A basic understanding of chemistry is critically important for anyone planning a career in science, medicine or engineering. Chemistry impacts on all of our lives from the safe handling of common household chemicals to understanding the chemical effects of compounds on our health from dietary intake including foodstuffs and medicines, the air we breathe, the fuels we burn, the chemicals we manufacture and use, and their environmental consequences.

    The major in Chemistry will provide students with a depth and breadth of understanding of chemical knowledge that is essential for anyone contemplating further study in chemistry or a career in the chemical or pharmaceutical industries. In combination with a major in Biology it forms an ideal background for further study in biological or medicinal research. The highly transferable lab-based skills in the manipulation of glassware, the safe handling and use of chemicals, the application of techniques and instrumentation, and experimental process will stand students in excellent stead in a variety of disciplinary contexts.

    The major in Chemistry will provide students with the chemical basis for understanding biological structures and processes; the effects of drugs and other chemicals in the body; the electrical, magnetic and photochemical properties of materials; geological and atmospheric processes; and environmental issues.


    Graduates from ANU have been rated as Australia's most employable graduates and among the most sought after by employers worldwide.

    The latest Global Employability University Ranking, published by the Times Higher Education, rated ANU as Australia's top university for getting a job for the fourth year in a row

    Learning Outcomes

    1. Combine depth and breadth of understanding of chemical knowledge to discern the structure, bonding, properties, characterisation and reactivity of molecular and macromolecular compounds and solid state materials.
    2. Integrate chemical concepts and ideas to solve problems of a chemical nature.
    3. Use well developed laboratory based skills to perform qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis.
    4. Prepare, isolate, purify and characterise chemical compounds and design a synthetic pathway to them based on literature precedents.
    5. Undertake appropriate chemical risk assessments and handle and use chemicals in a safe manner including the correct disposal of chemical wastes.
    6. Use software and instrumentation for the acquisition, processing and analysis of chemical data.
    7. Access relevant chemical literature and use it to present well constructed arguments based on sound chemical reasoning.
    8. Perform both collaborative and independent research in a professional manner.
    9. Communicate chemically relevant material clearly and accurately to an expert or a non-expert audience.
    10. Recognise the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry and its underlying significance in other areas of science, engineering and medicine.
    11. Perceive the ethical and social dimensions of practising chemistry.



    Applicants must have either completed recognized upper secondary studies to the required standard and recognised by ANU as comparable to Australian Year 12 (ATAR 80) or completed at least one year of tertiary study to the required standard

    • TOEFL: Paper-based score: 570 (min. 4.5 in TWE). Internet-based score: 80 (min. 20 reading and writing, 18 in speaking and listening
    • IELTS Academic:  6.5 overall (min. 6.0 in each subtest)
    • PTE Academic: 64 overall (min. 55 in each of the communicative skills)
    • Cambridge CAE: 176 overall (min.169 in each subtest)



    The Australian National University

    Acton Campus,


    Australian Capital Territory,

    2601, CANBERRA, Australia

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