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Studying chemistry degree guide
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Studying chemistry degree guide

Chemistry involves the composition, structure and properties of substances – it’s all about how different things react with each other, themselves and their surroundings and what the results of those reactions are.

Safeera Sarjoo
by Safeera Sarjoo
Last Updated:
02 Dec 2021
chemistry

Whether or not you realise it, chemistry happens all around us all the time. Studying chemistry will help you understand these reactions and how they impact the world around us. If you get your kicks from science and maths, a degree in chemistry could be perfect for you.

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What do you need to apply for a chemistry degree?


Average entry requirements for chemistry are:

  • UCAS points: 136 
  • A-levels: AAB 
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAB
  • BTEC Nationals: DD
  • International Baccalaureate: 34 

Please be aware that these are average entry requirements and may change depending on the course and institution you select. Always confirm this for the particular university/course you're interested in. 

All universities will ask for an A-level (or equivalent) in chemistry and you’ll often need a second A-level in either science or maths. 

Read more about chemistry entry requirements

Find out how to apply to uni through UCAS.  

Learn how to write a winning personal statement.  

What are your study options for chemistry? 


Degrees in chemistry include:

  • BSc Chemistry 
  • BA Natural Sciences 
  • MSc Chemistry with Physics
  • Atomic Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry 

What topics will you study on a chemistry degree? 


Common modules for chemistry include:

  • Quantum mechanics
  • Kinetics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Orbital theory
  • Transition metal chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Computational chemistry

“The most enjoyable aspect of my course has to be the advanced laboratory module. You get to work with an experienced academic to investigate and research a topic that interests you.” – James, chemistry graduate at University of East Anglia

What skills will you learn studying a chemistry degree?


Studying a chemistry degree will help you gain industry-specific skills like:

  • Laboratory work
  • Analysis of scientific data
  • Working with chemicals
  • Knowledge of scientific specialities

More general, transferable skills you’ll pick up include:

  • Logical thinking
  • Communication and presentation 
  • Creativity
  • Data handling and analysis
  • Research

What professional accreditations can you get with a chemistry degree?


Several professional organisations, like the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), offer specialised positions for chemistry graduates.

What jobs can you get with a chemistry degree?


Chemistry degrees are well known for giving strong job prospects. Potential job areas include:

  • Analytical chemistry 
  • Engineering 
  • Healthcare research 
  • Forensic science 
  • Pharmacology
  • Academia 

Which unis rank well for chemistry? 


Check out the latest ranking of unis offering chemistry courses by the Complete University Guide

How long does a chemistry course last? 


A chemistry degree usually takes three years to study. However, many unis will give the option of a sandwich year (a year spent working in industry), which will increase your course to four years. 

How will you be assessed when studying chemistry? 


Chemistry courses usually involve assessment through:

  • Written exams 
  • Practical tests
  • Coursework
  • Assessed lab work
  • Presentations 

What postgraduate opportunities are there for chemistry? 


Your options for further study include:

  • MChem Advanced Chemical Sciences 
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Drug Design and Discovery

What alternatives are there to a chemistry degree?


Not sure if a chemistry degree is right for you? Check out these related subjects:

Medicine

Pharmacology

Chemical engineering

 

Find chemistry courses.

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