Chemistry is involved in the understanding of processes, and the production of molecules and materials essential to modern life. Studying chemistry will help you understand and appreciate the world in which you live. Advances in chemistry have had an enormous influence on our modern lifestyle and standard of living. Inventions such as semiconductors, polymers, pharmaceuticals, and advanced materials of all kinds are based on chemical science. Future developments and advances in our understanding of these areas will enrich our lives and provide employment opportunities for graduates who have a sound understanding of the chemistry involved.

Areas of study

Chemistry is the science of molecules. It deals with molecular structure and synthesis, interactions between molecules, chemical reactions, and theoretical models that explain molecular behaviour. Since chemistry aims to understand the structure and properties of matter in the world around us, it is a central science, with impacts on fields as diverse as biology, geology, environmental studies, medicine and engineering.

You can study Chemistry in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Studying chemistry will help you to develop the ability to think logically, analyse complex systems, communicate clearly, and be creative, numerate and computer-literate. You’ll gain experience in laboratory skills, experimental design, synthesis, chemical analysis, quantitative measurements, chemical safety, advanced instrumentation, data processing and computer modelling.

Career opportunities

Career opportunities for chemistry graduates are many and varied. In industry you might be employed in applied research and development, chemical analysis, quality control, pollution control, environmental monitoring, marketing or management. Some of the industries that employ chemists are food processing, paper manufacturing, winemaking and brewing, paints, plastics, ceramics, metals, pharmaceuticals, agricultural products and fertilisers. Chemistry graduates also work in Crown Research Institutes, medical and forensic laboratories, public bodies such as regional authorities, and in the teaching profession in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Many graduates with higher degrees in chemistry have made successful careers in basic or applied research.

More information

For more information see Chemistry.