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Chemistry is the study of substances: their make-up, structure and composition;
how they behave; how they may be measured, harnessed and transformed for useful
applications in the worlds of materials, medicine, technology and the environment.

The role of chemistry                              Career opportunities                                Chemistry at Monash
Chemistry is the central science that              Studying chemistry at Monash University             The School of Chemistry provides units for
underpins all other sciences. A good               provides the flexibility to undertake a limitless   students with a broad variety of interests.
chemical knowledge is essential for the            range of careers. A few of the many direct          The teaching staff in the school are world
study and practice of most sciences.               options include:                                    class researchers and educators. They are
                                                                                                       supported by highly professional staff in the
In the modern world, developments in               •	 research	chemist	in	university,	                 teaching and research laboratories.
medicine, biology, biochemistry, micro-               government and industrial laboratories
biology, physiology, pharmacology, earth           •	 teaching	at	primary,	secondary	or	               Students have the opportunity to experience
sciences, environmental sciences, new                 tertiary level                                   and specialise in a wide range of chemistry
materials etc, are more and more based on          •	 analytical	scientist                             areas and to explore chemistry’s broader
molecular properties and interactions and                                                              applications in science and industry during
                                                   •	 forensic	scientist
hence chemistry is assured of its central role.                                                        their undergraduate studies.
                                                   •	 environmental	scientist
Solutions to current world problems in                                                                 The interests of staff and the focus of their
                                                   •	 biotechnology
the environment, energy resources, waste                                                               research groups are detailed on the school
management and pollution control as well           •	 quality	control                                  website at
as progress in medical treatments, new             •	 patent	attorney                                  These include:
materials, biotechnology, nanotechnology           •	 materials	scientist                              •	 molecular design and synthesis
and industrial processes will rely heavily         •	 food	scientist
on chemical knowledge and its application.                                                             •	 anti-cancer agents
                                                   •	 industrial	chemist
The next generation of chemists, like the                                                              •	 medicinal chemistry
present generation, will be heavily involved       •	 science	journalist
                                                                                                       •	 new materials
in these endeavours.                               •	 geochemist
                                                   •	 pharmaceutics                                    •	 glasses and polymers
                                                   •	 sales	and	marketing                              •	 bio-spectroscopy
Why study chemistry?                               •	 information	technology                           •	 fluorescence
A degree in chemistry develops skills in logical   •	 mining                                           •	 drug design
thinking, critical analysis, computer literacy,    •	 waste	and	resources	management                   •	 food chemistry
numeracy, data and information handling,           •	 occupational	health	and	safety                   •	 bio-diagnostics
and communication. These generic skills
                                                   •	 petrochemicals                                   •	 forensic analysis
are sought by many employers. Chemistry
graduates can apply and develop their              •	 risk	management                                  •	 analytical chemistry and instrumentation
scientific and analytical skills to a large        •	 wine	and	brewing	industry
                                                                                                       •	 water	chemistry	and	quality
range of fields both within science and in         •	 hospital	or	medical	laboratories
others such as law, banking, administration,                                                           •	 energy
                                                   •	 water	quality	and	management
marketing and politics.                                                                                •	 environmental chemistry
                                                   •	 toxicology
The recent biotechnology boom has led                                                                  •	 bio-organic and bio-inorganic chemistry
to a number of new and exciting roles                                                                  •	 biotechnology
for chemistry graduates highlighting the
                                                                                                       •	 green chemistry
importance of chemistry to biomedical
sciences. A graduate majoring in chemistry                                                             •	 chemical education
can step into many careers either with
chemistry alone or combined with another                                                               The school collaborates in a number of
discipline.                                                                                            projects with other Monash departments
For many jobs in industry (where almost                                                                and schools (including biochemistry, biological
50 per cent of professional RACI registered                                                            sciences, microbiology and earth sciences)
chemists are employed) chemistry is essential.                                                         and with external parties such as CSIRO
The role of the professional chemist in                                                                (radio-physics, minerals, chemicals and
industry includes research and development,                                                            polymers, wood technology etc.), hospitals
sales, marketing, production and all levels                                                            (Monash Medical Centre, Royal Melbourne,
of management.                                                                                         Royal Women’s), industries (coal, energy,
                                                                                                       dairy, chemical, biotechnology) and many
Approximately 35 per cent of professional                                                              other chemistry and science departments
chemists are employed in government                                                                    worldwide.
laboratories, such as CSIRO, forensic and
analytical laboratories, universities and other
research organisations. The remaining 15 per
cent of professional chemists use and develop
their professional skills in such diverse fields
as teaching, computing, science journalism
and self-employment.
How do I study chemistry?
There are a number of ways to study chemistry at Monash. You can choose the Bachelor
of Science (BSc) and major in chemistry, Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours,
Bachelor of Science (Science Scholars Program) or Bachelor of Environmental
Science (BEnvSci). Chemistry units can also be taken as part of various double degrees
available at Monash.
Bachelor of Science                               with a strong coordinated foundation of             Double degrees
                                                  studies in the ‘basic sciences’ leading to
The Bachelor of Science is a course of three      advanced studies in at least two different          Within the Faculty of Science it is also
years	full-time	duration	(or	equivalent	part-     areas of science. Students studying                 possible to combine a science major, like
time). It aims to provide a broad, general        chemistry as part of the BScAdv(Hons)               chemistry, with many different disciplines
science	education,	equipping	graduates	for	       have the additional benefits of:                    through the following double degrees:
employment in both the public and corporate                                                           •	 Bachelor	of	Science/Bachelor	of	Law
sectors where the emphasis is on generic           Level one                                          •	 Bachelor	of	Science/
skills, which include numeracy, data analysis
                                                   A problem-based learning Laboratory                   Bachelor of Engineering
and presentation skills, and the capacity to
work in teams.                                     program which involves the design,                 •	 Bachelor	of	Science/
                                                   assessment and execution of experiments               Bachelor of Commerce
Graduates will also have specialist training       to answer set problems.
in one or more science disciplines, with the                                                          •	 Bachelor	of	Science/Bachelor	of	Education
potential for honours and postgraduate study,      Level two                                          •	 Bachelor	of	Science/Bachelor	of	Arts
leading to employment opportunities in any of                                                         It is also possible to combine a chemistry
the traditional careers for scientists.            Mentoring within an Academic Research
                                                   Group in the School and the option of              major with many other subjects through
BSc Students who perform exceptionally             undertaking a Special Research Project             a choice of units from those offered by
well at Level 1 have the option of transferring    for credit.                                        the faculty. With the central role taken by
into the BScAdv(Hons) prior to the                                                                    chemistry within the sciences, chemistry
commencement of their second year.                                                                    combines well with most other science
                                                                                                      subjects. A combination of any of the
                                                  Bachelor of Science
                                                                                                      biosciences, earth sciences, physics,
Bachelor of Science Advanced                      (Science Scholars Program),                         mathematics or materials science with
(with Honours), (BScAdv(Hons))                    (BSc(ScSchProg))                                    chemistry broadens career choices.

The BScAdv(Hons) is highly recommended            This course allows students with an excellent
for students with excellent academic              academic background the option of doing an
backgrounds who expect to pursue Honours          accelerated degree program or enriching their
studies in science. It is a prestigious, high-    studies by enrolling in units additional to those
profile, and flexible single-degree course        normally	required.
                                                  Studying chemistry as part of the
                                                  BSc(ScSchProg) gives students the option
                                                  of taking a special research project as part
                                                  of their Level 2 chemistry units.

                                                  Bachelor of Environmental
                                                  Science (BEnvSci)
                                                  A further alternative lies within environmental
                                                  science where knowledge of chemistry is
                                                  an essential part of the solution to
                                                  environmental problems.
Route to becoming a professional chemist
Studying chemistry starts at level one with a general introduction to chemistry and, as you progress,
becomes increasingly specialised, culminating in the possibility of undertaking an honours year in a
research group studying a significant problem. It is recommended that all students should set their
sights on an honours degree as this greatly increases their employment potential.

Level one                                         Chemistry units
Level-one chemistry is an introductory            Each unit = 6 points, minor = 24 points, major = 48 points
year. The emphasis is on chemistry as             Level one
a central science and on the development
                                                  CHM1011           Chemistry (for students with VCE chemistry)
of	laboratory	skills.	The	CHM1011/22	units	
                                                  CHM1022           Chemistry (for students with VCE chemistry)
are aimed at students who already have
a good background from VCE chemistry.             or
The ‘Chemistry in Context’ units are available    CHM1031           Chemistry in Context I
for students who have not completed VCE           CHM1042           Chemistry in Context II
chemistry and who wish to undertake further       Level two
chemistry	or	require	chemistry	for	other	         CHM2911*          Synthetic Chemistry I
science units.
                                                  CHM2922*          Spectroscopy and Analytical Chemistry
                                                  CHM2942           Synthetic Chemistry II
Level two                                         CHM2951           Environmental Chemistry – Water
Various units are available to students           CHM2962           Food Chemistry
pursuing professional training in chemistry       CHM2990           Introductory Chemical Research Project
and	to	those	requiring	a	strong	chemistry	        Level three
background for other science, engineering         CHM3911*          Advanced Physical Chemistry
or biomedical science disciplines. ‘Synthetic     CHM3922*          Advanced Organic Chemistry
Chemistry I’, and ‘Spectroscopy and
                                                  CHM3941*          Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry’ are recommended units
for students intending to major in chemistry.     CHM3952*          Advanced Analytical Chemistry
                                                  CHM3180           Materials Chemistry

Level three                                       CHM3930
                                                                    Medicinal Chemistry
                                                                    Environmental Chemistry
The level-three units allow students              CHM3990           Applied Chemistry Project
to develop specialist knowledge in interest       Students with a total of 24 points of third-year chemistry, an average distinction grade,
areas. Students intending to continue             plus	the	required	units	(*must	complete	one	of	CHM3911/52	and	CHM3922/41	to	be	eligible),	
chemistry	at	the	honours	level	are	required	      can choose to do an honours year.
to complete two of the following four units –
                                                  Level four – Honours
Advanced Physical Chemistry or Advanced
                                                  Advanced research project (75%) and coursework (25%)
Analytical Chemistry and Advanced Organic
Chemistry or Advanced Inorganic Chemistry.
Research projects are incorporated into the
laboratory program to provide advanced
laboratory skills, and for students undertaking
                                                  Further information
a significant amount of chemistry, a full         Professor Steven Langford                                      General career information can be
research project unit is available.               School of Chemistry, Monash University                         found by visiting the future students
                                                  Wellington Road, Clayton                                       section on the Faculty of Science website
Level four – Honours                              Victoria 3800, Australia                             
                                                  Telephone +61 3 9905 4569                                      Details of courses are provided in the
The honours year is offered to students           Email:                              Monash University Undergraduate Handbook
who have achieved excellence in chemistry                                            and online at
at level three. The major component is an                                                                        handbooks
advanced research project. Two John Swan
scholarships are offered on a competitive
basis to provide support to the most
promising honours students.

                                                    CRICOS provider: Monash University 00008C. Disclaimer: Monash University reserves the right to alter procedures, fees

                                                      and regulations should the need arise. Students should carefully read all official correspondence, and other sources of
                                                  information for students (such as websites and official university notice boards) to be aware of changes to the information
                                                            contained in this document and alterations to units. The information published was correct as at January 2011.