Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences

Chemistry - Postgraduate options

Subject description

Paul Baek, postgraduate candidate, School of Chemical Sciences


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.

At postgraduate level, the School of Chemical Sciences covers a wide range of areas including analytical, educational, environmental, inorganic, materials, medicinal, organic and physical chemistry. In addition to these traditional Chemistry disciplines, Forensic, Food, Wine, and Polymers and Coatings Science programmes within the school reflect their diverse and active research and teaching endeavours.

In addition to individual research programmes, staff members are involved in many collaborative projects with both national and international academic and industrial partners.

Research workers at the School of Chemical Sciences have access to a wide range of facilities including various spectrometers and in-house glassblowing, mechanical and electronic workshops. This collection of research equipment makes the school one of the best and most extensive analytical centres in the country.



Structure and prerequisites

Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc(Hons)) - Chemistry

The prerequisite is a major in Chemistry and at least 90 points at Stage III.



  • 60 points from CHEM 710–780, or
  • 45 points from CHEM 710–780 and a further 15 points, subject to approval by the Head of Department, from 700 level courses in a related subject


Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) - Chemistry

The prerequisite is a major in Chemistry.


  • At least 90 points from CHEM 691, 710-780, 795
  • Up to 30 points from 600 or 700 level courses in Chemistry or related subjects with approval of the Head of Department

Note: Students intending to study for a Master of Science in Chemistry must take CHEM 795.


Master of Science (MSc) - Chemistry

The prerequisite is a BSc(Hons) or PGDipSci in Chemistry including CHEM 795.

Requirements: Research Masters

  • 120 points: CHEM 796 MSc Thesis in Chemistry

Career opportunities

Recent Chemistry graduates are employed:

  • In the pharmaceuticals industry
  • In the management of Research and Development units
  • As research scientists in all Crown Research Institutes
  • As research scientists in polymers and coatings firms
  • In law firms as scientific advisors
  • As technical assistants in industrial production companies
  • As teachers of Chemistry

The range of work in these places may include such fields as food, paper, brewing, paint and plastics, ceramics, metals and agricultural products. Special applications include forensic science, and the running of hospital laboratories.


Help and advice

For further information, please refer to the Chemistry Postgraduate Handbook or contact: