University of Sydney Handbooks - 2016 Archive

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Study in the discipline of Chemistry is offered by the School of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

Program structure and content

First Year Junior units of study aim to provide students with an understanding of the molecular basis of the physical properties of materials, the reasons chemical reactions occur and the energy changes involved. Units are offered at different levels depending on whether chemistry was studied at the HSC level or equivalent and the results obtained.

Second Year Intermediate core units Molecular Reactivity and Spectroscopy and Chemical Structure and Stability provide the mainstream chemistry essential for students planning to major in chemistry and other chemical-related sciences. Elective units in Forensic and Environmental Chemistry and in the Chemistry of Biological Molecules are also available.

Third Year Senior units allow students to specialise in particular areas of chemistry and cover such areas as: biomolecules; organic structure and reactivity; materials; catalysis and sustainable processes; metal complexes in medicines and materials; synthetic medicinal chemistry; membranes, self assembly and surfaces; and molecular spectroscopy and quantum theory.

First year planning for a Chemistry major

Essential: 12 credit points of Junior Chemistry and 6 credit points of Junior Mathematics are needed to enrol in Intermediate units of study in Chemistry.
Recommended: 12 credit points of CHEM1101/1901/1903 and CHEM1102/1902/1904 and 12 credit points of Junior Mathematics and 24 credit points from other areas of study selected in consultation with an adviser.

Requirements for a major

For a major in Chemistry, the minimum requirement is 24 credit points from senior units of study listed in this subject area, which must include the associated laboratory units.


The Chemistry Honours program gives students the opportunity to get involved in a research program in an area that is of interest to them. It provides training in research techniques and experience using modern research instrumentation. The Honours program adds a new dimension to the skills that the students have acquired during their undergraduate years and enhances their immediate employment prospects and, more significantly, their future career potential. All students with a sound record in Chemistry are encouraged to apply for entry to the Honours program.

In the Honours year, each student undertakes a research project under the supervision of a member of staff, writes a thesis that explains the problem, outlines the research undertaken and the results obtained, and also attends advanced lecture courses and seminars. The introduction to research is a particularly valuable experience and an Honours degree is highly regarded by prospective employers. An Honours degree widens the range of employment possibilities and it may lead to the opportunity to proceed to a postgraduate degree (MSc or PhD), with financial support from an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or other postgraduate scholarship.

Honours contact

Associate Professor Meredith Jordan

T +61 2 9351 4420

Contact and further information


Phone: +61 2 9351 4504
School of Chemistry
Chemistry Building F11
University of Sydney
NSW 2006