One of the main arms of science, chemistry is the study of substances of which matter is composed. This can include the composition and structures, properties, reactions and changes of these substances. Chemistry plays a vital part in our lives, as it is responsible for the world you observe today. Simple things such as cooking, and the changing colour of leaves, rely on chemical reactions.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Chemistry
An undergraduate degree in chemistry will give you a foundation knowledge of the subject, before then exploring the more complex areas of the discipline. You will study modules on organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as laboratory sessions.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can influence your future career choices. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the chance to further research a favoured area of chemistry.
The accreditation of your degree course will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries can have their own accreditation systems. Generally, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or an integrated Master of Chemistry (MChem).
Typically, you can expect an undergraduate degree in chemistry to take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as masters or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a degree in chemistry will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their chemistry programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
The most common destination for chemistry graduates is employment within science specific roles and fields. You could work in laboratories, research facilities, law firms and pharmaceutical companies. There are a large proportion of job roles within the science discipline that require you to undertake further studies, so make sure you know what is required for your career choices.
Studying chemistry will give you a wide range of transferable skills, which will be applicable in different careers and fields. These skills include analysis and problem solving, time management and working with data.
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