Undergraduate study - 2024 entry
Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

Subject area: Chemistry

Why choose Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh?

  • All our chemistry programmes are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and our chemical physics programmes are accredited by both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics.

  • As part of the MChem or MChemPhys programs, you will have the opportunity to take an academic year-long research placement with one of our industrial partners or at a university in Asia, Europe or North America.

  • You will have the opportunity to combine the study of chemistry with a wide range of other subjects in Years 1 and 2.

  • The School of Chemistry scored 81% in the National Student Survey 2022 for overall student satisfaction.

  • Chemistry at Edinburgh is ranked: 2nd in the UK in The Guardian Subject Rankings 2023, 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2023 and 5th in The Times Good University Guide 2023.

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Introducing Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of atoms, molecules and ions, examining their:

  • physical and chemical properties
  • composition and structure
  • role and uses in every aspect of our lives

Our programmes retain a broad perspective, preparing you for a range of potential careers in chemistry, or science more generally.

All our programmes include practical aspects to develop your analytical, problem-solving and numeracy skills. You will improve your communication and presentation skills through:

  • small-group workshops
  • tutorials with a high staff-to-student ratio
  • presentations

This means you will develop the skills that are attractive to employers in many areas of industry and commerce.


The School of Chemistry has an enthusiastic and committed staff team that provides a supportive learning environment.

All our programmes include:

  • training
  • practice
  • feedback in communication skills
  • team working
  • exposure to the latest technology of scientific information retrieval and organisation

We carry out our teaching in a highly active research environment plus we have strong connections with both the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.


Our chemistry courses include extensive experimental work, which is carried out in modern laboratories. The proportion of your time spent in the lab will increase as your programme progresses and will culminate in an extended research project in your final year.


Formed by the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews in 2004 to combine the research activities of two of Scotland’s leading schools of chemistry, EaStCHEM now provides the largest chemistry research unit in the UK.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) EaStCHEM was one of only three chemistry units to achieve a 100% “world-leading” score for our research environment.

This result reflects our:

  • provision of state-of-the-art facilities
  • recruitment of high-quality academic, research and professional services staff
  • collaboration across disciplines and with industry partners
  • support for career development and nurturing of talent

REF 2021 also assessed >99% of our research outputs as either “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” and 100% of the economic, social and environmental benefit in our impact case studies to be “outstanding” or “very considerable”.

Student Support

You will have access to a Student Support Team throughout your studies to provide you with academic guidance and support.


All our chemistry programmes are accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Our chemical physics programmes are also accredited by both the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics.

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the School of Chemistry and explore our facilities and campus on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Take a virtual tour of the School of Chemistry