Please note: Information on this page relates to the 2015 academic year unless otherwise specified.

This subject is taught by the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences.


Chemistry is everywhere. It is fundamental to all living beings, physical processes, materials, and the environment. Chemistry underlies all the functions of the human body, our food, the consumer goods we use, the buildings we live and work in, the energy we generate and consume, and the air we breathe. Understanding chemistry is the basis for understanding the function and structure of all of these, and also for developing new materials, pharmaceuticals, technologies and processes to enhance our lives.

At Victoria, you can start a degree in Chemistry at a level that suits you. If you're a novice, the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences offers an introductory chemistry course over the summer trimester, CHEM 191 (Introductory Chemistry).

Chemistry is a pivotal science, and a major in Chemistry for a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or studied within a Bachelor of Biomedical Science (BBMedSc), provides you with a comprehensive knowledge and skill base covering theory coupled with a practical laboratory and technological emphasis. The opportunities for people with a good understanding of Chemistry are enormous.

Undergraduate information

Chemistry major requirements

  1. CHEM 114, 115; 15 100-level points from MATH or PHYS; 15 points from (BIOL 111, BMSC 117, BTEC 101, ESCI 111, 112, ENVI 114)
  2. CHEM 201, 202, 203, 205, 206
  3. 60 points from (CHEM 301, 302, 303, 305, 306)

Summer introductory course

CHEM 191 is an open entry summer trimester course and is excellent preparation for CHEM 113. It is taught as a home study course and can be taken by local or distance students. There are two intakes of this course, November 2013 and January 2014.

The course has a compulsory one week laboratory programme in late February. The laboratory week of CHEM 191 can also be taken separately through Student Learning Support as the Summer Workshop in Chemistry Laboratory Skills.

For more information about this course, contact: Dr Suzanne Boniface, phone: 04 463 6485, email:

First-year course entry requirements

Advanced entry

Your entry point to 100-level Chemistry courses depends on your background in Chemistry. If you have 18 credits in Chemistry at NCEA level 3, you have advanced entry and may begin with CHEM 114 (Principles of Chemistry) in Trimester 1 and follow it by CHEM 115 (Structure and Spectroscopy) in Trimester 2.

Standard entry

If you have completed NCEA level 2 Chemistry but have not achieved 18 credits in Chemistry at NCEA level 3, then you have standard entry. You should begin with CHEM 113 (Concepts of Chemistry) in Trimester 1. CHEM 114 can then be taken in Trimester 2. If you achieve an A- or better in CHEM 113 you may take CHEM 115 concurrently with CHEM 114 in the second Trimester.

Successful completion of CHEM 114 and 115 will allow you to enrol in 200-level Chemistry courses the following year.

Novice entry

Students who have not studied Chemistry beyond NCEA level 2 have novice entry and are strongly advised to take CHEM 191 in the summer trimester before taking CHEM 113 in Trimester 1.

Postgraduate information

Information about postgraduate study in Chemistry can be found on the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences website.

How to find out more

You can order more information on this subject by registering on our Request for Study Material database.

Victoria's Student Recruitment, Admission and Orientation Office offers advice on courses and help with planning your degree.

Contact the Science Faculty Office for information on admission, qualifications and courses, course advice and selection criteria, exemptions and prerequisites and your Application to Study.

Chemistry courses are taught within the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Laby Building.

Prof James Johnston
04 463 5334

Phone: 04 463 5335

Related subjects and careers

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Cell and Molecular Bioscience
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Environmental planner
Food processing
Laboratory technician
Occupational safety and health
Patents and law
Quality assurance
Research Scientist

Please note: the list of courses displays undergraduate– and postgraduate–level courses for this subject.

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