Chemistry is fundamental to our understanding of all branches of science and for a wide range of industries.  A degree in Chemistry from the University of Waikato means you'll gain an excellent grasp of Chemistry theory, supported by a strong emphasis on practical expertise.

Jamie Bridson

Master of Science
Scientist Jamie Bridson is researching how we can use biological materials from the forestry industry to create new environmentally friendly products such as biodegradable plastics.

Nisha Fernandez-Ritchie

Bachelor of Science
For Nisha Fernandez-Ritchie, the choice to study at Waikato University seemed like an obvious one. With both her parents having worked at Waikato, she says she “pretty much grew up on campus”.

Dylan Harrison

Master of Science (Technology)
For Waikato graduate Dylan Harrison, a career in science has always been on the cards.

Nicholas Kaun

Bachelor of Science (Technology)
With an excellent reputation for chemistry research, a relaxed campus, and a handful of scholarships on offer, former Saint John's College student Nicholas Kuan knew the University of Waikato was the right choice for him.

Kirsty Kraakman

Master of Science (Research)
Making new discoveries in science is the ultimate goal for student Kirsty Kraakman.

Sanjay Patel

Bachelor of Science
Sanjay Patel found his passion in chemistry and finance at the University of Waikato after deciding an Otago health sciences degree wasn’t for him.

Jonathan Puddick

Jonathan specialises in analytical biochemistry and uses analytical techniques to understand the biochemistry of cyanobacteria and algae.

Alice Wang

Bachelor of Science (Technology), Master of Science
Waikato Masters Graduate Alice Wang spends a lot of her work life travelling throughout the world.

Cody Wright

Master of Science
A passion for chemistry has led Cody Wright to an exciting position with New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory.

Chemistry at the University of Waikato

Employers recognise Waikato Chemistry graduates for their analytical and problem solving skills as well as for their high-level of practical abilities – including hands-on bench and modern instrumentation skills.

A Chemistry qualification from Waikato appeals to a wide range of employers including analytical, forensic, industrial, environmental and medical laboratories.  There is a shortage of Chemistry graduates in New Zealand and overseas and a critical shortage of qualified Chemistry teachers.

Better building materials and textiles, improved medical aids, new alloys, more productive agriculture, better environmental control and remediation – all rely on the chemical expertise you'll gain from studying at Waikato.

The University of Waikato covers a wide range of specialist areas including analytical chemistry, geochemistry, environmental chemistry, forensic science, industrial chemistry, materials chemistry and biochemistry.

Chemistry major

For students with an interest in Chemistry, the structure of our Chemistry major will provide a solid foundation of knowledge in the subject.

In your first year of study you'll need to complete two compulsory Chemistry papers. The remaining six papers required for the degree can be taken in other areas of science and engineering and from other faculties.

During your second year, Chemistry papers will become more specialised, allowing you to focus on analytical, organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, with papers covering theory and practical laboratory work.

Chemistry as a supporting subject

Chemistry is a central science and is an integral part of the study required for Biochemistry, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences and more.

For students in their first year of study who require a background in Chemistry for a major outside of this subject, our paper CHEM100 – 'Chemistry in Context' is an ideal first step. It places an emphasis on chemical concepts within the broader context of the world.


The University of Waikato’s School of Science is home to a suite of well-equipped laboratories. Most science papers include weekly laboratory sessions, giving you the chance to put what you’ve learnt in lectures and tutorials into practice. Our undergraduate students also have the opportunity to use complex research equipment and techniques, such as NMR spectroscopy.

 Career opportunities

  • Biochemist
  • Biosecurity Officer
  • Chemical Technologist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Food Technologist
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Marine Studies
  • Material Science
  • Microbiologist

100 level

Structure and SpectroscopyCHEMY10115.0 Points
Chemical ReactivityCHEMY10215.0 Points

200 level

Organic ChemistryCHEMY20115.0 Points
Physical ChemistryCHEMY20215.0 Points
Inorganic ChemistryCHEMY20315.0 Points
Analytical ChemistryCHEMY20415.0 Points

300 level

Prescriptions for the GradCert(Chem) and GradDip(Chem)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Chemistry at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(Chem), PGDip(Chem), BSc(Hons), MSc, MSc (Research) and MSc(Tech)

Students in masters degrees are normally required to take a thesis and a selection of papers. Enrolment in papers towards the BSc(Hons) is by invitation of the Head of School. Candidates for these graduate qualifications should select their papers in consultation with the Graduate Convenor.

To complete a BSc(Hons) in Chemistry, students must complete 120 points at 500 level, including at least 60 points from the papers listed for Chemistry, of which at least 30 points must be in research (normally CHEM591).

Advanced Organic Chemistry (Structural Characterisation)CHEM51115.0 Points
Topics in Advanced Physical ChemistryCHEM51215.0 Points
Organometallic Chemistry and CatalysisCHEM51315.0 Points
Special Topics in Chemistry ACHEM51415.0 Points
Isotope GeochemistryCHEM51615.0 Points
Applied and Environmental Analytical Chemistry ACHEM51715.0 Points
Advanced Organic ChemistryCHEM52115.0 Points
Computational ChemistryCHEM52215.0 Points
Inorganic Materials ChemistryCHEM52315.0 Points
Structural Characterisation TechniquesCHEM52415.0 Points
Applied and Environmental Analytical Chemistry BCHEM52715.0 Points
Directed Study: Chemistry TopicsCHEM58915.0 Points
Directed StudyCHEM59030.0 Points
DissertationCHEM59130.0 Points
DissertationCHEM59260.0 Points
Chemistry ThesisCHEM59390.0 Points
Chemistry ThesisCHEM594120.0 Points
Chemistry ThesisCHEM595150.0 Points
Research Methods in the SciencesSCIE50115.0 Points

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Chemistry MPhil ThesisCHEM800120.0 Points

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Chemistry PhD ThesisCHEM900120.0 Points

School of Science Postgraduate Study Scholarship

For students who qualify to enrol at the University of Waikato, and are intending to enrol part or full-time in semester B 2016 in the School of Science in either a 180pt masters, the taught components of a masters degree or the research component of a masters degree. The Scholarship will have a value of $5,000 per year for two years.

Closing Date: 2016-07-18 23:59:00

Science Admission Fees Scholarship

For school leavers who are intending to enrol full-time (120 pts) in the first year of a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science(Technology) in the Faculty of Science & Engineering and are performing well academically in their final year of secondary school. The Scholarship has a value of up to $4,000.

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00

Science and Engineering Masters Fees Awards

For students enrolling full-time in the first year MSc (research), MSc, MSc (Tech) ME or MEnvSci programme in the faculty of Engineering. Part-time applicants may be considered but any scholarship awarded will be on a pro-rata basis. The Scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-03-15 23:59:00


Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254