Our final year chemistry courses will further advance your development from science student to world class scientist. These courses cover more specific topics in detail, introducing the latest in scientific techniques, theories and discoveries as well as outstanding problems in chemistry.

Combined with laboratory classes, you will hone your practical skills, rigorous attention to detail, and ability to problem solve and think critically.

Whether you plan to become a research scientist, or simply gain further understanding of the chemical world, there is a level 3 course to suit your needs. Have a look through each course listed below, and check with your program requirements to decide which is the most suitable for you.

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    Quantum Nature of Molecules - from Earth to Space

    Course Coordinator: Dr Junming Ho

    Prerequisite: CHEM2011 (Physical)

    Gain a deeper understanding of physical chemistry and ability to utilise contemporary computational and experimental methods. Explore the phenomenological nature of matter at the quantum scale. The first part of the course focuses on establishing the theoretical foundations and introducing powerful new theories including statistical thermodynamics and symmetry. The second part of the course introduces students to the application of these methods in modern computational chemistry. The third part of the course illustrates modern experimental techniques such as laser spectroscopy to elucidate chemical reactions down to the femtosecond timescale. Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on applications of these techniques, for example, in atmospheric chemistry, astrochemistry chemistry and reaction kinetics.

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    Organic Chemistry: Modern Synthetic Strategies

    Course Coordinator: Prof Naresh Kumar

    Prerequisite: CHEM2021 (Organic)

    Note: This course (CHEM3021) is a prerequisite for CHEM3051 (Medicinal)

    The need for new functional molecules is greater than ever, with ever-growing demand for new therapeutics and materials for the future. The course will focus on developing key skills in making complicated organic molecules from simple building blocks, and transforming one organic molecule to another using the synthetic toolbox. Students will be trained in modern synthetic methodologies and their application in industry to solve real world problems. The concept of retrosynthetic analysis, a logic-based tool that uses pattern recognition and mechanistic understanding for the design of synthetic pathways, will be taught and illustrated with classic case studies, including the synthesis of natural products and bioactive molecules.

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    Inorganic Chemistry: Transition Metals & Complexes

    Course Coordinator: Dr Scott Sulway

    Prerequisite: CHEM2031 (Inorganic)

    This course provides insight into the current state-of-art research where metals are used in technologies such as semiconductors, batteries, solar cells, superconductors, and where metals are used in life such as photochemical processes, nitrogen fixation. This course showcases the importance of understanding the role of the metal in these systems. The key components of structural characterization relevant to this understanding are covered and the function derived from the structure expanded. The way chemistry can be used to tune structure and hence properties is shown to underpin all of these technologies and processes in life.

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    Medicinal Organic Chemistry

    Course Coordinator: A/Prof Luke Hunter

    Prerequisites: CHEM2021 and CHEM3021 (Organic)

    Synthesis of new organic molecules is a core skill that lies at the heart of medicinal chemistry. The development of a new drug, from the design stage to eventual introduction into the clinic, is enabled by comprehensive synthetic skills. This course will explore a range of important techniques necessary for the synthesis of complex organic architectures: synthetic strategy and the use of protecting groups, an introduction to asymmetric synthesis, and polymer-supported synthesis of bimolecular including peptides and nucleic acids.

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    Chemistry of Materials

    Course Coordinator: A/Prof. Kilian

    Prerequisites: CHEM2011 (Physical) and CHEM2041 (Analytical)

    Chemistry is fundamental not just to the design of small molecules, but increasingly to the preparation of materials ranging from hard colloidal nanomaterials to soft complex macromolecular architectures. These materials have been used by humans throughout the ages: from the Lycurgus Cup of ancient Rome to natural polymers such as wool and silk. This course will explore the synthesis and characterisation of such materials, as well as the physical chemistry that underpins their behaviour both in solution and in the solid state. A particular emphasis will be placed on chemistry at the interface, the modification of surfaces, and the self-assembly of block copolymers for the preparation of nanostructures materials.

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    The Chemistry of Catalysis, Systems and Biology

    Course Coordinator: A/Prof. Ball

    Prerequisites: CHEM2021 (Organic) and CHEM2031 (Inorganic)

    Building on student’s existing background in both organic and inorganic chemistry, this course provides an understanding of the parallels between the function of synthetic and biological molecules, including enzymes. The parallels in the areas of catalysis and the formation of complex and self-assembled structures through intermolecular (supramolecular) interactions will be detailed. In this course you will learn about fundamental concepts and techniques in organic and organometallic catalysis, self-assembly & supramolecular chemistry and the chemistry of biological assemblies and enzymatic catalysis.

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    Chemistry Work Placement 1

    Course Coordinator: A/Prof Luke Hunter

    Prerequisite: Enrolled in a Science program (single or dual) and majoring in a Chemistry major or specialisation.

    This course enables science students studying majors in the School of Chemistry to apply their disciplinary knowledge and transferable skills in a professional context, through a work placement experience at an organisation external to UNSW. Students will have the opportunity to develop key professional skills that align with their career goals and contextualise their field of study in a professional workplace setting.

    The main component of the course is a minimum 105-hour work placement related to the students field of study. The placement can be paid or unpaid. This supervised workplace experience is supported by professional development and discipline-specific modules that students can select from, in line with their individual career goals.

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    Chemistry Work Placement 2

    Course Coordinator: A/Prof Luke Hunter

    Prerequisite: CHEM3199

    This work placement course is for Chemistry students who wish to extend their work placement experience by completing a longer work placement (over two terms) or a more intensive placement (more hours in one term). Placements may be paid or unpaid.

    In completing an extended or intensive option, students will have the opportunity to further develop professional workplace skills and engage in deeper self-reflection and analysis of the experience as a stepping stone into a graduate career.

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    Environmental Toxicology

    Course Coordinator: Dr Shannan Maisey

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    Advanced Special Project in Chemistry

    Coordinators: Dr Laura McKemmish and A/Prof Neeraj Sharma

    Also see: Undergraduate Research

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    Advanced Instrumental Analysis

    Course Coordinator: A/Prof Alex Donald

    Prerequisite: CHEM2041 (Analytical)

    This course builds on students' existing background in analytical chemistry to develop both theory and practice relating to the latest analytical techniques used in industry and research. The course covers in general, method validation and quality assurance in the analytical chemistry laboratory; and for selected major techniques, method development, theory, operation, instrumentation and applications. Analytical methods covered include separation techniques (chromatography), mass spectrometry, hyphenated chromatography-mass spectrometry techniques, surface analysis, X-ray diffraction, and elemental analysis, which are amongst the most widely used analytical instrumental techniques across a broad range of disciplines and in many different industries. The course was designed in close consultation with industry leaders (who will also give guest lectures) to provide valuable perspectives from outside academia and provide focus on the most relevant occupational skills. Students will obtain hands-on experience using state-of-the art, instruments in the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre. Thus, the course strongly emphasises employability in both industry, government and academy.

Course availability

T1 courses

  • CHEM3021
  • CHEM3061
  • CHEM3199
  • CHEM3299
  • CHEM3998

T2 courses

  • CHEM3031
  • CHEM3199
  • CHEM3299
  • CHEM6041
  • CHEM3998

T3 courses

  • CHEM3011
  • CHEM3051
  • CHEM3071
  • CHEM3199
  • CHEM3299
  • CHEM3901
  • CHEM3998

U1 Summer courses

  • CHEM3199
  • CHEM3299