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Why study Chemistry?

Chemistry is all around us. To study Chemistry is to discover how it is relevant to every aspect of our lives.

Since being at York I really appreciate how the different topics link together 

Amy, Year 1 MChem

From an understanding of how pharmaceuticals interact with our bodies, how we affect the environment and how modern materials such as plastics and semiconductors are prepared, the possibilities are endless.

Chemistry is often referred to as the 'central science' as it covers topics as diverse as quantum mechanics and the study of atomic particles, to the molecular nature of biological systems and the Human genome project. 

Learning about the fundamental basis of chemistry - the analysis of molecules, their structures and shapes and how they react - is vital for our modern society. Chemists can really make a difference in the world!

The Department of Chemistry is on Campus West, within twenty minutes walk of all the college accommodation and, as part of a £29 million phased redevelopment, a £10 million research building was completed in 2012 and a new undergraduate teaching laboratory and Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence in 2014.

Why study Chemistry at York?

The Department of Chemistry offers students

Departmental achievements

Many of our academic staff have won learned society prizes and international recognition for their research and teaching. We are proud of our departmental achievements which include:

  • 1st for learning opportunities satisfaction in Chemistry among participating Russell Group universities (NSS 2021)
  • Four members of staff recognised for 'excellence of teaching' by the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • First department in the UK to achieve the Athena Swan Gold award for its commitment to women in science - making us the longest held recipient of the Gold award on record


Further information

Order a course booklet

Download a prospectus

Lockdown lectures


Watch Life of a Chemistry Student

Our free online Exploring Everyday Chemistry - our UCAS offer holders can get full access to the course material

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Exploring everyday chemistry