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Chemistry Faculty of Engineering & Science

The conventional image of a chemist – the white-coated professional developing drugs to fight illness and disease – is a stereotypical one. The modern chemist works in a broad range of industries, developing new materials that respond to a range of modern problems.

For example, chemists are continually developing new, longer lasting batteries that enable your MP3 player or mobile phone to last longer before recharging. They are working on making renewable fuels, such as solar cells, more efficient and less expensive; and they’re developing new ways of removing the dangers of pollutants present in water and soil samples to combat pollution and ensure high quality drinking water.

So, while a chemistry graduate can work in research and development laboratories in the pharmaceutical, biochemical or materials science sectors, their scientific approaches and analytical skills are also easily applied to, and sought after by, many other industries. For example, chemistry graduates find roles in the financial and legal sectors – many graduates becoming patent analysts and patent lawyers.

Chemists’ analytical skills are also in demand in the scientific and technical publishing industries, and in analytical laboratories in the pharmaceutical or formulation, water quality or environmental industries.

A chemistry graduate will also benefit from having learnt a scientific approach to problem solving and will be numerate and able to analyse and handle data. This is what makes chemistry graduates so attractive to “non-scientific” employers. Indeed, within recent history, leaders of the governments of the UK, Germany and Israel have all been chemists!