Chemistry is sometimes called the ‘central science’ because it connects other sciences such as physics, biology and geology. It is science at a molecular level, where major advances are being made in areas such as medicine, IT, nanotechnology and new materials.
In this course you'll gain the knowledge to become a skilled chemist. You’ll study theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry, including synthesis, analysis and spectroscopy. Your learning will be largely laboratory-based, in Curtin’s Resources and Chemistry Precinct.
You’ll also learn problem-solving, teamwork and critical analysis skills, which can open opportunities for other careers within science.
You'll specialise in one the following streams:
Analytical and Forensic Chemistry
In this stream you'll learn how to use sophisticated scientific instruments to solve complex analytical problems.
You’ll also develop effective problem-solving and decision-making skills within the ethical and professional context of analytical and forensic science.
This is a crossover field of chemistry in which you'll study the essential processes of life at the molecular level. You’ll use complex equipment and procedures to understand the biomolecular world, explore applications in biosensors and drug design, and monitor the effects that new substances (such as food additives and medicines) have on living organisms.
You could also have a role in discovering new molecular pathways to design and synthesise new medicines.
In this stream you will study the chemical make-up of the Earth and other planets. You’ll focus on chemical reactions and processes that show how various soils and rocks are created.
This stream looks for connections between the underlying structure of a material, its properties and applications, and how processing changes the material.
You will study materials including metals, semiconductors, glasses, ceramics and polymers. You’ll also learn about analytical instruments and radiation that materials scientists use to investigate the microstructure of samples.
Double degree options
You can study a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) with either a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering).
See our handbook for more course information.
How this course will make you industry ready
In this course you're encouraged to undertake at least two weeks of industry work experience.
You'll have the opportunity to undertake industry research projects at the Resources and Chemistry Precinct. The precinct accommodates Western Australia's primary analytical chemistry facility, ChemCentre.
What jobs can the Chemistry Major (BSc Science) lead to?
- Analytical chemist
- Environmental chemist
- Forensic scientist
- Materials scientist
- Medicinal chemist
- Synthetic chemist
- Petrochemical engineering
- Bachelor of Science (Honours)
- Master of Science (Water Quality and Treatment)
- Master of Teaching
- Master of Philosophy
- Doctor of Philosophy
What you'll learn
- have demonstrated knowledge and understanding in chemsitry that is typically at a level that, whilst supported by advanced textbooks, includes some aspects that will be informed by knowledge of the forefront of chemistry, GC1
- can apply their knowledge and understanding in a manner that indicates a professional approach to chemistry, and have competencies typically demonstrated through devising and sustaining arguments (to both specialist and non-specialist audiences) and solving problems within chemistry, GC2
- understand the constructs of the scientific method and apply these principles in chemistry using digital technologies, GC3
- can gather and interpret relevant data within chemistry to inform judgements that include reflection on relevant social, scientific, or ethical issues, including being aware of the diversity of international perspectives associated with chemistry, and how these impact upon the practice of chemistry, GC4
- understand and appreciate cultural diversity and how it impacts on the practice of chemistry, GC5
- display a high standard of professional behaviour, including effective time management, both independently and as a team member, GC6