First year undergraduate students in a synthesis lab class.

Chemists are recruited into practically every branch of industry, particularly in pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, oil and chemicals, photographic materials, cosmetics, plastics, textiles, building materials, silicon chips - and more.

Companies seek graduates who are employable: those who possess an excellent scientific background, professional skills and personal transferable skills.

Successful candidates demonstrate their employability through the possession of excellent written and verbal communication skills, they have an awareness of the functions of business and they can work as part of a team, manage and organise their time, can take positions of responsibility and lead others.

Skills development during your degree

Professional skills are incorporated into the many and varied elements of Imperial's chemistry degree courses:

Communication skills

Communication skills are developed through the production of lab reports (years 1 and 2), a literature review (year 3) and research project reports (years 3 and 4) along with research proposal preparation (year 4). These exercises teach many different aspects of scientific writing whilst providing training in proper referencing, searching the technical literature, critical thinking and review and the avoidance of plagiarism.

Team work

Team work is developed through group projects (years 1 and 2) and students also have the opportunity to give posters and presentations (years 3 and 4).

Software and technology

Dedicated workshops also provide training in using Chemical Information Technology, data analysis and programming, e.g. using Python.

Royal Society of Chemistry

The department also has strong links with the Royal Society of Chemistry, supporting membership for all undergraduates who wish to join, thereby introducing them to membership of a professional body. 

Other development opportunities

Volunteer work, outreach, clubs and societies also provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience whilst helping others, while the College’s Horizons programme gives students the chance to broaden their skills with courses in business and professional skills or languages.

Find out more

Explore career options in chemistry via Imperial's Careers Service >>