Chemistry Major

Requirements for a Major in Chemistry

Chemistry major students will develop the capacity to view the world from a molecular perspective and to solve complex problems that span the breadth of chemistry and other sciences.

Specific core knowledge that will be developed includes:

  • molecular design and synthesis,
  • analysis and spectroscopic identification of chemical species,
  • quantum chemistry,
  • molecular dynamics,
  • chemical kinetics,
  • and thermodynamics.

Skills that will be developed include: laboratory skills (e.g. observational; analytical techniques; report writing; safe laboratory practices); sophisticated problem solving skills (e.g. the ability to think abstractly, analytically and logically); and generic skills (e.g. written and oral communication, computer competency; independent learning; time and project management).

Pathways for chemistry majors will include careers in research (through further study including MSc and PhD programs in chemistry and allied areas), teaching, government and professional positions.

The Royal Australian Institute of Chemistry (RACI), suggests that in addition to 50 points of third year Chemistry, students should also complete CHEM20011, CHEM30012 and CHEM30013 to gain sufficient practical experience. Note that the RACI recommends that one first year Mathematics or Physics subject be completed.

Structure and available subjects

The Handbook remains the definitive resource on course and subject matters. The information below expands on the structure of the major described in the Handbook. To assist with course planning, the Level 3 subjects within the major have been identified and listed together with their standard prerequisites and corequisites.

Completion of 50 points of study at third year level including:

  • CHEM30016 Reactivity & Mechanism (Semester 1); Prerequisites: CHEM20018 Reactions & Synthesis and CHEM20020 Structure & Properties
  • CHEM30015 Advanced Practical Chemistry (Semester 1); Prerequisite: CHEM20019 Practical Chemistry; Corequisite: CHEM30016 Reactivity & Mechanism

Plus two electives selected from:

  • CHEM30017 Specialised Topics in Chemistry A (Semester 1); Corequisite: CHEM30016 Reactivity & Mechanism
  • CHEM30014 Specialised Topics in Chemistry B (Semester 2); Requisite: CHEM30016 Reactivity & Mechanism
  • CHEM30012 Analytical & Environmental Chemistry (Semester 2); Requisite: CHEM20011 Environmental Chemistry or CHEM20019 Practical Chemistry

Prerequisite - subject which you must pass or have credited to your course before you are eligible to enrol in this subject; Corequisite - subject which you must be concurrently undertaking.

Transition students who have completed some third year subjects prior to 2010 should contact the Director of Third Year Studies to discuss options for majoring in chemistry.

Second year choices

Students must successfully complete the following second year subjects:

How can I find out more about the Bachelor of Science?

Contact the Science Student Centre Tel: 13 MELB (13 6352) Fax: (+61 3) 8344 5803 Email:

Contact the School of Chemistry Tel: (+61 3) 9035 3573  Fax: (+61 3) 9347 5180 Email: