Study Planner Information

What will I study?

First year of chemistry at UQ covers 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.

Year 1 Study Planner

What do the different requirements mean?

  • Compulsory for program – all BSc students must complete this course
  • Prerequisite for major – course required for this major
  • Recommended – other science course which complements the major, but can be substituted for an elective
  • Elective - choose a Level 1 course that interests you
Year 1-Semester 1
Course Code & Title Requirements
CHEM1100 Chemistry 11 Prerequisite for major
SCIE1000 Theory & Practice in Science Recommended
Elective Elective
Elective Elective


 Year 1-Semester 2
Course Code & Title Requirements
STAT1201 Analysis of Scientific Data Compulsory for program
CHEM1200 Chemistry 21 Prerequisite for major
Elective Elective
Elective Elective

1. Students without Queensland Senior Chemistry should complete CHEM1090 before taking any other chemistry course.

Year 2 to 3 Study Planner

Chemistry is available as a Single Major. You are required to complete #14 (#6 at Level 2 and #8 at Level 3) from the Chemistry course list. The following are suggested study plans for this major and should be used as a guide to planning your program.

Please refer to the course list to ensure you complete the major requirements.
What do the different columns mean?

  • Sem - Semester
  • Compulsory courses – compulsory for the major.
  • Key courses – electives from the major's course list.
  • Recommended courses – complements the major.


Chemistry (Single Major)


Year 2
Sem Compulsory Courses
Complete all courses
Key Courses
Choose at least #2 from:
Recommended Courses
1 CHEM2050 Organic & Inorganic Chemistry

CHEM2054 Experimental Chemistry
  Choose courses from the BSc course list
2   CHEM2052 Chemical Biology

CHEM2002 Physical Chemistry
Choose courses from the BSc course list


Year 3
Sem Compulsory Courses
Complete all courses
Key Courses
Choose at least #6 from:
Recommended Courses

CHEM3004 Determination of Molecular Structure

CHEM3013 Nanoscience: Self-assembly

Choose at least #2 from1:
[CHEM3001 Advanced Organic Chemistry
[CHEM3010 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
2 CHEM3016 Advanced Experimental Chem OR
[CHEM3011 Advanced Physical Chemistry

CHEM3008 Medicinal & Biological Chemistry

CHEM3014Nanoscience: Synthesis
Choose courses from the BSc course list

1. It is compulsory for student to choose any one subject from: CHEM3001, CHEM3010 or CHEM3011

Career in Chemistry

Chemistry is one of the most versatile majors you can study because of the fundamental nature of the discipline and also because it can be combined with so many other scientific areas. You can choose to follow either a specialist or generalist career from applied areas such as analytical and environmental chemistry to research. Many BSc graduates also enter into further research-based studies in Honours, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. Opportunities for chemists exist in both specific and broad areas.

Where you can work

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



Starting at UQ

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First Years - St Lucia

First Year Guide 2017 for St Lucia Students

First Years - Gatton

First Year Guide 2017 for Gatton Students

First Years - Gatton (External)

First Year Guide 2017 for External Gatton Students