About the Major
Chemistry is the science describing matter and its transformations. It holds the key to making new materials, creating revolutionary drugs, developing sensors, exploring alternative energy, and understanding and controlling material properties of all kinds, etc. Studying Chemistry will give you not only subject-specific knowledge but also useful skills such as numerical, analytical, research and problem-solving skills, plus the teamwork and communication skills. These skills can be applied in any role in your future career.
The Major in Chemistry aims to provide students with a solid training in major areas of chemistry. The curriculum includes core courses covering topics in physical, inorganic, organic, and analytical chemistry. A wide selection of electives in interdisciplinary areas such as chemical biology, computational chemistry, environmental chemistry, interfacial science, material, and medicinal chemistry, is available for students to choose.
To cater for students’ different needs, two curricula in chemistry are offered. Students can choose to complete the regular 96-credit major curriculum and opt to broaden their education in other areas. Alternatively, those who wish to specialize in chemistry can follow the intensive chemistry major curriculum which comprises 144 credits. This intensive major has been accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Graduates of this intensive chemistry major will be awarded a certificate by the Department of Chemistry, with authorisation by RSC, to recognise their achievements. All students in the final year of this accredited programme are qualified to apply for membership to RSC. A graduate with RSC membership will have an advantage, not only when applying for jobs, but also when they are seeking professional qualifications, such as Chartered Chemist (CChem) status.
Our graduates are proficient in the principles and experimental skills of chemistry, and are well-versed in the current development of chemical sciences. The transferable skills acquired through theoretical and experimental investigations in sciences can be easily applied to many aspects of life. They are ready to contribute to the industrial, commercial, government or education sectors globally and locally. Many of our past graduates have become leaders of these sectors.
- Graduates have an excellent record in gaining local employment, such as professional chemists in government and commercial laboratories, teaching, technical marketing, and management of industrial plants and testing laboratories;
- Some graduates choose to use their transferrable skills in rigorous analytical thinking and organisation to branch out into other areas such as the business and public sectors;
- Many top graduates have also elected to pursue postgraduate studies in chemistry or other disciplines.
KWAN Hong Yuet
2019 BSc graduate (Intensive Major in Chemistry)
Radiochemist Assistant - St. Teresa's Hospital
“Studying chemistry in HKU has been a remarkable experience in my life. During the undergraduate studies, I have found my interest and a direction for my future career. Although pursuing the intensive version of Chemistry Major has been tough for me, the curriculum has provided me with comprehensive training in various areas of chemistry. In particular, it has offered me the invaluable experience in working in a research group in the Department of Chemistry. I have gained hands-on experience in carrying out a research project on organic chemistry and this has equipped me with a lot of useful skills such as problem-solving skills. I am grateful that I now have the opportunity to apply what I have learned to serve people who are in need and be able to contribute to the society. The knowledge and skills I acquired through studying the intensive chemistry major curriculum would definitely help me a great deal in my career. Lastly, I would like to thank HKU Department of Chemistry for shaping me into a young chemist. Thank you!”
LEUNG Hoi Tung Daisy
2019 BSc graduate (Major in Chemistry)
Management Trainee of The Bank of East Asia
“As a Chemistry student at HKU, I have been exposed to a myriad of opportunities, including both internal and external internships. The Chemistry-Major curriculum is a comprehensive and yet flexible one that enables students to develop an independent and logical mindset, acquire meticulous analytical skills, and allows students to choose their own interest in specific chemistry areas. My piece of advice for prospective students who wish to join the HKU Chemistry Department is: Take hold of the generous opportunities offered by the University and the Department of Chemistry because you never know when these valuable experiences would come in handy.”