We use cookies to ensure the best user experience and to serve tailored advertising. To learn more about our cookies and how to manage them, please visit our cookie policy

Check our Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Chemistry guide

Chemistry is one of three central branches of educational science. It looks at matter and substances, their properties and how they interact with each other.

Female scientist preparing laboratory equipment for tests


  1. What's Chemistry?

  2. Why study Chemistry?

  3. What jobs can you get as a Chemistry graduate?

  4. What qualifications do you need?

  5. What degrees can you study?

  6. How will you be assessed?

  7. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

What's Chemistry?

Chemistry is a physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.

During a Chemistry degree, you’ll learn the properties of atoms and how they form chemical bonds and compounds, the interactions of substances through intermolecular forces, and chemical combinations and reactions.

Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry teaches useful skills. As a science, it means learning how to be objective, how to reason and how to solve problems. It also makes sense of current events such as climate change, pollution, and technology.

It opens up many career options. Even if you're looking for a job in another field, the analytical skills you gain during a Chemistry degree will be very helpful. It applies to the food industry, retail, transportation and even art.

What jobs can you get as a Chemistry graduate?

Chemistry degrees are well known for having strong job prospects; there's a growing need for those who have not only advanced science knowhow, but also have creative capabilities.

Particular job areas include in analytical chemistry, engineering, healthcare research, forensic science and pharmacology, as well as outside science in accounting, consultancy, journalism and teaching.

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

Professional job: Usually needs a degree
Non-professional job: Doesn't usually need a degree

What qualifications do you need? 

Some universities won't ask for it, but having an A Level (or equivalent) in Chemistry will be very helpful for your application. Other good subjects to have include maths, biology and physics.

Always confirm the entry requirements for the particular university/course you're interested in, as standards change between institutions.

What degrees can you study?

  • BSc Chemistry
  • MSc Chemistry with Management
  • BA Natural Sciences
  • MSc Chemistry with Physics

How will you be assessed?

A lot of the work you'll do is intended to assist your personal development. In some cases, it will be assessed and count towards your degree. This could be through written exams, practical tests and coursework.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of taught MAs and research degrees at postgraduate level include MChem Advanced Chemical Sciences, Advanced Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Drug Design and Discovery, and Environmental, Green and Sustainable Chemistry.

Related articles

Monkey feeding batu cave temple

Deferred entry to university

Find out what deferred entry means, how you do it and weigh up the pros and cons of...

06 Mar 2020
Female College Students Opening Exam Results

UCAS points

Find out what UCAS points (also known as the UCAS Tariff) are, how they are calculated,...

09 Mar 2020
Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

University tuition fees and financial support in...

An overview of the university tuition fees and funding available for students from...

13 Mar 2020

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Sorry about that...



Thanks for your feedback!