Chemistry is the central science. It deals with the composition, structure, and behaviour of the atoms and molecules that make up all forms of matter. Understanding the world at an atomic level is essential to all areas of science. Chemistry interlinks and contributes to medicine, geology, materials science, molecular physics, biology, and astronomy.
Its central role in science is emphasised by the fact that Chemistry merges with Biological Sciences (the field of biochemistry) at one extreme, and with Physics (physical chemistry and chemical physics) at the other.
Chemistry propels advances in modern society and has an important role to play in solving major global challenges such as energy sustainability, food supply, health, and the environment. Every day, we utilise products developed by experimental chemists, such as plastics, fabrics, petrol, and pharmaceuticals.
- We have state-of-the-art facilities in the Ernest Rutherford building to tackle transformative chemistry challenges head-on.
- We have world-leading award winning faculty directing research in many disciplines of chemistry.
- Many of our students get to travel to undertake collaborative research in other laboratories worldwide, providing a broad exposure to innovative research methods and techniques.
UC’s postgraduate Chemistry programmes require at least a Bachelor of Science with good grades, or an equivalent degree. See the individual qualification pages for full entry requirements.
UC offers the following postgraduate programmes in Chemistry:
- Graduate Diploma in Science
- Bachelor of Science with Honours
- Postgraduate Certificate in Science
- Postgraduate Diploma in Science
- Master of Science
- Doctor of Philosophy
See the individual qualification pages for more information on degree requirements.
Bachelor of Science with Honours majoring in Chemistry
The Chemistry major in the BSc(Hons) includes CHEM 430 Research Methods 1: Research Proposal and Ethics, CHEM 431 Research Methods 2: Literature Review and Poster Design, CHEM 480 Research Project, and another four courses from CHEM 432–437.
Graduate Diploma in Science specialising in Chemistry
To complete a GradDipSc with a Chemistry focus, students will need to complete at least 60 points in 100-300 level CHEM courses throughout their degree. In total 90 points must be at 300-level in the GradDipSc from Chemistry and/or other Science courses.
Postgraduate Certificate in Science majoring in Chemistry
Students need to complete at least 45 points in CHEM 400-level courses for the major. In total 60 points must be completed for the PGCertSc from Chemistry and/or other Science courses.
Postgraduate Diploma in Science majoring in Chemistry
All four courses from CHEM 421–424 are required for the PGDipSc in Chemistry.
Master of Science majoring in Chemistry
Part I of the MSc in Chemistry is made up of all four courses from CHEM 421–424. This also includes a practical project in chemistry.
Part II requires CHEM 690 MSc Thesis.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Chemistry
In the PhD, students need to pass a thesis of original research in the Chemistry field (CHEM 790 Chemistry PhD).
Aotearoa New Zealand's unique mix of primary and secondary industries provides a wide choice of careers in chemistry. Expanding industries in Aotearoa, for example those related to new sources of energy and to the development of forestry and dairy resources, are further increasing the demand for qualified chemists.
Aotearoa needs chemists in teaching, industry, health, and research.
- Chemists are key members of developmental teams in the pharmaceutical industry.
- Industry uses chemists in such areas as research and development of new products, monitoring product composition and quality, and environmental monitoring and regulation.
- Hospitals and other health services employ chemists in areas such as biochemical research, medical analysis, and toxicology.
- A degree in Chemistry is a good start to a teaching career with its emphasis on laboratory work and its relevance to other sciences.
- The majority of chemical research in Aotearoa is done in universities, Crown Research Institutes, and private laboratories. These institutions provide chemical challenges equal to any in the world.
Chemists are well trained in problem solving and skilled at handling information, which leads naturally into a wide diversity of job opportunities, including sales and management.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Chemistry.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūtaiao
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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