University Subject Profile: Chemistry

In this learning experience, you will delve into the subject of Chemistry, which is focused on the study of substances, their composition, properties and reactions, and it combines elements from the disciplines of biology and physics. You will explore the fundamental nature of matter, including atoms, elements, compounds and molecules. As you engage with different concepts and theories, you will discover the contributions of renowned scientists like Robert Boyle and John Dalton.

To pursue a Chemistry degree, most institutions require you to have an A-level or its equivalence in Chemistry, with Biology, Maths or Physics also being preferred. For those applying to research-focused universities, Chemistry, Maths and an additional science subject are frequently necessary. Although this course is challenging, it will equip you with practical skills that accompany theories and provide you with a foundation in the fundamentals of Chemistry. You can choose to pursue specialised courses that concentrate on environmental chemistry or medicinal chemistry or combine Chemistry with mathematics, another science subject, or a foreign language at universities such as UCL and Birmingham.

As a chemistry student, you will be required to dedicate around 20 contact hours a week, which is higher than many other courses. This includes time spent in laboratories, in addition to seminars and lectures, where you will learn both scientific and practical skills.

Chemistry careers encompass a broad range of possibilities, with research being the most obvious path. This could entail developing medicine, fighting cancer, or improving the formulations of cosmetics. Some universities offer four-year courses that enable students to study up to a master’s degree level. Therefore, it may be worth verifying if this is an option for your institution. For those seeking non-laboratory roles, there are plenty of options to explore, and you will have developed transferable skills that employers value highly. These skills could land you a job in education, science journalism, or even the financial sector, thanks to your sharp analytical skills.


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