Chemistry (Extended Major)
The University of Western Australia(M355) 35 Stirling Highway Perth Western Australia 6009
(+61 8) 6488 3939
1800 653 050
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Careers and further study
This course opens up a world of future study pathways and career options.
Chemistry at UWA produces highly employable graduates for jobs in Western Australia, nationally and internationally. UWA is Western Australia’s top ranked University, and a member of Australia’s Group of Eight Universities. This means UWA graduates with a Chemistry degree are widely recognised, and our graduates are highly sought-after by employers including:
Companies in WA’s (*) two biggest industries:
- Mining (e.g. BHP*, Chevron*, Woodside*, Rio Tinto*, Alcoa*, Shell*, Fortescue*)
- Agriculture (e.g. Wesfarmers*, CSBP*)
- Pharmaceutical and biotech companies like Pfizer*, Perrigo* and Epichem*.
- Chemical and environmental analysis companies like MPL laboratories* and SGS*
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)*
- Top-ranked International Universities
Our graduates also embark on careers in teaching, marketing, sales, and patent law with a company or government department. A UWA degree with a major in Chemistry is your ticket to an exciting and rewarding career with diverse and interesting pathways.
UWA’s research-led teaching will provide you with state-of-the-art scientific knowledge and high level problem solving skills.
The chemical industry is seeking graduates who are specialised in chemistry, but with diverse skill sets. UWA’s unique degree structure sets us apart from other Western Australian universities to train graduates for these jobs.
At UWA, right from first year, you have the opportunity to tailor your degree to suit your interest and goals. For example, it is possible to do a major in chemistry with a second major in biochemistry/molecular biology, or genetics, pharmacology, or neuroscience, or psychology, or management. In addition, at UWA you may specialise in either synthetic chemistry or physical analytical chemistry, or pursue both streams in a Chemistry extended major. You can use your personal interests as a basis for your choice of subjects to study, and, ultimately, to direct your career.
At UWA, like at other universities, you will learn all the required skills and knowledge you need to set off on a career as a chemist in industry or a government organisation. However, as Western Australia’s top university for Physical Sciences including Chemistry, UWA is exclusively placed to provide you with the more diverse skill set you will need to become a leader in the field. This could be in industry as a Chief Technology Officer or Chief Executive Officer, as the founder of your own start-up company, a research theme leader at CSIRO, or as a Professor at a university.
In combination, these factors mean a UWA Chemistry major can launch a career focussed on solving humanity’s greatest challenges:
- Understanding and adapting to climate change
- Disease pandemics like COVID19
- Providing food and water for the world’s ever-growing population
- Extending and improving quality of life through medicine
- Sustainable energy production
- Providing the materials that modern society depends on, and that underpin the next technological innovations
- Preserving our planet’s amazing biodiversity
As a chemist, you can expect an annual salary of $108,000 (+ bonus) as the average across all industries and experience levels, with a salary growth of 2.1% per year. The average entry level salary of scientists commences at $75,000 and ranges up to $130,000 for experienced workers.
Chemistry is central to all areas of modern science and technology, providing a foundation for fields such as biochemistry, green chemistry, chemical engineering, food science, materials science, geology, nanotechnology and pharmacology. By undertaking honours in Chemistry, you will develop an understanding of the research process and your abilities to conduct independent research. You will acquire training and practice in skills such as experimental methods, problem solving, literature searching, data analysis, computing, team building, and written and oral communication.
Fees and scholarships
Scholarships are available to students from a diverse range of backgrounds, including academic achievement, financial need, educational disadvantage, leadership and community service, artistic or sporting achievements, and being from a rural or remote area.
Cost of living
The University of Western Australia welcomes applications from international and domestic school-leavers, mature-age applicants and those with previous tertiary study. If you’re interested in studying this major, find out the admission details below.
This major requires a certain level of Mathematics. If you do not meet this level, you may be able to take additional Mathematics units in your first year to satisfy this requirement.
WACE prerequisite: Mathematics Methods ATAR and Chemistry ATAR
How to apply
Ready to apply for this course? Follow the steps and you’ll be on your way to joining us at UWA.
Chemistry describes the structure and properties of matter and its transformations, and is central to virtually all areas of modern science and technology. The Chemistry extended major combines aspects of synthetic chemistry and physical analytical chemistry. Students will gain the specialist and general skills they need to build secure, satisfying and productive careers in multiple areas of science.
About the course
The Chemistry extended major combines aspects of multiple chemistry disciplines and provides students with the specialist and general skills they need to build secure, satisfying and productive careers.
- Available 2021
- Perth (Crawley campus)
- Semester 1, Semester 2
- This course is not available to international student visa holders
Why study this course
- It’s taught by experts and award-winning academic staff, covering all the fields of synthetic, physical and analytical chemistry, including inorganic and organic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, catalysis, medicinal chemistry, biological chemistry, materials science, theoretical and computational chemistry, spectroscopy, materials and nanotechnology, surfactant and polymer chemistry, environmental chemistry, materials science, nanotechnology and education
- Wide and comprehensive laboratory experience is offered throughout all levels of this double major, covering all fields of chemistry
- There is a high demand for chemistry graduates in a variety of industries
You'll learn to
- understand the properties of atoms and molecules, and their reactivity
- develop experimental skills for working safely with chemicals
- solve chemical problems including the calculation of yields, dilutions and stoichiometry in chemical reactions, theory and practical methods for creating new molecular structures. Elucidate chemical and structural problems using both theoretical calculations and analytical measurements
- realise the historical role chemistry has played in the developing world and identify the unfolding picture in the future of chemistry as a central science
- demonstrate knowledge in chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, equilibria and the properties of many classes of compounds and a vast range of materials reaction. Understand reaction mechanisms, chemical kinetics, chemical reactivity and the properties of many classes of compounds and materials
Our undergraduate degrees offer you a broad range of options allowing you to combine subjects in a way that matches your career goals and personal interests.
Work Integrated Learning
- You'll be taught by lecturers from industry (e.g. CSIRO, Alcoa, Epichem) allowing you to connect with professionals in the field and gain industry connections even before you graduate
- Gain real-world, practical experience through site visits to industry
- Hands on practical experience and opportunities are available for projects in labs embedded in Level 3 units
Learn from leaders in the field
Work alongside world-leading academics who are passionate and engaged. Our academics are at the cutting-edge of knowledge, meaning you’ll be across live research projects and will uncover new discoveries in your field of interest before others.