Best Universities for Chemistry in the UK

Why study Chemistry at university?

Chemistry is the study of matter and its properties. It is an excellent subject choice for students interested in science and molecular systems. Studying Chemistry at university will equip you with skills including analytical and problem-solving skills, which are highly valued in medicine materials and energy industries.

For undergraduate studies:

Undergraduate students should graduate within three or four years with a Bachelor of Science (BSc).

For postgraduate studies:

If you complete a Masters in Chemistry, you will graduate within one year with a Master of Chemistry (MPhys) or a Master of Science (MSci). You can also embark on a four-year journey to earn a PhD and Doctor title.

If you’re interested in studying Chemistry at university but need some help meeting the entry requirements for degree-level Chemistry, then have no fear. Our dedicated and friendly team at The Profs can match you with expert Chemistry tutors. We are experienced and happy to help. After all, 95% of our clients get into their first or second choice university!

What career can I use a Chemistry degree for?

Chemistry is a highly respected degree and can open up a wide range of career opportunities. Chemistry students are sought after in industries such as medicine, materials, energy, pharmaceuticals, and petrochemicals. A STEM subject like Chemistry equips students with many valuable transferable skills. Some popular career choices for Chemistry graduates include:

  • Chemist
  • Materials Scientist
  • Physicist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Medicinal Chemist
  • Patent Lawyer
  • Science Writer
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Environmental Chemist

What are the most popular Chemistry programmes?

Chemistry is a fundamental science that covers material, molecular and biological fields. Within your degree, you might be able to select modules in focussed areas that interest you. If you pursue a postgraduate in Chemistry, you might be able to select a more specialised degree title. Some of the most popular subjects within Chemistry include:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Nuclear Chemistry

What are the best universities in the UK for Chemistry?

The UK offers a wide range of prestigious universities with impressive academic rankings and excellent Chemistry departments.

Below is a list of the top UK universities for Chemistry. These universities ranked highly on league tables and have top Chemistry departments. All of them have outstanding reputations for innovative research and esteemed teaching, and their graduates are highly sought after by employers. If you’re interested in studying Chemistry at any of these universities but feel intimidated by the high entry requirements and competitive application process, reach out to our helpful admissions team at The Profs.

All that said, make sure that you look beyond league tables. You should also choose your university based on what’s suited to you and makes you happy. Consider location, societies, activities, and learning style to ensure you choose an institution matching your interests.

Take a look at the best UK universities for Chemistry:

University of Cambridge

Cambridge University is arguably the UK’s top university for Chemistry due to its world-leading Chemistry department, revered professors, and excellent teaching and research facilities. Their Department of Chemistry has world-renowned chemistry laboratories and libraries that support independent research. Cambridge is certainly a top institution for Chemistry in the UK.

The Chemistry course at Cambridge is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at Cambridge are A*A*A A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including Maths and two Science subjects. Further information can be found here.

University of Oxford

Oxford University is one of the best universities for Chemistry, with a long-established and prestigious department. It offers a highly rigorous and revered Chemistry education. Graduates are poised for leadership roles in academia, industry or research.

Oxford’s Chemistry department is also known for its collection of historic chemistry instruments and documents. Many doors open of opportunity will open with a Chemistry degree from the University of Oxford.

The Chemistry course at Oxford is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at Oxford are A*A*A A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including Science and/or Maths subjects. Further information can be found here.

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has a renowned Chemistry department and is one of the best in the UK. It provides outstanding academic teaching and many opportunities for research collaborations. Edinburgh hosts major chemistry conferences and symposia and has a renowned chemistry library and museum. The university’s academic rankings for Chemistry are equally impressive.

The Chemistry course at Edinburgh is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at Edinburgh are AAA-ABB A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including Chemistry and Maths at grade B. Further information can be found here.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a leading university for Chemistry with excellent facilities and influential chemistry academics and researchers. It offers a wealth of opportunities and connections that lead to successful chemistry careers. Imperial is also home to major chemistry research centres like the Catalysis Science and Technology Centre. A Chemistry degree from Imperial will open up many doors of opportunity.

The Chemistry course at Imperial College London is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at Imperial are A*A*A* to AAA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including Chemistry, Maths, and preferably a third Science or Maths subject. Further information can be found here.

University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is one of the top-ranking universities for Chemistry. It has a prestigious Chemistry department and is ranked highly in the UK. It provides excellent teaching and mentoring in a collegial environment.
Graduates benefit from the university’s reputation and network. St Andrews also hosts chemistry field stations and has a renowned organic chemistry research centre.

The Chemistry course at St Andrews University is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at St Andrews are A*A*A to ABB A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted). These grades should include an A in Chemistry and an A in one of the following subjects: Biology (or Human Biology), Computing Science, Economics, Geography, Mathematics and Physics. Further information can be found here.

University College London (UCL)

UCL is a top university for Chemistry with world-class academics and research facilities. It provides an inspiring environment for advanced study and opportunities to work with leaders in chemistry. Graduates are prepared for top careers in chemistry and science. UCL also houses the London Centre for Nanotechnology, a leading nanochemistry research centre.

The Chemistry course at UCL is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at UCL are AAA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including Chemistry and another Science or Maths subject. Further information can be found here.

Durham University

Durham University offers one of the best Chemistry courses in the UK. It has a well-established Chemistry department with a demonstrated track record of excellence. It offers a strong foundation in core chemistry skills and knowledge along with opportunities for independent research.

Graduates are poised for success in doctoral study, industry or academics. Durham is also known for its prestigious Institute for Materials Chemistry, which supports innovative chemistry research.

The Chemistry course at Durham is currently ranked (2023):

The entry requirements for studying Chemistry at the University of Durham are A*AA A levels (equivalent qualifications are also accepted) including Chemistry and Maths subjects. Further information can be found here.

Other excellent universities in the United Kingdom for Chemistry include University of Manchester, Reading University,

University of Southampton, King’s College London, University of York, Warwick University, Bath University, Glasgow University, University of Bristol, University of Nottingham, and Bristol University. These also place among the top league tables for Chemistry.

How do I get into one of these top universities for Chemistry?

Getting into one of the top universities for Chemistry is competitive, but there are things you can do to improve your chances. Here are some tips:

  • Study hard and achieve high grades in Chemistry, Maths, and another Science or Maths subject.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities that are subject specific. This could mean independent scientific research, work experience at a pharmacy, or joining a Chemistry club.
  • Put time and effort into your university application, tasks, and interviews.
  • Consider seeking advice from The Profs.

If you are interested in studying Chemistry at one of the top universities in the UK, The Profs are here to help. We offer excellent Chemistry tutors, as well as expert guidance on university applications, including personal statement writing and interview preparation. Reach out to our friendly team today!

FAQ

What are the top universities and degrees in the UK for studying Chemistry?

All of the universities mentioned in this article are top universities to study Chemistry at in the UK. Some of the best ranking universities for Chemistry in the UK are Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and UCL.

Esteemed Chemistry degrees range from a BSc in Chemistry, an MChem, to a PhD in Chemistry.

What salary typically follows a Chemistry degree?

Chemistry graduates can earn a high salary, typically £25,000-£35,000 per year in the UK. Senior chemists and those with higher degrees can earn £40,000-£70,000 or more.

How long is a Chemistry degree?

A typical undergraduate Chemistry degree programme takes 3 years of full-time study to complete. An MChem degree takes 4 years and a PhD take 3-4 years of research with thesis work.

What are the A level entry requirements for a Chemistry degree?

Most universities require at least ABB in Chemistry, Maths, and another Science or related subject for admission to a Chemistry degree. Some top universities may require higher grades.

Is a Chemistry degree worth it (UK)?

Yes, a degree in Chemistry in the UK can definitely be worthwhile.

There are many high-paying career opportunities, low unemployment rates, and strong job security for Chemistry graduates. While the degree can be competitive to obtain, the investment often leads to a successful career.

What Chemistry research opportunities are available with a degree?

A degree in Chemistry provides excellent preparation for a career in chemistry research. Options include postdoctoral research positions, research fellow roles, and a career as an academic chemist at a university. Chemistry PhDs in particular allow very specialised research opportunities.