Making, measuring, understanding.
Chemistry is so much a part of our lives, sometimes we don’t even notice it! It’s at the heart of cooking and eating, breathing and seeing, the clothes we wear and the materials we use to construct our environment.
While studying Chemistry at Otago, you’ll look at how chemicals interact with each other, with light, and with the environment; how to synthesise novel materials and measure trace amounts of pollutants. Research interests in the Department of Chemistry include nanotechnology and marine chemistry, the development of smart polymers and anti-cancer drugs. Chemistry enables change in our world – in medicine, technology and the environment. Study Chemistry at Otago, and be part of it!
Apply for the Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Apply for the Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Apply for the Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Apply for the Master of Science (MSc)Apply Now
Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) through the Dunedin campus in 2023Apply Now
Why study Chemistry?
Chemistry is the science of matter; it’s so fundamental it’s been called the central science. Studying Chemistry will help you develop an understanding of how the universe works. You’ll learn how to synthesise new chemicals that could have a profound effect on people’s lives. You could assist with the discovery of new drugs, agrichemicals and sources of energy, and gain a highly transportable and internationally recognised qualification in Chemistry. Studying Chemistry at Otago means you’ll acquire problem-solving skills within a chemical framework.
Careers involving chemistry are hugely varied and there’s been a shortage of chemistry graduates in New Zealand in recent years.
Qualified chemists work in industries involving chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, food, textiles and timber. These positions include areas such as research and development, quality control, marketing, sales or management. Chemists also play leading roles in agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, water quality control, and in chemical, biochemical or medical research units. They are also sought after in central and local government agencies, to work on projects such as pollution monitoring, water purification and forensic work solving criminal cases.
Recent changes in environmental and occupational health and safety legislation have also resulted in jobs for chemistry graduates, both in the public sector and industry. Chemistry graduates are in continual demand for commerce-related positions, because employers recognise that people with a background in chemistry have been well trained to handle information and deal with complex concepts. These are qualities relevant throughout the workforce, in areas as diverse as finance, law, politics and sales. And there is ongoing demand for secondary science and chemistry teachers throughout New Zealand.
To enter Otago’s Chemistry programmes, you should have studied Chemistry to Year 13 Level. Mathematics and Physics at Year 12 or 13 would also be helpful. If you haven’t studied chemistry to the appropriate level, or you perhaps think your grades are not good enough, we offer two further options:
CHEM 150 Concepts in Chemistry: A six week paper taught as part of the University’s Summer School. The first four weeks are distance taught, the last two are on campus in Dunedin. This course is designed for students with less than 14 Chemistry credits at Level 2.
Introductory Chemistry: A distance-taught programme for those with little or no chemistry background. This can be studied at any time throughout the year and students can take as long as they need to complete it.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc)
- Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc)
- Bachelor of Science (BSc)
- Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Chemistry
With Head of Department approval other paper(s) may be substituted for one 300-level CHEM paper
198 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.
Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science
Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc(Hons)) in Chemistry
Postgraduate Diploma in Science (PGDipSci) in Chemistry
Master of Science (MSc) in Chemistry
|Papers and Thesis|
Minor subject requirements
Chemistry as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree
Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree
Five CHEM papers, including at least one at 300-level (excluding CHEM 150 and CHEM 390).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website