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Study Chemical Formulation Design

22 November 2023

In our Chemical Formulation Design major you'll learn the formulation design process, from research and ideation, through to testing and delivering a professional quality finished product. Learn more about Chemical Formulation Design at UC.


Formulated products can vary across a broad range – from personal care products and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals to household and agricultural chemicals.

The Chemical Formulation Design major will teach you the formulation design process, from research and ideation, through to testing and delivery of a professional quality finished product. You will learn to use an array of state-of-the-art equipment in the formulation, food, fragrance and research labs.  

Taught in a combination of lectures, labs, practical workshops and field trips, Chemical Formulation Design offers a balance of design and business with science and technology to produce well-rounded and highly sought graduates.

During your study, you'll develop skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • Product design processes
  • Formulation science
  • Chemical and functional properties of formulated products
  • Creative design of packaging and promotional materials
  • Market analysis and matching customer values
  • Sustainability, ethics and cultural aspects
  • Fragrance design
  • Hands-on product prototyping using state-of-the-art facilities and equipment
  • Commercial production methods
  • Computer aided design, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, 3D modelling
  • Process economics.

Entry to the Chemical Formulation Design major is open to anyone with entry to the University. However, it is strongly recommended that you have at least 14 credits in NCEA Level 2 science and mathematics (passed AS level Mathematics in CIE or achieved a 4 SL Maths for IB) and 14 credits in NCEA Level 3 chemistry (D grade in A level or A grade in AS level Chemistry in CIE or achieved a 4 HL or 6 SL Chemistry for IB).

Secondary school studies in related subjects such as digital technologies, technology, or design and visual communication would be an advantage.

To complete a Bachelor of Product Design in Chemical Formulation Design, you must complete compulsory courses in introductory product design, management, engineering, and mathematics, as well as required courses towards the Chemical Formulation Design major.

During your study, you’ll develop skills and knowledge in areas such as:

  • Product design process
  • Physical properties of formulated products
  • Chemical properties of formulated products
  • Functional properties of formulated products
  • Methods of analysis
  • Commercial production
  • Testing
  • Process economics

In your first year, you will study the basics of the Chemical Formulation Design process and learn practical formulation techniques as well as core knowledge in chemistry, biology, and design concepts. Our dedicated facilities offer plenty of tools for creativity to help you start building a portfolio of work and begin formulating products right from the start of your degree.

  • Hands-on experience formulating a variety of chemical products – from weedkillers, paints and detergents, to nutritional supplements, lipsticks, sunscreens, and shampoos
  • Develop a comprehensive set of skills and expertise across science, design and business
  • Access a vast array of cutting-edge, industry-standard facilities and laboratories for chemical product formulation, manufacturing, testing, and analysis
  • Develop direct connections to industry and Mātauranga Māori experts via field trips, guest lectures, and laboratories
  • Collaborate with the chemical formulation industry in Aotearoa through industry-sponsored projects throughout your degree

A degree in Chemical Formulation Design could lead to a career in product formulation and manufacturing or, more broadly, into any industry that employs graduates with a scientific background.

Career opportunities could include:

  • Formulation chemist
  • Quality and operations scientist
  • Product development scientist
  • Quality manager/chemist
  • Laboratory technician
  • Product manufacturing manager

Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Chemical Formulation Design.

Interested in studying Chemical Formulation Design at UC?

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