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Welcome to the Wits School of Chemistry, one of the top chemistry departments in South Africa. From its origins in 1922, the School has grown to a vibrant and productive department, with over 60 permanent academic and technical staff and around 180 postgraduate students. We have world-class research programs in analytical, environmental, materials, bioinorganic, organic, physical and theoretical chemistry, with many highly successful interdisciplinary collaborations. Read about the history of the School here.

Going Places

Chemistry is a fascinating and important science that has a wide range of applications. It is a vital tool for understanding the natural world and developing new technologies. The diversity of chemistry offers many challenges and provides unparalleled opportunities to solve significant scientific problems that benefit society as a whole. As foundational science, chemistry is essential for understanding a wide range of disciplines, including geology, molecular biology, biotechnology, medicine, materials science, and environmental studies.

Companies that hire chemists include chemical manufacturers, cosmetics and fragrance producers, environmental consultancies, pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage producers, mining and metallurgy companies, oil and gas companies, plastic manufacturers, and engineering firms. There is no limit to what you can achieve. Angela Merkel (former German Chancellor), Chaim Weizmann (former Israeli President), Pope Francis and Margret Thatcher (former British Prime Minster) all studied Chemistry! Several Wits PhD graduates and former staff members hold eminent academic posts both in South Africa and abroad. Sir Aaron Klug (the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry) studied Chemistry at Wits, while chemistry graduate, Sir David King, was Chief Scientific Advisor to Her Majesty’s Government between 2000 and 2007. World-renowned innovator and entrepreneur, Dr David Fine, completed an Honours degree in our School.

Research and Facilities

In recent years, the Wits School of Chemistry has undergone a major expansion of research space and equipment. Our School is home to state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities, and we conduct innovative and cutting-edge scientific research across a broad range of topics.  

You can learn more about our School by exploring our website, and learning about each academic staff member or different research groups, and the research being performed here at Wits Chemistry. You can also follow us on Twitter @Witschemistry to keep up to date with recent news and events.