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Study chemistry with us

Why study Chemistry?

An understanding of chemistry provides a foundation for biology, earth, ocean, atmospheric, food and material sciences and others as well as chemical science.

It covers the properties, syntheses and transformations of substances and their applications to the way we live and modify our environment. Through chemistry, we can begin to understand the material and biological world.

100-level papers


If you intend to major in Chemistry (BSc or BASc), you must take papers worth at least 90 points (5 papers) from 100- and 200-level Chemistry papers.

Both CHEM 111 and CHEM 191 are strongly recommended. Study of Mathematics and/or Physics at 100-level, or at least to NCEA Level 3, is also recommended if you plan to advance in Chemistry.

200-level and beyond


The Department of Chemistry offers BSc courses in Chemistry. These courses are flexible and cater for wide interests such as biological, marine, environmental, physical, forensic, analytical and synthetic (organic and inorganic) chemistry. Chemistry also offers or contributes to postgraduate courses specialising in chemical hazard and risk mitigation and biotechnology, marine and environmental science. Students who would like to study more advanced Chemistry, but not necessarily to major in the subject, can still do so.

Career opportunities

There continues to be strong demand for Chemistry graduates. Graduates work both in New Zealand and overseas in academic, commercial and research positions in the chemical, plastics, pharmaceutical, food, textile, timber, pulp and paper, and electrical industries, and in plant and product control and management. Chemists play leading roles in agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, water-quality control, chemical, biochemical and medical research units, in the legal profession and in state-owned enterprises.

There is an ongoing shortage of Chemistry graduates in the teaching profession and numerous opportunities for chemists in the commercial environment. For such careers additional commerce papers or double degrees in Chemistry, Law or Commerce can be a distinct advantage

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Courses and qualifications

If you have any further enquiries please contact the departmental course advisor.