Study Planner Information

What will I study?

Your first year of chemistry at UQ will comprise a course each semester which will cover the fundamentals of general, physical, organic and inorganic chemistry. As well as traditional lectures, teaching is done by laboratory classes and by assignment work in small groups. You can monitor your progress by regular computer-managed testing throughout the courses. Chemistry courses in later years are more specialised, and are intended to expose students to topical and important areas of scientific advancement, and to train students in research techniques and in the use of sophisticated instrumentation.

Some of the major areas of study in chemistry are:

  • Synthetic chemistry – the development of new synthetic methodologies to explore the synthesis of new drugs, new materials or new molecular devices.
  • Polymer chemistry – the preparation and study of new polymers with uses as materials, electronic devices, and in medicine.
  • Computational chemistry – understanding and predicting the structures and reactivities of molecules and short-lived intermediates using high-level theoretical calculations and powerful supercomputers. 
  • Surface chemistry – chemistry occurring at interfaces. This is important in many biological processes, in the study of catalysts, and in nanotechnology.
  • Spectroscopy – examining the interactions between matter and electromagnetic radiation to determine chemical structures and reactivities. This encompasses the whole range of molecular entities, from individual molecules through to biological macromolecules such as enzymes. Spectroscopy has applications in analytical chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy and remote sensing.

1st to 4th Year Study Planners

The following are suggested study plans for this major and should be used as a guide  to assist in planning your program. BAdvSc(Hons) students will complete #64 units in total, comprising:

  • #6 for Part A (STAT1301, SCIE1100 and SCIE2011)
  • #6 (science or non-science) electives
  • #52 for the requirements for a major as per the course list.

To fulfil the Chemistry major, you are required to complete a total of #52 including:

  • #40 of Compulsory Courses
  • #4 from the Key Courses
  • #8 from courses on the BAdvSc(Hons) or BSc course list not coded CHEM

Please refer to the course list to ensure you complete the major requirements.

How do I use the Study Plans?

  1. Take all Compulsory Courses in each semester.
  2. Select required number of units in Key Courses for each year level.
  3. Fill any gaps in each semester with Key Courses or electives to ensure you meet the BAdvSc(Hons) requirements and rules.

What do the different requirements mean?

  • Compulsory Courses – all students must complete this course
  • Key Courses - electives from the major's course list
  • Elective - #8 from courses on the BAdvSc(Hons) or BSc course list not coded CHEM. Plus an additional #6 science or non-science electives
  • Year 1
    Sem Compulsory Courses Key Courses
    Choose at least #2 from:
    1 CHEM1100 Chemistry 11

    SCIE1100 Advanced Theory and Practice in Science
    [BIOL1020 Genes, Cells & Evolution3
    [MATH1051 Calc & Linear Algebra I2 & 3
    [MATH1052 Multivariate Calculus & Ordinary Differential Equations2 & 3
    2 STAT1301 Advanced Analysis of Scientific Data

    CHEM1200 Chemistry 21

    SCIE2111 Introduction to Science Research
    Please refer to the Course List -

    1. Students without Queensland Senior Chemistry should complete CHEM1090 before taking any other chemistry course.
    2. Students without Queensland Senior Maths C should complete MATH1050 before MATH1051.
    3. Students must complete minimum #2 from BIOL1020 / MATH1051 / MATH1052 / BIOC2000 / MICR2000

  • 2nd Year
    Sem Compulsory Courses Key Courses
    Choose at least #2 from:
    1 CHEM2050 Organic & Inorganic Chemistry

    CHEM2054 Experimental Chemistry
    BIOC2000 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology3 -
    2 CHEM2002 Physical Chemistry

    SCIE3260 Introduction to Research in Chemistry, Biochemistry & Microbiology5
    MICR2000 Microbiology & Immunology3

    CHEM2052 Chemical Biology4

    ​4. Students must complete a minimum of #2 from CHEM2052 / CHEM3008 / CHEM3014
    5. SCIE3260 is offered in semester 1, 2 and summer. Students can take it in either second or third year.

  • 3rd Year
    Sem Compulsory Courses Key Courses
    Choose at least #2 from:
    1 CHEM3001 Advanced Organic Chemistry

    CHEM3004 Determination of Molecular Structure

    CHEM3010 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

    CHEM3013 Nanoscience: Self-assembly
    - -
    2 CHEM3011 Advanced Physical Chemistry

    CHEM3016 Advanced Experimental Chemistry
    CHEM3008 Medicinal & Biological Chemistry4

    CHEM3014 Nanoscience: Synthesis4

    ​4. Students must complete a minimum of #2 from CHEM2052 / CHEM3008 / CHEM3014

  • 4th Year
    Sem Compulsory Courses Key Courses Electives
    1 CHEM6107 Research Project in Chemistry for BAdvSc(Hons) Students

    CHEM6201 Seminar & Research Communication Skills in Chemistry

    CHEM6401 Special Topics in Chemistry
    - -
    2 - - -

Careers in Chemistry

In the lab

  • Chemist (Chemical Scientist) - synthesises materials, drugs, and naturally occurring compounds , performs structural, quantitative, product and formulation analyses using state-of-the-art techniques    
  • Materials scientists - study the properties and uses of non-metallic materials, and advise as to their manufacture and processing.
  • Environmental scientists study the environment and environmental systems, develop conservation plans, and devise methods to minimise the impact of human activities on the environment.
  • Biochemists study the chemistry of living organisms. They increase scientific knowledge and help develop beneficial applications of this knowledge in areas like medicine, veterinary science, agriculture and manufacturing.
  • Toxicologist - carries out and interprets laboratory and field studies to identify toxins and their effect on living systems and the environment.
  • Forensic Scientist - analyses samples in relation to crime. Writes reports that are presented as evidence in court.

Outside the lab

  • Scientific journalist - researches and writes scientific news and articles for the general public or for more specialist audiences.
  • Quality assurance manager - develops and applies tests to ensure that raw materials, intermediates and finished products meet specified standards of composition, texture, taste, appearance and performance.
  • Pharmaceutical Sales Representative –promote and sell pharmaceutical products and services to health and retail professionals
  • Patent Examiner - review patent applications before granting patent rights for new inventions
  • Secondary Teacher - may teach science to Years 7–12 students. General science is typically taught at junior levels, and specialisations (biology, chemistry, physics) at later school years.
  • Marketing Officer - Marketing officers are responsible for promoting a company’s products or services.
  • Conservators plan, organise and undertake the preservation and conservation of materials and objects in private and public collections, including libraries, archives, museums, art galleries and historical and archaeological sites.  (source Job Guide)



Chemists may specialise in developing new products or supervising production. With experience, they may progress to management positions and opportunities for chemists in environmental work are expanding  [source Job Guide]
Employers that have recruited Science Grads

  • Queensland Health
  • Environment Protection Agency
  • Australian Government Analytical Laboratories  AGAL; DSTO; TGA; ANSTO
  • Industrial and university laboratories
  • Hospital laboratories
  • Medical and scientific research bodies
  • Food processing firms [CSR]
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers [eg. Alphapharm, Alchemia, Pfizer]

Many employers targeting UQ students will be on campus 30 March 2011 for UQ Careers Fair click on

Getting the edge for employment

During your studies there are many extra-curricular activities you can be undertaking to make sure at the end of studies you have all the boxes ticked to be the ideal candidate for the role of your choice.  Have a look at some of the following suggestions:

Work Experience

Gain relevant  experience in area of interest through internships

IAESTE - Paid professional traineeships in over 80 countries for students studying science
Kelly Scientific Future Scientist Internship Program
UQ Summer Research Courses

Leadership Skills

Become a student member of your relevant professional association

APESMA - The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists & Managers, Australia
RACI - The Royal Australian Chemical Institute

Industry awareness and broader knowledge

Do some business subjects if interested in management or self employment


Join related clubs & student associations become active such as YAA to develop your interest and expand your skills or other associations

Self Reflection

Speak to your course advisor or lectures and  become aware of the Skills and graduate attributes developed in this major

Research skills

Become familiar with application process for government based roles, emerging industries / technologies or consider undertaking post graduate studies.


Take the time to tailor your application for each job. Not sure where to start? Then book into one of student services many employment preparation workshops at Careerhub or utilise the careers resources at the library.

Further Information

For more opportunities in and out of the lab, and details about Employer Presentations on campus log into