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Our degree courses are designed to give you a thorough grounding in all aspects of modern chemistry and a qualification from the University of York is highly respected by employers. Although the majority of our graduates progress to become scientists, the analytical and transferable skills which constitute part of our degrees are recognised as suitable training for a wide range of careers.

careers and alumni video

One in every five pounds in the UK economy is dependent on developments in chemistry research, according to a report commissioned by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The report noted that industries reliant on chemistry contributed an astonishing £258 billion to the UK economy in 2007 - equivalent to 21% of UK GDP and supported six million jobs, accounting for at least 15% of the UK's exported goods and attracting significant inward investment.

As the chart demonstrates, the majority of our graduates go on either to scientific careers or to further study (this includes higher degrees and teacher training). Chemistry at York typically has an excellent 97% ‘Positive Destination’ rate, that is the proportion of students who either continue their studies or go into permanent employment. This is 4% above the national average for Chemistry graduates.

What do Chemists Do?

We are very proud of the achievements of our graduates, many of whom go on to a career involving Chemistry, including:

Judith Bennett, Head of Department of Education, York

Jane Clarke, Professor of Chemistry, University of Cambridge

Stephen Foots, Chief Executive of Croda International

Stan Higgins, CEO and Director NEPIC

Catherine Higgitt, Head of Science Group, The British Museum

Fred Manby, Professor of Chemistry, University of Bristol

Derek Middlemiss, Associate Director Merck Sharp and Dohme and Director GlaxoSmithKline

Jonathan Williams, Professor of Chemistry, University of Bath

pie chart of student employment

 Careers using chemistry Careers outside chemistry
  • Medical Representative
  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Forensic Homeopath
  • Research Scientist
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Development Chemist
  • Technician
  • Materials Testing
  • Biomedical Research
  • Research Chemist
  • Production Chemist
  • R&D Chemist
  • Quality Assurance
  • Management Chemist
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Information Scientist
  • Animal Health Officer
  • Product Development
  • Sound Recording
  • Marketing Officer
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Scientific Editing
  • Computer Technician
  • Accountant
  • Accounts Assistant
  • Press Officer
  • Royal Marine
  • Teacher
  • Charity Fund-raiser
  • Executive DfES
  • Retail Manager
  • Teaching English
  • Business Analyst
  • Railway Planner
  • Personnel Officer
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Pension Administrator
  • IT Web Designer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Missionary
  • Train Driver
  • Law Officer

A qualification in the chemistry opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities. 84.4% of our 2017 graduates were in graduate-level employment or pursuing further study six months after graduating. View Chemistry alumni profiles.

photo of Degree Day

Further information

Download a prospectus

Research lectures


Watch Life of a Chemistry Student

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Exploring everyday chemistry