Chemistry MChem, BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
Work placement
Study abroad
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students working in a chemistry lab at the University of Leeds. The students are dressed in white lab coats, and protective eye wear.

Chemistry is a central science that’s at the core of everything we can see, smell, taste and touch around us. From energy to the environment, groundbreaking medicine to cleaning products, chemistry is integral to all aspects of our life, which puts chemical scientists at the forefront of delivering invaluable solutions to global challenges such as climate change, sustainability and health.

The diverse nature of this field — and the widely transferable skills like teamwork and data analysis you’ll develop along the way — means chemistry graduates will always be highly sought after across a wide range of industries worldwide.

Studying a chemistry degree at Leeds will teach you the fundamental concepts of the field alongside a variety of optional modules available, so you can tailor your degree to what really interests you the most. You’ll also be taught by expert academics, with the unique opportunity to get involved in real-world research happening in the University.

Practical work features heavily in this course. As such, you’ll have access to a range of facilities right here on campus including specialist teaching laboratories and research facilities with the latest equipment for synthetic, physical and analytical chemistry to ensure you have the best grounding to head out into your professional career.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
  • Our School’s globally-renowned research feeds directly into your course, shaping what you learn with the latest thinking in areas like sustainable and digital chemistry, materials chemistry and atmospheric chemistry to drug design.
  • Experience expert teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers who specialise in a variety of chemistry disciplines.
  • Access specialist facilities throughout your degree, including computer clusters and teaching laboratories that give you an industry-standard environment to perform experiments and conduct project work.
  • Enhance your career prospects and give your CV that competitive edge before you graduate with our industrial work placement opportunities. Our close industry links have given previous students the chance to work at — and build professional relationships with — major organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever and AkzoNobel.
  • Contribute to the community by undertaking community projects or a teaching placement in a local school.
  • Gain invaluable life experience and advance your personal development with our exciting study abroad programmes, spanning across universities worldwide.
  • Our highly flexible chemistry programmes enable you to transfer to other chemistry or medicinal chemistry courses at the end of your first year.
  • Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society ChemSoc where you can meet more of your peers, enjoy social events, join the football or netball team and attend careers events.

Join our online taster courses

Our collection of five short online courses will help you discover the extraordinary world of everyday chemistry. Join today on Futurelearn.

Benefits of an integrated Masters

Learn more about what an integrated Masters is and how it can benefit your studies and boost your career.


Royal Society of Chemistry

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and provides access to qualified membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This integrated Masters degree (MChem, BSc) is accredited as fully meeting the academic requirement for the award of Chartered Chemist (CChem).

Course details

On this course, you’ll discover how chemistry shapes the world around us, with a wide range of topics to explore. From quantum mechanics to atmospheric chemistry, making organic chemicals to developing medicinal drugs — the scope is huge, giving you the chance to really hone your interests.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

Course Structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read Chemistry MChem, BSc in the course catalogue.

Year 1

During your first year, you’ll explore the fundamental principles that underpin chemistry. You’ll also begin to develop skills as an experimental chemist in our teaching labs, learning to

  • safely handle reagents/solvents and manipulate laboratory apparatus
  • synthesize inorganic and organic molecules of straightforward structural complexity
  • determine structure using spectroscopic data such as infrared (IR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
  • record data and physical measurements and comment on their precision and accuracy
  • use PC-based spreadsheets, graphics and word-processing packages to manipulate and plot data and to prepare reports.

At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer onto our degree courses in medicinal chemistry or choose variants with industrial or international placements.

Compulsory modules

Introduction to Modern Chemistry – 20 credits

This module will provide a concise introduction to modern chemistry with an initial focus on a qualitative appreciation of electronic structure and how it determines the chemical and structural properties of matter. You’ll also get an introduction to chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, organic structures and mechanisms and the chemistry of transition metal-ligand complexes.

Chemistry and Chemists for a Sustainable Future – 20 credits

Explore current chemical research in areas like sustainability and the ethical issues surrounding science. You’ll develop skills in identifying and reading scientific literature, presenting science in different formats and for different audiences alongside transferrable skills like coding and self-reflection.

Introduction to Practical Chemistry and Research Skills – 40 credits

Develop your practical skills, conducting a range of experiments in our teaching labs. Through a series of lectures and workshops, you’ll learn how to use a range of equipment and build up your experience in presenting scientific reports, data analysis and appropriate IT.

Chemistry in Action: Atoms, Molecules, Matter – 10 credits

This module will build upon the ‘Introduction to Modern Chemistry’ module, exploring areas in structural, physical and inorganic chemistry. On completion of this module, you’ll have an understanding of key sub-disciplines of chemistry including spectroscopy and electronic energy levels, IR and structure determination, periodicity and main-group chemistry, states of matter and phase behaviour and phase equilibria and chromatography.

You’ll also be able to appreciate how these ideas have relevance to modern society through selected illustrative examples and be able to apply these concepts to a range of problems in a linked programme of workshops and tutorials.

Fundamental Organic Chemistry for Biology and Synthesis – 10 credits

Build a broad foundation of knowledge in organic chemistry. You’ll cover the mechanistic basis and application of key organic reactions including nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution and addition reactions, eliminations, oxidation and reduction and key functional group interconversions.

Chemistry of the Material World – 10 credits

Explore both physical and inorganic chemistry, including analysis and understanding of the kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical reactions, molecular energy levels and their origin and transition metal chemistry for materials.

Optional modules

You’ll choose either the optional module offered below or a discovery module. The optional module offered is only for students who do not have a B or above in A level mathematics (or the A level equivalent).

Discovery modules give you the chance to apply your scientific thinking in real-world scenarios whilst expanding out into different areas, broadening your knowledge and giving you that competitive edge in the jobs market.

Maths for Scientists – 10 credits

Mathematical knowledge and skills are essential for the successful training of scientists and important for the professional life of scientists. This module will be taken by science students who do not have grade B or above in A level mathematics (or equivalent) to raise the mathematical competence of those students to that base level.

Years 2 and 3

In your second and third years, you’ll build upon these foundations and cover various aspects of chemistry.

All of the lecture-based modules are backed up by extensive practical sessions in the laboratory, allowing you to perform experiments that complement the material taught to you in the lectures and develop experimental skills. In addition, workshops and tutorial or seminar groups are used to support the teaching, so you get regular feedback from the academic staff helping you solve any problems that you might have with a particular topic.

  • You’ll also have the option to study ethics or business within the degree programme or to complete a placement in a local school.

Year 2 compulsory modules

Organic Chemistry: Structure, Reactions and the Science of Life – 20 credits

Examine how the shapes of organic molecules impact their physical properties and reactivity. You'll be introduced to new classes of reactions such as pericyclic reactions and enols/enolates as reactive carbon-centred nucleophiles. You’ll also cover heterocyclic chemistry principles which play a role in biological systems like DNA, enzymes and coenzymes.

Molecules, Energy, Quanta and Change – 20 credits

The module has two components. One is concerned with chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, illustrated using societally important applications, for example atmospheric chemistry and combustion.

The other component covers quantum mechanics and molecular bonding. Starting from the postulates of quantum mechanics and building from simple models to atoms, to molecules, you’ll learn how and why chemical bonding occurs.

The module builds on concepts of energy storage, states of matter and chemical change.

Practical, Professional and Research Skills for Chemists – 40 credits

Throughout this module, you’ll develop skills to: (i) undertake a selection of experiments in the synthetic and physical chemistry laboratories that link to the theory you’re learning and develop good laboratory technique (ii) build transferrable skills including data analysis and coding alongside an understanding of intellectual property, enterprise, sustainability and ethical issues.

Chemistry of Materials: What They Are and How We Know – 10 credits

Gain an understanding of inorganic solid-state structures and materials and how they are synthesised, characterised and understood. Important characterisation and structure determination techniques will be addressed, with a focus on illustrative examples that highlight structure-property relationships and the importance and diversity of materials applications to be found in everyday life.

Organometallics: From Bonding to Catalysis – 10 credits

Build upon organic and inorganic chemistry learned in year 1, with focus on the structure and reactivity of organo-main group molecules and organo-transition metal complexes, and on the increasingly important application of these species as reagents and/or catalysts in synthetic organic chemistry.

Molecular Signatures: Spectroscopy and Chromatography – 10 credits

Develop the skills to interpret NMR and mass spectra to determine structures of small molecules, building on skills developed in year 1. The module will also provide a theoretical basis for quantitative and qualitative analytical chemistry, in particular analysis by chromatographic methods such as GC and HPLC. 

Specialisms in Chemical Science – 10 credits

Gain a deeper understanding of some specialised areas within chemistry, including for example, polymer chemistry, molecular symmetry and spectroscopy and solution equilibria. 

Year 3 compulsory modules

Laboratory Work – 20 credits

Conduct a selection of experiments with invaluable time spent working in our organic, inorganic and physical chemistry laboratories. This module gives you the essential techniques and experience you’ll need to pursue a career in industry. You’ll become adept in using apparatus and recording data for analysis, synthesising molecules of some structural complexity and determining structure using spectroscopic data.

Project and Research Skills – 20 credits

You'll perform a review of the scientific literature in a particular area of research and acquire, develop and apply research and evaluation skills by undertaking a short project. The module is designed to incorporate key requirements as outlined by the RSC in accreditation of chemistry degree programmes. Projects may be lab-based or non-lab-based / pedagogic.

Optional modules

You’ll choose from the following optional modules.

Please note: The modules listed below are indicative of typical options and some of these options may not be available, depending on other modules you have selected already.

Topics in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry – 20 credits

In this module you'll cover the same core as in the module below, but choose a subset of the available topics.

Extended Topics in Inorganic and Materials Chemistry – 30 credits

Learn core material such as advanced organometallics and catalysis, including homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. You’ll study topics including, for example, electrochemistry, f-block chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and properties and applications of inorganic solid-state materials.

Topics in Organic, Bioorganic and Interdisciplinary Chemistry – 20 credits

In this module you'll cover the same core as in the module below, but choose a subset of the available topics.

Extended Topics in Organic, Bioorganic and Interdisciplinary Chemistry – 30 credits

Explore material such as advanced synthetic methods including use of protecting groups and chemical technologies including flow chemistry and parallel chemistry. You’ll study topics including reactive intermediates, solvent and solvent effects, process optimisation, bio-organic chemistry, synthesis, analysis and commercial application of polymers, and polymeric materials.

Topics in Physical, Theoretical and Environmental Chemistry – 20 credits

In this module you'll cover the same core as in the module below, but choose a subset of the available topics.

Extended Topics in Physical, Theoretical and Environmental Chemistry – 30 credits

Cover areas in statistical thermodynamics, reaction kinetics and dynamics whilst studying topics like computational and theoretical chemistry, soft matter including amphiphile self-assembly, electronic spectroscopy of atoms and molecules and atmospheric chemistry.

Chemistry in the Real World – 10 credits

This module will build upon concepts of enterprise introduced in earlier years, allowing you to further develop your team-working skills while learning how to exploit chemistry research. You'll construct a project plan for commercialisation of a chemistry research idea and present this to a panel of experts.

Big Data, Big Science – 10 credits

The explosion of information means that many jobs often require people to handle large datasets efficiently and quickly, yet graduates often don’t have these core skills. In science, new insights often involve taking lots of data and bringing it together in a way that illuminates the problem. Throughout this module, you’ll develop the core skills to efficiently handle large datasets. Using examples from across chemistry, you’ll see how to extract data using simple programming in Python and reach meaningful conclusions. Online tools will help you acquire key skills while weekly seminars will let you explore real examples, enabling you to use these skills to answer scientific questions.

Ethical Issues in Chemistry – 10 credits

This module will enable you to understand and critically assess significant ethical challenges facing contemporary scientists. You’ll develop your own reasoned position on an issue in the ethics of contemporary science and how ethics influences the everyday operation of science. You’ll also build transferable skills in critical reading and communication, along with the ability to develop and defend your own reasoned views.

Year 4

In your final year, you’ll have a range of research-led topics to study at an advanced level, as well as undertaking a research project, which allows you to follow your interests and investigate an area at the cutting edge of chemistry, as well as further develop transferable skills such as communication and time management. You’ll work collaboratively with your supervisors throughout the project, who’ll be experts in your particular research area.

Recent projects include:

  • Applications of New Machine Learning Algorithms for Synthetic chemistry
  • Green Peptide Synthesis for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
  • Designing metal oxide based chemical gardens for waste water treatment
  • Chemistry at the Extremes: Reaction kinetics at interstellar temperatures
  • Tackling air pollution via probing the atmosphere with lasers
  • Re-engineering bacterial toxins for drug delivery
  • The development of interactive web-based visualisation tools for chemical education
  • Developing an online drug discovery project for use in the undergraduate laboratory course
  • Controlling crystallization in organic semiconductor films for light emitting diodes
  • Graphene-Enhanced Nano-Clay Materials for Fuel Purification Applications

Compulsory modules

Integrated Masters Project – 60 credits

In this extended research project, you’ll bring together many of the concepts and techniques learned in the previous years of your programme. You’ll select a project to match your interests, which may be laboratory-based, computational or pedagogic. You’ll be embedded in a research group, working with your academic supervisor, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. If your project is lab-based, you’ll have access to research facilities in the School of Chemistry and elsewhere in the University. You’ll perform a review of the scientific literature in a particular area of research and acquire, develop and apply advanced research and evaluation skills.

Watch now

Undergraduate research project - Rosa Altarelli

Advanced Topics in Chemistry – 60 credits

This module will broaden your understanding of core areas of advanced chemistry, giving you the knowledge to address unseen, problem-led questions in these areas. Topics change to reflect developing research areas. You’ll handle primary literature and critically evaluate the information, preparing you for your future career in either academia or industry.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. You’ll then transfer to either the Chemistry with a Year in Industry MChem, BSc or Chemistry with Study Abroad MChem, BSc which replaces year 3. Alternatively, you may take an industrial year as an additional year of study, extending your course to five years.

Learning and teaching

As a chemistry student at Leeds, we ensure that you benefit from a wide range of teaching methods, including lectures, workshops, group tutorials and practical lab work.

Laboratory classes and project work allow you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real-life work situations. There’s a strong emphasis on developing chemistry-specific practical and investigative skills in both teaching laboratories 1-1 ½ days per week on average. Together, they will equip you with in-depth knowledge, key practical skills and transferable skills that will help you secure a graduate job. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.

You’ll be assigned a personal tutor to guide you through your studies, and you'll receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme. Peer mentors are students who are on your course, but are in years two, three or four. They’ll help you when you arrive at university and throughout your first year. You’ll meet your peer mentors during your first week for a social activity.

Specialist facilities

To support your practical work, you’ll have an extensive range of specialist facilities accessible throughout your degree. The Joseph Priestley teaching laboratory, with space for 110 students, gives you the opportunity to perform synthetic and analytical chemistry experiments in an industry standard environment, and reflects the research-based approach to learning and teaching within the School of Chemistry. You’ll use techniques such as IR (infra-red), NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance), and UV-vis (ultraviolet-visible) spectroscopy.

The George Porter teaching laboratory is equipped with modern research-grade equipment for physical and instrumental analytical experiments, along with a computer cluster where you can process your data under expert supervision.

Our research facilities, which you may benefit from during your project work, include the latest equipment for synthetic, physical and analytical chemistry, 500 and 600 MHz NMR machines, cutting-edge Mass Spectrometry (MS) facilities, a CCD-based X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope and a purification laboratory.

You can also make extensive use of digital technology throughout the course; you’ll be taught in person how to use the latest software for modelling and understanding chemistry, solving chemical problems and analysing experimental data – acquiring digital skills applicable in many potential areas of employment.

Taster lectures

Watch our taster lectures to get a flavour of what it’s like to study at Leeds:

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


The types of assessment used for each module aim to measure the learning outcomes we want you to achieve. Although formal end-of-semester examinations are predominant, often accounting for 80% or more of the formal assessment of lecture-based modules, many modules include a significant coursework element. You are also continuously assessed through practical work.

There’s a significant laboratory component to our chemistry degrees which equates to 1-1 ½ days per week. You'll complete either a short proforma summary or a longer ‘lab report’ for each experiment. These proformas and reports are the basis of a continuous assessment method with regular deadlines throughout each semester. The laboratory assessment accounts for about 20% of the overall assessment in years 1 to 3.

Your research project normally accounts for 50% of the assessment in your final year.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB including Chemistry and Maths or AAA including Chemistry.

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and International Project Qualification (IPQ): We recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, and where an applicant offers an A in the EPQ or IPQ we may make an offer of ABB or AAB at A-Level, depending on subjects presented.

GCSE: GCSE: English Language grade C (4) and Mathematics grade B (6) or above, or an appropriate English language and Mathematics qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above. Must contain a significant number of Chemistry and Mathematics modules.


D*DD with a significant number of Chemistry and Mathematics modules.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3 M1 M2 in 3 principal subjects including Chemistry and Maths, or D3 M1 M1 including Chemistry.

International Baccalaureate

6,6,5 at Higher Level including Chemistry and Mathematics, or 6,6,6 including Chemistry.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

H2 H2 H2 H2 H3 H3 including Chemistry and Mathematics, or H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 including Chemistry.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though Chemistry must be presented at Advanced Higher level. Typically A in Chemistry at Advanced Higher Level, or BB in Chemistry and Mathematics, plus AABBB at Higher Level.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: BBB including Chemistry and pass Access to Leeds. For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.

Foundation years

If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year.

We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without science and mathematics qualifications.

You could also study our Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc which is for applicants whose background is less represented at university.

On successful completion of your foundation year, you will be able to progress onto your chosen course.


We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any one component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.


UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

The School of Chemistry will provide you with personal protective equipment and laboratory notebooks you’ll need to undertake laboratory work. You’ll also have access to a vast supply of books, academic journals and periodicals from the university libraries however you may wish to purchase some books that are recommended on the course.

This course requires work using a range of relevant software which is provided by the university. We also use a blended learning model where you’ll need to access course materials and video conferences using a computer or mobile device (e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone).

You’ll have access to the extensive IT facilities on campus including 24/7 computer clusters with everything you need to complete your work however you may wish to purchase your own computer.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.


Apply to this course and check the deadline for applications through the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Chemistry

Contact us

School of Chemistry Undergraduate Admissions


Career opportunities

The employment opportunities available to you as a chemistry graduate are extensive across numerous industries, with the potential to take you all over the world.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.

Qualifying with a degree in chemistry from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career in a wide range of sectors, including:

  • Energy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Finance
  • Environment
  • Food and drink
  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Scientific research and development
  • Legal
  • Data analytics

The breadth of knowledge and experience, along with the teamwork, problem-solving, research, communication and IT skills taught on the course are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.

Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our chemistry graduates have obtained:

  • European Marketing Program Manager, Agilent Technologies
  • Ice Core Analytical Scientist, British Antarctic Survey
  • Head of International Procurement, Britvic plc
  • Teacher of Chemistry, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
  • Analytical Chemist, Covance
  • Finance Director, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Accountant, Grant Thornton UK LLP
  • Principal Scientist, Johnson Matthey
  • Senior Editor, Nature Publishing Group
  • Technology Consultant, PwC
  • Fuels Scientist, Shell Global Solutions
  • Clinical Research Assistant, St James Hospital
  • Project Leader, Tata Steel Europe
  • Lecturer, University of Birmingham
  • Reader in Inorganic Chemistry, University of Manchester

Read profiles of our alumni to find out more about where some of our graduates are working.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. The School of Chemistry benefits from an External Employment and Education Advisory Board, including employers from the different sectors who recruit our graduates, who help to develop the curriculum and engage with students via talks and presentations.

Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.

You'll be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability Team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

Explore more about your employability opportunities at the University of Leeds.

You'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.

From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more about Study abroad.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas

  • Build industry contacts within your chosen field

  • Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers

  • Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice

  • Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry

  • Improve your employability

If you apply for this work placement, you’ll have two options. The first is the placement will be integrated, replacing year 3. You must complete a chemistry-related project during your placement and study part-time to keep up with your chemistry theory. If you want to pursue the integrated option, you’ll need to maintain a 2:1 level of performance in years 1 and 2. You’ll transfer to the Chemistry with a Year in Industry MChem, BSc course.

The other option is taking a placement as an additional year, with more flexibility to work in a range of professional environments.

On successful completion, you'll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.

Finding a work placement is competitive, but with the help and support of our dedicated Employability Team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.

Here are some examples of organisations our students have recently completed their work placement at:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • AstraZeneca
  • Unilever
  • Reckitt
  • AkzoNobel
  • Croda
  • Syngenta
  • Tata Steel
  • Department for Work and Pension
  • The Meatless Farm
  • BWB Consulting
  • Kindeva Drug Delivery
  • Nestec York

Find out more about Industrial placements.

Student profile: Megan Hindle

The flexibility of these subject areas and chance to find my own pathway confirmed my choice of chemistry at the University of Leeds.
Find out more about Megan Hindle's time at Leeds