Chemistry careers

Our students complete a comprehensive training programme to give them the analytical and problem-solving skills that a scientist needs. This helps our graduates get great jobs in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, in chemistry research, or in an area outside science.

Chemistry lab

What can I do with a chemistry degree?

As a chemistry graduate from the University of Sheffield you’ll have lots of options open to you. Employers hire our graduates because of their ability to plan projects, analyse data and solve problems. The ones who stay in the lab often work on global challenges like climate change and antibiotic resistance, or help to develop innovative new technologies and processes. Others go on to great careers at cutting-edge start up businesses, major companies, charities and the Civil Service.

Applying chemistry

Chemists make things. Some of the biggest employers of our students are pharmaceutical companies such as GSK and AstraZeneca, where chemists develop new medicines, and consumer goods companies such as Unilever and Reckitt, who are behind many brands you’ll recognise on supermarket shelves. Graduates also go to chemical companies such as Croda and Scott Bader, to create products that are central to many industries.

Sarah Davidson

How I'm helping embed sustainability at a major chemical company

Sarah Davidson Chemistry with a Year in Industry MChem

Sarah works at Croda, a speciality chemicals company that produces ingredients to go into products used by people every day, such as cosmetics, medicines and lubricants.

​​And the science industry doesn’t only employ chemistry graduates in lab-based roles. These companies also need graduates who understand science to work in communications, market research and business development roles.

Beyond chemistry

A good degree from a great university can take you far, whatever you want to do. We have graduates using their scientific minds in everything from finance to marketing to computer programming.

Rory Jones

From chemistry to software development

Rory Jones BSc Chemistry

Rory graduated with a first class BSc Chemistry degree, and now uses data driven decisions to help guide software product-development, working as a Product Manager at Sheffield-based Ed-Tech start-up Tutorful.

Further study

If you’re interested in postgraduate study, we’ll help you to consider your options so you can specialise in an area you’re fascinated by, learn new skills, or change direction. Some of our graduates choose to progress onto a PhD with the goal of becoming a researcher. Others begin postgraduate training in areas such as drug discovery, nanotechnology and renewable energy.

Zhiheng Song

My experience in a chemistry lab was a reason my PhD supervisor took me on

Zhiheng Song Chemistry BSc

Zhiheng has followed his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Sheffield with a PhD in the USA.

Opportunities to enhance your CV

Industrial Placement Year

A placement is a great opportunity to test out a career path that you're considering - whether that's within the field of chemistry or applying your transferable skills in a business setting. It’ll give you experience of applying for jobs as well as interview practice, and will make you stand out once you graduate. You can do this as a recognised part of your degree with our Industrial Placement Year courses.

Our students have previously completed their placements with organisations including GSK, Reckitt, Scott Bader here in the UK, Merck KGaA in Germany and Huntsman Corporation in Belgium.

Joshua Balacky

Industry experience helped me stand out

Joshua Balacky MChem Chemistry with Study in Industry

For his placement year, Joshua went to Germany to work for a major science and technology company. He picked up lots of useful work experience, and got to explore some of Europe.

Skills For Success

Our Skills for Success training gives you a project to work on outside the lab. You'll run an activity such as giving a talk, presenting a poster, hosting a debate, producing a video for our annual SkillsFest event. It's a chance to showcase your ability to research a topic and communicate your findings, which many employers value.

Chemistry Careers Day

Every year, we host a careers day, where you can explore career options and meet with employers who hire chemistry graduates. Speakers often include our graduates. They're in a great position to provide hints and tips on how they got into their job, and give you a clearer picture of what you'd like to do after graduation.

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