help inform you about the focus of course content. I know a few members of staff at UCD, but not aware of its reputation in general for chemistry.
Don't do a "forensic science" degree and do make sure your degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (and not just that it will give you associate member status, which is with nothing).