Everything around us involves chemistry, from the food that we eat to the air that we breathe. Chemistry is a vibrant and exciting central science that interfaces with biology, physics, mathematics, medicine and geology, and St Andrews offers appropriate modules highlighting the importance of these interfaces.

At St Andrews, students are able to build their fundamental training in chemistry into specialised areas including medicinal chemistry, materials, molecular biology, nanotechnology, catalysis and surface science. Chemists are highly valued as researchers, developers and managers in manufacturing industries including fuels and pharmaceuticals.


Undergraduate - 2019 entry

Chemistry BSc (Hons)
Chemistry MChem (Hons)
Biomolecular Science BSc (Hons)
Chemical Sciences BSc (Hons)
Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons)
Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry MChem (Hons)
Materials Chemistry BSc (Hons)
Materials Chemistry MChem (Hons)
Sustainable Development BSc (Hons)
Sustainable Development MA (Hons)

Joint degree options

The Chemistry BSc and the Chemistry MChem programmes can be taken with another subject as part of a joint degree or a "with" degree.

Undergraduate - 2020 entry

Chemistry BSc (Hons)
Chemistry MChem (Hons)
Chemical Sciences BSc (Hons)
Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons)
Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry MChem (Hons)
Materials Chemistry BSc (Hons)
Materials Chemistry MChem (Hons)
Sustainable Development BSc (Hons)
Sustainable Development MA (Hons)
FE-HE Pathway to Science Pathway to BSc (Hons)

Joint degree options

The Chemistry BSc and the Chemistry MChem programmes can be taken with another subject as part of a joint degree or a "with" degree.

International Foundation programmes

International Foundation programmes prepare international students for undergraduate study in the UK and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

Science September Foundation
Science January Foundation 

Postgraduate - 2019 entry


Catalysis MSc
Chemical Science MSc


Please contact a supervisor in your research area to inquire about PhD opportunities.

Visit St Andrews


If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day or talk and tour to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 25 September 2019
  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 23 October 2019
  • Wednesday 30 October 2019

Visit us


Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

Sign up

Chemistry research areas

The School has several groups carrying out research in core areas of organic synthesis and molecular inorganic chemistry. This includes:

  • diversity-orientated synthesis
  • natural product chemistry
  • asymmetric synthesis
  • inorganic and organic heterocycles
  • sulfur and phosphorus chemistry.

The School is a leading centre in the area of catalysis, where they are leading a new EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training.

The key areas of research within the School are grouped into four research areas:

Chemistry facilities

The School of Chemistry is equipped to support major facilities across the full spectrum of Chemistry, including:

  • NMR (both solution and solid-state)
  • X-ray crystallography (single-crystal, powder and macromolecular)
  • electron microscopy
  • catalyst evaluation
  • analytical chemistry
  • spectroscopy
  • surface science.

The School also houses its own library containing all of the major books required for postgraduate research work. Comprehensive online access to journals and national and international databases is available.

Find out more about the facilities and services the School of Chemistry offers.

Careers for graduates in Chemistry

St Andrews Chemistry graduates are in demand by both major and grassroots companies. Popular careers for chemists include:

  • professional chemists in the chemical, pharmaceutical and engineering industries
  • management consultants
  • accountants
  • investment bankers
  • teachers
  • forensic scientists
  • patent lawyers
  • journalism and the media
  • various careers in the food industry (including brewing)
  • marketing and advertising.

Many also continue in academic life, in universities or research institutions in the UK, Europe, North America, Japan and others worldwide. Other career routes outwith a research environment include scientific publishing, patent law, forensic science, and IT and energy consultancy.

Recent Chemistry graduates are engaged in diverse roles and have found positions such as:

  • a research scientist at a company involved in enhanced oil recovery in western Canada
  • an intern at the European Patent Office
  • pharmaceutical development scientist at Reckitt-Benckiser
  • audit assistant at KPMG
  • regional liaison officer for the Royal Society of Chemists.

See recent graduate employment case studies.

Funding opportunities

There is a range of funding opportunities available to prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students.


St Andrews offers a number of funding opportunities for undergraduate study.

Undergraduate scholarships

Postgraduate students

There are various funding opportunities available to postgraduate students.

Postgraduate taught scholarships

PhD students

Find out more about funding at PhD level.

Funding for PhD students


REF 2014

In the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014, Chemistry research at St Andrews was ranked top in Scotland with 28% of its overall research activity rated as world leading.

Athena Swan Silver Award

The School of Chemistry was the first School at St Andrews to receive an Athena SWAN Silver award. The School is determined to actively support equality and fairness irrespective of race, disability, age, faith, gender and sexual orientation and is taking active steps to stamp out any explicit or implicit discrimination of staff and students on the basis of these differences.

University league tables

The School of Chemistry was ranked second in Scotland by the Guardian University Guide 2019 and was ranked first in Scotland and fifth in the UK by the Complete University Guide 2019.


School of Chemistry
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3800 

Chemistry website   Chemistry research portal