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After your degree 

According to the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, 96% of our 2017 graduates were in work or further study within just six months of finishing their degree, and 87% were in a graduate-level position. Students leave their chemistry degrees equipped to meet the challenges of scientific and industrial innovation. Many go on to work at major companies like Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and BP. Others work at world-class universities as inspirational lecturers and academic researchers.

Some apply their problem-solving, analysis and project management skills outside science, with successful careers in business, finance, publishing and IT. We help all of our students develop skills to meet the latest demands of science, commerce and society at large.

What can I do with my chemistry degree?

The manufacturing industry is the single largest recruiter of chemistry graduates and approximately half of people employed in this sector work for chemical manufacturers. Lots of them make use of their degrees, often in a laboratory setting. Examples job titles for chemistry graduates include:

  • Site Chemist
  • Formulation Scientist
  • Development Technologist
  • Scientific Analyst
  • Ceramic Technologist

Graduates also use their degrees in many occupations outside chemistry, such as chartered accountancy, youth work, market research, commercial management and sales. You can find out more about careers for chemistry graduates on the University of Sheffield Careers Service website.

Careers with a chemistry degree

Support while you study

As a chemistry student, you'll get lots of support to help you work out what you want to do after graduation, and the steps you need to take to get there. During your course, you'll get employability skills training and advice from staff who have worked in the chemical industry.

The University's Careers Service runs workshops on CV and application writing, job hunting and preparing for interviews. They offer tips tailored to chemistry students, events where you can meet employers, and opportunities to get work experience while you study. Schemes such as the 301 Academic Skills Certificate will help you show employers that you're ready for the world of work. The Careers Service will continue to support you for three years after you graduate.

Careers Service

Work placements

Undergraduate student Shannon North spent a year at ink manufacturers Diamond Dispersions. The company put her forward for a National Undergraduate Employability award after she helped solve a complex chemical problem.

Shannon North

I've learnt so much from my study in industry, about working in a team with scientists as well as non-academics, and how research fits into developing businesses.


Postgraduate study

If you're interested in continuing to study chemistry, we run two masters degree courses and have a range of PhD opportunities available each year.

Postgraduate study in chemistry

Mark Dodsworth

Vernalis Research works in structure-based drug discovery and specialises in cancer research, which overlaps with a lot of the topics I studied on my degree. That knowledge combined with the industrial work placement I did at GSK were invaluable to getting the job.

Mark Dodsworth, Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Vernalis

Zoe Smallwood

I am now doing my PhD in inorganic chemistry at Sheffield. I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant, which means I demonstrate in the undergraduate teaching labs as part of my PhD. This is a great experience and very rewarding.

Zoe Smallwood, PhD student, the University of Sheffield