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Chemistry in Australia – A Scientific Powerhouse

Chemistry is fundamental to life itself. Whether it's the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the energy we use or the food we consume, chemistry is essential when it comes to meeting our basic needs. In Australia, and particularly at Monash University, the best minds in academic research work closely with industry and government to ensure a dynamic future for the chemistry industry – the nation’s second largest manufacturing sector.


A Monash University Chemistry student

From the chlorination and fluoridisation of water to finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, developments in chemical technologies strive continuously to improve quality of life, providing real solutions to issues in areas such as energy usage, medicine and materials. Australia’s chemical and plastics industry has been shown to impact across 109 of the county’s 111 industries. That's massive. 

So studying chemistry in Australia is such a compelling choice; and one that leads to fulfilling careers across a wide range of career opportunities, ranging from academic research to R&D management, product development, patent law, consulting, science writing, technical sales and many more. Not all chemists wear lab coats!

Several Universities in Australia are in the top 0.5% of chemistry departments worldwide. With a strong research emphasis on current global issues, Australian scientists are at the forefront of their specialist fields. This means that as a chemistry student, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, you will benefit from exceptional teaching and training and a stimulating learning environment that is underpinned by a ground-breaking research.


Chemistry education in Australia is innovative and uses the most up to date approaches to teaching and learning. Many new learning spaces and laboratories encourage active learning and creative problem solving as well as the skills essential for succeeding in the workplace.


Monash University chemistry students in new state-of-the-art teaching spaces

For those with the talent and interest to deepen their chemical expertise, a higher degree by research (PhD) offers an exciting challenge. Our PhD students form a powerful and very multi-national engine for Australian research. 


The emphasis of Chemistry study in Australia is on excellence and relevance. Discoveries in Chemistry will enable us and future generations to enjoy a clean future. Chemistry shapes environmental, technological, social and economic change. Our exceptional researchers are joining forces with leading global industries to tackle the fundamental issues of clean, renewable energy, clean food production from field to plate, and development of clean and sustainable plastics and chemicals. Scientific and technical advances typically have chemistry at the heart of innovation. Underpinning our approach is chemical education, allowing the next generation to learn and engage with the beauty of chemistry.


Monash University's new purpose built Green Chemical Futures building

Australia ­– a modern, highly educated country

IDP Education estimates that Australia has the third highest number of foreign students in the world behind only the UK & US. Australia has a modern, highly educated culture with a thirst for knowledge and research. Australia has contributed to science and research through fascinating discoveries, high-quality educational opportunities, and international collaboration. Australia is located near Asia, one of the fastest developing regions, so has immediate ties to most powerful economic hubs in the world.


Monash University chemistry students in new state-of-the-art teaching spaces

Australia’s clean air and water, its friendly, easy-going nature, excellent education system and high standard of living make it highly appealing to international students. Australia is a country of opportunities for career, new culture and adventure. There are many reasons why international students choose to study in Australia:

Employers and universities all over the world recognize Australian qualifications. Graduates from Australia are successful in finding jobs and hold prominent positions worldwide.

Living expenses and tuition costs are considerably lower in Australia than they are in the US and UK. However, the living standard in Australia is high as compared to competitive nations. There are a range of scholarships available which can help to lower the cost of studying in Australia.


The Green Chemical Futures Building lights up at night 

Multicultural and safe environment

Australia is a safe, friendly, sophisticated and harmonious society in which students can learn and travel. People from almost every aspect of the world reside here; students can be a part of a multicultural environment and cultural activities. Three of Australia’s capital cities figure in the top-ten of The Economist's list of the world's most liveable cities – Melbourne this year topped the list  for the sixth year in a row!



The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) index scores 140 of the world's major cities in healthcare, education, stability, culture, environment and infrastructure. Melbourne scored 97.5 out of 100, one basis point more than Austria's Vienna.

Contributed by Monash University
Professor of Chemistry Education Tina Overton