6 benefits of studying chemistry in the UK

Chemistry student in lab

Chemistry is one of the three core sciences, and breakthroughs in the field have truly changed our world. The things we have built modern society with, such as medicine, food technology, and the battery technology that will drive our transition to green energy, have all needed the knowledge of a chemist.

Studying chemistry at a prestigious university puts you at the forefront of scientific breakthroughs and can lead to an exciting career in the future.

What is chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of matter, such as atoms or molecules, and how they chemically react when combined. Of course, matter makes up everything, so the field is very broad. Often, chemists need knowledge of mathematics, physics, biology, and the physical sciences to complete their work effectively.

Over the course of an undergraduate chemistry degree, you’ll take practical and theoretical modules to ensure you have both the knowledge and technical skills you need to succeed as a chemist.

Why study chemistry?

1. Chemistry is everywhere

Chemistry is the study of the building blocks of our world. Everything you touch, wear, eat or drink is the result of a chemical process. By studying chemistry, you learn how the world works and how items, such as medicines, get manufactured.

2. Career options

A great perk of being a chemistry graduate is that you can use your subject-specific knowledge in many different industries — be that pharmaceutical research, environmental causes, or biochemistry. An undergraduate chemistry degree will cover all the bases you need to pursue a career in your preferred area.

87% of Durham University’s 2018 BSc Chemistry graduates were in paid employment or further study 15 months after graduation (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey).

3. Transferable skills

When you study a degree in chemistry, you’ll develop plenty of useful skills. While your programme will be tailored to give you the skills you need for a career in chemistry, the skills you gain will also be useful in non-chemistry related industries. These can include:

  • Researching
  • Critical thinking
  • Spoken and written English skills
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Data analysis.
Chemistry students in lab

4. Postgraduate opportunities

Another benefit of becoming a chemistry graduate is that there is a clear path forward, should you decide that further study is for you. Postgraduate degrees are fantastic for taking a deeper look into your subject area, as they are likely to be more specialised and focused than an undergraduate degree. Having a Masters degree makes you stand out in a competitive job market, too.

Upon completion of a Masters, you can apply for a PhD programme to take your career in academia further.

5. Improve the world

The importance of studying chemistry is that it helps improve the world. As with all the sciences, chemistry has the opportunity to make people’s lives easier. Developing new chemicals, materials and medicines is an incredibly rewarding job. Chemists solve problems for people and business alike.

6. Creative thinking

To be a great chemist, you need to think creatively, and see complex problems from a different perspective. You can use your creativity and ingenuity to make improvements or produce valuable research.

Study chemistry in the UK

The UK is renowned around the world for its excellent standard of education. The degrees that are taught here encourage independent thinking, and the skills and knowledge you gain here will be useful in your future career.

Study chemistry at Durham University

If you want to study chemistry in the UK, then Durham University is a great choice. A member of the prestigious Russell Group, it is one of the best ranked universities in the UK for chemistry. Ranked 5th in the UK for Chemistry by the Guardian University Guide 2022, studying here puts you on the path to success.

The facilities on Durham’s campus are packed with modern equipment, which you’ll be able to use throughout your degree.

How to study chemistry at Durham University

Prepare for your undergraduate chemistry degree at Durham University with the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering. This three-term programme is taught at the International Study Centre, on Queen’s Campus in Stockton-on-Tees. Once you successfully complete the programme and achieve the required grades, you can progress to the University.

You will take chemistry-related modules to ensure your studies are relevant to your progression degree. You will also take Academic English Skills, a module dedicated to improving your written and spoken English skills.

Contact us today

If you have any questions about studying with us, get in touch using our enquiry form. You can also learn more about studying chemistry at Durham here.

Frequently asked questions

How to study chemistry?

To study chemistry at university you will first need to take the appropriate related subjects in your secondary education. This will help you build the foundation of subject knowledge in order to get the most out of your university degree in chemistry. But the most important thing you need to study chemistry is a genuine passion and interest in the subject.

What to do with a chemistry degree?

There are many opportunities for chemistry degree graduates. Those who study chemistry at university can choose to continue their studies with a postgraduate degree to gain further knowledge in a subject specialism of their choice.

However, chemistry graduates can choose to enter the world of work straight after their studies. Chemistry graduates have a wide range of hard and soft skills which will appeal to many employers. You can choose to work within the science field as a researcher or scientist, or use your problem solving or critical thinking skills to work in a different field. 

What are the degree courses in chemistry?

Chemistry is a huge subject with lots of of specialist subject areas within it. You can choose to study a general chemistry degree to gain a broad understanding of the subject in general, or you can study a degree in a specific area of chemistry such as biochemistry, industrial chemistry, organic chemistry or physical chemistry. You can choose to study a general chemistry degree for your undergraduate degree and further specialise in your postgraduate studies.