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Chemistry is a foundation science of civilisation and is central to modern technology and medicine. As such, many fields of science involve an understanding and/or application of chemistry or materials derived from chemical processes. Since the mid-20th century six notable Australians have won Nobel prizes for their contributions to science , which involved significant aspects of chemistry. These include Sir John Cornforth; and for Medicine with a substantial chemistry component - Florey (1945), - MacFarlane Burnett (1960), - Eccles (1963), - Doherty (1996) and - Blackburn (2009). W.H. Bragg, W.L Bragg won the prize in Physics (1915), which led to major advances in chemistry, biology and material science.

Chemistry has prominence in the modern world via applications involving nanotechnologies and popular compact electronic devices of everyday use. However, there are many more chemical uses that that support modern society and occupy many roles without being noticed or even pondered.

Chemistry is science at the molecular level. Chemical science underpins defence technology at every level from lasers and high-speed computers to food science and energetic materials. Ordnance and Engineering are particular areas where UNSW Canberra Chemistry majors have found employment.

Chemistry is divided into several sub-fields. The School of PEMS has strengths in Physical and Theoretical Chemistry as well as Inorganic and Organic Chemistry. Within each of these sub-fields there are specialist fields of laser spectroscopy, biological chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, explosives and molecular design. As well as teaching, academic staff carry out research in these fields. Fourth year Honours and higher degree by research (MSc, PhD) programs are available within a range of specified areas.

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Specialisation Structure

Students must complete 48 UOC.

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Additional Information

Double-Major Combinations

For double-major combinations with Chemistry, please refer to the Recommended Double Major Combinations listed within this site.

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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