This major is part of the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours), a course designed for high performing students to pursue their interest in Science through a core of research, leadership and entrepreneurship. It provides a flexible and personalised approach to studying Chemistry with students able to explore the field through for-credit immersive research experiences, industry placement and/or interdisciplinary team-based projects. The major culminates in a capstone experience in which students will have the opportunity to pursue Chemistry projects that may be based anywhere from pure research right through to translational (entrepreneurial) science.
This major trains you to become a skilled chemist. It also teaches you problem solving, teamwork and critical analysis skills, which may open the door for many careers within and outside science. You will study theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry, including synthesis, analysis and molecular modelling. Your learning will be largely laboratory-based, in Curtin’s Resources and Chemistry Precinct.
You can take units to develop a specialisation in:
Analytical and Forensic Chemistry
You will learn how to use sophisticated scientific instrumentation in combination with chemical knowledge to solve complex, real-world analytical problems.
You will develop effective problem-solving and decision-making skills within the ethical and professional context of analytical and forensic science, as there are often regulatory or legislative requirements for chemical measurements to be taken.
You will study the essential processes of life on the molecular level. You will use complex equipment and procedures to understand the bio-molecular world, explore applications in biosensors and drug design, and monitor what effects new substances like food additives and medicines have on living organisms.
Biological chemists, play a part in diagnosing diseases and investigating potential cures for illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, through to the design and synthesis of new and improved medicines.
You will study the chemical make-up of the Earth and other planets. You will focus on the chemical reactions and processes that show how various soils and rocks are created.
Materials scientists examine materials from a unified point of view; they look for connections between the underlying structure of a material, its properties, how processing changes it and what the material can do.
You will study a range of materials, including metals, semiconductors, glasses, ceramics and polymers. You will also learn about analytical instruments and different forms of radiation that materials scientists use to investigate the microstructure of samples.
Students in this course gain a practical laboratory chemistry experience throughout their discipline-based units. Work-based learning is ensured through the requirement to engage in immersive industry and/or research experience.
The Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) provides opportunities through second and third year to undertake internal and external internships and immersive work experience, sourced by the student, which can be used for course credit.
This major sits within the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) degree. To apply for this major, you will apply for the Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours).
Please refer to the handbook for additional course overview information.
How this course will make you industry ready
You will have the opportunity to undertake research projects with industry at the Resources and Chemistry Precinct, which accommodates organisations such as ChemCentre – the foremost commercial chemical analysis organisation in Western Australia.
What jobs can the Chemistry Major (BAdvSci) (Honours) lead to?
- Environmental chemist
- Forensic scientist
- Medicinal chemist
- Synthetic chemist
- Petrochemical engineering
What you'll learn
- Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the nature of science, its methods and processes, and an advanced knowledge of chemical principles and concepts; contribute new knowledge in a range of chemical disciplines.
- Critically analyse challenging and multi-faceted problems in chemistry, generate innovative scientific solutions through research using practical and theoretical tools; critically evaluate findings within the current body of disciplinary knowledge.
- Access and make judgements on the value of available knowledge using a variety of tools, and incorporate them into the planning, conduct and communication of their own work.
- Communicate approaches and solutions, ideas and findings to an audience of chemical professionals through written word and by oral presentation.
- Use established and emerging technologies within the context of the chemical professions and apply them to address complex research questions.
- Demonstrate intellectual independence and engage in self-driven continuous discipline and professional education and training in the chemical sciences.
- Participate in the generation and application of science in addressing global problems while recognising the international and cultural issues in chemistry, understand compliance with international ethical and professional standards.
- Work collaboratively and respectfully with scientists from a range of cultural backgrounds and understand the importance of cultural diversity and individual human rights that impact research in the chemical sciences or the broader profession.
- Be able to work as an independent chemical scientist and collaboratively within teams either as a professional leader or collaborator using effective problem solving and decision making skills within the professional context of the chemical sciences.