About us

We share a passion for discovery to inspire and nurture the chemists and chemical engineers of the future. Our school offers an exceptional teaching and research environment underpinned by the latest facilities and close ties with industry.

We run over 20 flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees with a range of opportunities for industry placements, study abroad and volunteering options. Chemistry is ranked 1st for satisfaction with teaching in the Guardian University guide, 2023.

The Royal Society of Chemistry accredits all of our BSc and MChem chemistry degrees. Students can gain full RSC professional membership status when they graduate.

Our staff are all active researchers at the forefront of their fields. This means they can pass on the latest research findings to students through their teaching. Six chemistry lecturers have senior fellowships from the Higher Education Academy and we have a research group dedicated to the constant enhancement of chemistry teaching.

Learn more about our teaching awards on our achievements page.

Several advisory boards support our education and research programmes across chemistry and chemical engineering. They include members from industry as well as University staff.

Our research activities are diverse and multidisciplinary. We work with disciplines including biology, medicine, physics, engineering and computing. Our staff and students publish hundreds of research articles every year in world-renowned, high impact, scientific journals.

Southampton’s chemistry facilities are exceptional. We’ve invested £17 million in a complete renovation of the undergraduate laboratories. We provide the UK’s national X-ray crystallography service, which supports and develops research excellence in chemistry, biochemistry and the physical sciences.

We're also a founding member of the Faraday Institution, which is central to the UK’s industrial strategy for electrochemical energy storage.

Sharing knowledge and collaborating with industry and business are integral to our entrepreneurial outlook. We partner with the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry and have developed many commercial businesses as a direct result of our research.

Our advisory boards ensure we are drawing on commercial and business knowledge in everything we do.

Working in a chemistry lab, an undergraduate uses a rotary evaporator to remove solvent from their sample.
An undergraduate uses a rotary evaporator to remove solvent from their sample.
Undergraduate students analyse data they obtained in the teaching laboratories.
Undergraduate students analyse data they obtained in the teaching laboratories.

Services and facilities

The School of Chemistry hosts a variety of facilities. They support the research we carry out and provide purpose built spaces where we teach our students.

We can also assist your project or business with specialist consultancy from our academics and the services of our research facilities. Our commercial analysis centre, Southampton Chemistry Analytical Solutions, includes:

In addition, we offer specialist equipment manufacture and the UK's National Crystallography Service.

Our equipment and expertise are available to:

  • research groups within the University
  • academic centres outside the University
  • commercial sectors

Examples of our teaching spaces include:

Staff and students work in one of our newly refurbished undergraduate teaching labs.
Staff and students work in one of our newly refurbished undergraduate teaching labs.
A member of the National Crystallography Service team centres a sample on one of our state-of-the-art single crystal X-ray diffractometers.
A member of the National Crystallography Service team centres a sample on one of our state-of-the-art single crystal X-ray diffractometers.

Knowledge exchange and outreach

The transfer of knowledge, technology and expertise with industry is at the heart of our work. Our activities include our partnership with the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), the work of our spin-out companies and the advisory boards that guide us.

We also run regular outreach activities to inspire new generations of chemists and chemical engineers.

Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry partnership

We apply our research to commercial needs in industry. Similarly, industry present us with problems they need to overcome, which are challenging academically.

We partner with the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry, who facilitate research and development collaborations between business and academia.

This means we can enhance product and process innovations in advanced materials faster, at reduced cost and risk. We can identify industry contacts and facilitate grant proposal discussions. Brokerage events organised by bodies like the EPSRC, Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network allow us to learn more about the technology needs of industry.

Our work focuses on materials chemistry and other areas including photonics and biological chemistry.

For more information contact Ron Swart, our KCMC Knowledge Transfer Manager.

Spin-out companies

We have a track-record of commercialising our research findings into spin-out companies. 

To find examples, explore our case studies page.

Outreach activities

Professor David Read leads our outreach activity. We aim to inspire the next generation of chemists and encourage them to consider a future career in chemistry and the physical sciences. We answer questions like:

  • what do chemists do?
  • how do chemists help achieve sustainability?
  • where do chemists work?
  • why did we become chemists?
  • why should you study chemistry?

Our activity programme includes our annual Year 12 "Twilight Practicals". During these sessions, students gain experience in a range of organic chemistry techniques. Our work shadowing programme sees visiting students spend a day in a lab with one of our researchers.

We also run lectures for Year 8, 9 and 11 students, as well as a natural products masterclass for Year 10 students.

To find out more about our outreach programme, please contact us at: chemistryoutreach@soton.ac.uk

You can also visit our outreach page


Within our school we offer scholarships to support students at all stages of their education. 

Excellence in Chemistry undergraduate scholarship

An undergraduate scholarship of £1,000 is available to any UK or EU applicant achieving A*AA grades in their A levels (or equivalent in alternative qualifications), with the A* in chemistry. Learn more about eligibility and applying.

Denis Henry Desty undergraduate scholarships

This scholarship supports students from under-represented backgrounds. Applicants who meet our eligibility criteria have the opportunity to apply for £2,000 per year, for a total of 3 years. Learn more about eligibility and applying.

Southampton Chemistry Deans International Scholarship 

Scholarships of £5,000 are available to international students studying chemistry and chemical engineering at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. Learn more about eligibility and applying.

Southampton Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Postgraduate International Scholarship 

A scholarship of £3,000 is available to international students studying an eligible postgraduate master’s in chemistry. Learn more about eligibility and applying. 

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We nurture a supportive and welcoming chemistry community. We have received our third silver Athena SWAN. This award recognises our continuing commitment to promote opportunities for all in higher education.

Visit our EDI page to learn more about:

  • our Athena SWAN silver award
  • early career staff information
  • disability
  • race equality charter and BAME network
  • LGBT+ information
  • guidelines and EDI committee
  • mental health support
  • mentoring scheme
Athena SWAN Silver Award logo
The Athena SWAN Silver Award shows our commitment to gender equality.

Our courses

Research and enterprise

Explore our community, from the work of our research groups and centres to our commercial activities.

Our research community

Research groups bring together specialists to share knowledge and solve problems.


I’m proud to lead our School of Chemistry where every student and member of staff have the opportunity to thrive in a supportive community.
Head of School
Every student and member of staff is important in Chemistry and we work hard to build a positive, diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can feel a sense of belonging.
Equality, diversity and inclusion lead
Our innovative chemical engineering degrees are supported by brand new state-of-the-art facilities to give students practical experience. They can learn to use different instrumentation and techniques, including a virtual control room to simulate industrial chemical processes.
Associate Professor
Our multidisciplinary research is at the forefront of sustainable chemical technologies and novel materials for energy storage and conversion.
Deputy Head of School, Research
The student experience is at the heart of my role, ensuring a Southampton Chemistry education provides modern content, delivered in engaging and accessible ways, equipping students with the skills for their future.
Principal Teaching Fellow
We encourage strong links between different disciplines to exploit the amazing creativity and atomic/molecular level control that chemistry affords. We contribute towards new and innovative solutions to many of the world’s greatest challenges.
President of the Society of Chemistry

Work with us

  • Chemistry researcher uses equipment in a specialist laboratory

    Jobs at Southampton

    From working on the front line with our students to  the cutting edge of research, explore job opportunities at the School of Chemistry.