In a demanding world, our lives are challenged with the versatility of activities we have to engage in. As a result, we are prone to forget the role that chemistry plays in our lives. Chemistry is the study of matter, and it has played a significant role in many scientific advancements that we speak of today.
Developments in the field of smart and renewable materials, sustainable technology, alternate energy, agriculture and food science, pharmaceutical and cosmeceutical technology, nanotechnology, nuclear technology, etc. are outcomes of tailoring the properties of matter to suit the 21st Century.
Chemistry is, therefore, a central science that leads to many career opportunities in different sectors. Thus, molding students to become competitive candidates in academia and the industry by offering a strong Chemistry based learning platform and educational framework is imperative.
The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, incorporated by the Act of Parliament No.15 of 1972, is a Government-approved charity and a professional body for the general advancement of Chemical Sciences and the practice of Chemistry in Sri Lanka. It is the successor to the Chemical Society of Ceylon founded in 1941. Both the Chemical Society and Institute of Chemistry Ceylon are among the oldest scientific bodies in Sri Lanka. Under Section 25A of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978, the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon is recognized as a Degree Awarding Institute (with effect from March 11, 2020) to develop Higher Education.
The Institute is governed by an annually elected council. There is no dividend allocation, and the monetary gain is invested in the development of the Institute to popularize Chemistry in Sri Lanka. The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon has made great strides in the field of education, particularly in the area of tertiary education and in creating awareness of the importance of Chemistry in daily life and the development of the industry.
The Bachelor of Science Honors (BSc Hons) degree in Chemical Science is a four-year full-time program designed as per the Sri Lanka Quality Framework (SLQF) Level 6, to provide a comprehensive education in Chemistry to all our undergraduates. The main objectives of this degree program are (1) to bring economic benefits and sustainable development to the country through manufacturing and value addition and (2) to contribute to global research in chemical science.
In the first two years, students will be offered fundamental and intermediate courses related to organic, physical, inorganic, analytical, and biochemistry. Even though the essence of the program is Chemistry, subjects such as mathematics, biology, physics, electronics, and statistics are taught to support undergraduates to cope with the more advanced Chemistry concepts offered subsequently.
In the third and fourth years, advanced concepts in Chemistry, as well as several management subjects, will be offered. While following these compulsory course units, students have the opportunity to select industry-related optional courses as well. The optional subjects are customized to impart essential knowledge that will aid a Chemist to thrive in an industrial setting.
The BSc program includes a strong practical component that is designed to provide substantial hands-on experience in all areas of Chemistry during the first three years of the degree. Besides, in their final year, students will be allowed to choose from a research project and an internship, where they will receive an opportunity to apply the knowledge they have gained into practical situations.
We hope to lay the foundation for our undergraduates to be exposed to research methodologies and to gain an understanding of research techniques, which will assist them to improve their rational and critical thinking and proficiency as chemists.
The program is designed to include a subsidiary management component. We consider chemical science and management as a unique combination that will support students to develop into competent individuals in the competitive job market.
The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon is the only education fraternity offering this subject combination in South Asia. We are focused on producing Chemists equipped with sharp managerial skills and having a strong background in Chemistry.
The Institute of Chemistry Ceylon consists of a large pool of scholars and experts placed at esteemed state and non-state universities, and industries in Sri Lanka. Thus, students are benefited immensely by the cream of lecturers serving at the Institute, both as visiting lecturers and full-time internal academics. All course components are taught specifically by senior academics and professionals with specialized knowledge in the subject areas offered.
To qualify for enrollment in the BSc program, students should have obtained a minimum of three passes in either the biological or physical science subject streams at the GCE Advanced Level Examination or equivalent in the same sitting. Further to this, students will be required to sit for an aptitude test to satisfy the criteria for admission.
Moreover, the program is structured to encompass reasonable price schemes when considering the monetary allocation for chemicals and consumables.
In addition to the BSc Hons, the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon will continue to offer the Graduateship program in Chemistry, a professional qualification that has been offered by the Institute for nearly 50 years. The enrollment for 2021 intake is now open for both programs.
It is our sincere belief that all daring and avid young scientists out there will put their best foot forward and join us to take the Next Step. For further details, please visit http://www.ichemc.edu.lk/.
Dr. Sameera R Gunatilake – Senior Lecturer, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon