The University of the Witwatersrand, through its Faculty of Science, offers programmes leading to a BSc with Chemistry or Applied Chemistry (or both) as major subjects. Wits also offers two special restricted-intake programmes: Chemistry with Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in combination with either Chemistry, Physics or Metallurgy.
Known as the central science, Chemistry draws on the language of mathematics and the laws of physics to describe the world around us from a chemical, biological and physical point of view. Chemistry plays a vital part in our understanding of the structure and the interactions of matter, and it is crucial for a thorough understanding of disciplines as diverse as geology, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, materials science and environmental studies. Post-graduate programmes include BSc Honours in Chemistry (a requirement for recognition as a professional chemist), and research degrees by dissertation at the masters (MSc) level and by thesis at the doctoral (PhD) level. Research in the School of Chemistry is performed under the guidance of the Molecular Sciences Institute. The School is ranked in the top 1% of international Chemistry Departments in terms of research citations.
A degree in Chemistry can lead to careers in heavy chemicals, light chemicals, analytical and environmental sciences, as well as teaching, journalism, law, management and consultancy.
Our Mission Is:
Research in the School of Chemistry is performed largely under the aegis of the Molecular Sciences Institute; in addition to the programmes described there, we offer research programmes in Chemical Education and in Polymer Chemistry.
It you cannot find the information you are looking for on this web site, please feel free to contact the Head of the School of Chemistry by email at Dean.Brady@wits.ac.za .
Message from the Head of School of Chemistry
Welcome to our School, and a special word of welcome if you are a new student or someone who is thinking about studying chemistry with us. We as chemists are practitioners of a branch of science that has its roots in the late seventeenth century and was born out of alchemy, itself a mixture of natural philosophy, astrology, magic and mysticism. Chemistry has changed a lot since then and has become a rigorous science. But it still retains the elements of magic and mystery that fuelled the alchemists. As we delve into and unlock nature?s secrets we gain the knowledge and understanding that enables us to create new compounds; and that act of creation, of achieving insight and understanding, is what excites chemists and makes our professions both rewarding and pleasurable.
Chemistry is often called the central science. It draws on the language of mathematics and the laws of physics to describe the world around us from a chemical, biological and physical point of view. Chemistry plays a vital part in our understanding of the structure and the interactions of matter in the universe. It is therefore crucial for a thorough understanding of many disciplines as diverse as geology, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, materials science and environmental studies.
The study of a subject like chemistry certainly prepares you for entry into many careers in the chemical industry, from the invention of new products and materials, to the control of the processes that lead to their production, to the work that assures their quality. But perhaps more important, the study of chemistry at university level gives you a broad education. You live in a fast changing world. The subject knowledge you gain in your first degree may be directly applicable to your first job, but science and technology change at a rapid pace. The job that you are likely to be doing in twenty years time probably hasn?t yet been invented yet. Your ability to be a creative and critical thinker, to be flexible, to be self-disciplined, to have a strong work ethic and to be an imaginative problem solver are the skills that you will acquire and which will prepare you for a lifetime of learning and a fulfilling career.