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Chemistry Courses at Oxford Summer Courses

As one of the three main branches of science, Chemistry has been at the forefront of life-changing research for centuries; from establishing critical medicines such as penicillin to helping us carry portable electronic devices around with the invention of lithium ion batteries, it’s a subject that plays an important role in our everyday lives. 

Those who study or work in the field of Chemistry are leading research on the world’s most important matters, including challenges around climate change and healthcare. They use their scientific knowledge, problem-solving skills, and analytical talents to pioneer new discoveries in medicine and technology and are often consulted in fields of engineering, healthcare, and even space travel. 

It’s fair to say that all this exploration and discovery makes Chemistry a very exciting subject to study. And those with a curiosity to pursue it in the future should consider attending a Chemistry summer school to explore their interest and discover the possibilities of where this subject could take them. 

Think you may want to experience this subject for yourself? Below, we’ve outlined 10 main reasons you should consider an Oxford Chemistry course this year. Read them carefully to gain an understanding of what a Chemistry summer school is like and what you could learn outside of your traditional classroom setting.

1. Discover different branches of Chemistry

If you’re fairly new to the study of Chemistry, you might not yet have discovered the many different branches of the subject. Chemistry is a broad subject, and there are many different areas of interest which could lead to a whole variety of future career prospects. 

These branches are often not explored in detail at school, usually because you have to cover the foundations of so many different subjects. However, attending a summer school will open your mind to the different elements of Chemistry, and allow you to explore those areas which interest you the most.

On an Oxford Chemistry course, you’ll typically learn about the three main areas of the subject, which can be divided into:

  • Organic Chemistry - the study of organic compounds and materials, i.e. hydrogen and oxygen and their properties and reactivity
  • Inorganic Chemistry - examining inorganic compounds and other non-carbon based materials, such as metals and minerals
  • Physical Chemistry - the branch of chemistry concerned with theories of physics and their application to the study of chemical systems

There are of course other areas of chemistry, such as food chemistry and environmental chemistry, but these are the three central groups you will usually explore. 

On top of this, your tutor will be an experienced professional, with plenty of industry insights and experience about working within the field of Chemistry. In this way, attending a summer school for Chemistry will open your eyes to all future possibilities and may help you discover your dream career!

2. Learn from an expert Chemistry tutor

One of the greatest benefits of attending an Oxford Course over others is the ability to connect and be taught by some of the greatest tutors in the world. The university city of Oxford has, for centuries, been an inspiring destination for aspirational teaching staff from all over the world. As such, Oxford, and its surrounding summer schools, often have access to some of the best tutors from around the world. 

Our teaching staff are what make us an award-winning summer school provider. Every one of our tutors are selected from some of the leading universities and educational institutions around the world, chosen for the passion for teaching, incredibly detailed understanding of their chosen subject, as well as their ability to teach high potential young-minds.

As such, many of them have either studied or taught at the world-leading universities of Oxford and Cambridge, with 91% of students over the age of 18 being taught by an academic or tutor from these inspiring institutions.

3. Enjoy exploring a subject you’re passionate about

Chemistry is a thrilling subject! It’s the subject that looks at materials and other matters and understands how it transforms; it defines molecules, nanostructures, and other solids and their properties, and how they can react together to create pioneering discoveries. 

As a science, it’s truly empowering and central to virtually all areas of modern science and technology, especially with the new and exciting multidisciplinary areas of molecular science, nanotechnologies, and medicinal chemistry. 

It’s clear to see why so many students are fascinated by and wish to explore this subject further, outside of the classroom. And this is one of the main reasons why our Chemistry summer school is one of the most popular amongst our students. 


4. Gain practical experience for your personal statement and CV

Have aspirations to study Chemistry at a top university in the UK? Or secure a position at a leading research centre? What better way to demonstrate your passion and commitment to learning than by attending a Chemistry summer school in your own summer break. 

Most summer schools will allow you to learn in a small group (we permit no more than 8 students per class) which means that you get quality time with your teacher and can understand content faster than you would in a traditional classroom environment. 

On top of this, many summer schools will offer interactive learning, helping to guide you through new concepts and assign you practice tasks to build your knowledge and skills. These are typically project-based, and allow you to apply your knowledge to a practical project to help ground your understanding of the subject. 

It’s also not uncommon to expect to have an opportunity to participate in group work, independent research, and homework assignments which will be discussed in class. Small classes mean everyone gets to have their say, and students learn from debating with one another, as well as from their tutor. 

Once you’ve completed your summer course, our tutors will also write you a letter of recommendation, explaining how much progress you have made during your time with us. Many students choose to use this towards future applications, as a demonstration of their commitment to the subject and learning in general.

5. Follow in the footsteps of great Chemists before

As one of the main sciences, Chemistry has, for centuries, been at the forefront of ground-breaking research for the betterment of society. Some of the biggest thinkers in history have been chemists, including: Marie Curie, Alfred Nobel, and Robert Boyle. Each of them have pioneered new discoveries and helped change society for the better. And you could be the next to join them. 

History has demonstrated that chemists are considered thinkers, who enjoy handling large volumes of data to make meaningful discoveries and decisions. If you have a passion for helping people and inventing technologies that can change the world for the better, then a Chemistry summer school is sure to inspire you this year.

6. Develop critical skills for the future

Another great reason for choosing to attend an Oxford Chemistry course this summer could be to help you build a solid skill set for your further education and future studies. All that questioning, theoretical thinking, and experimentation can really help you to develop a robust arsenal of talents to carry throughout your life. 

Studying Chemistry helps you to develop research, problem-solving and analytical skills. You’ll challenge ideas, try to apply real life problems in relation to theoretical concepts, and work backwards to understand exactly how you reach the conclusions you did through logic and step-by-step reasoning. 

Your Chemistry summer school may also involve some teamwork or project-based assignments too, which will require you to draw on your communication and (possibly) delegation skills too. These are all skills which are highly sought after by employers, especially in roles which require you to work as part of a team. 


7. Learn more about the world around us

You might not have ever considered it, but have you ever thought about how chemistry is all around us? From the fizz in your drinks can to the paint you use to decorate your bedroom, or even the charge that keeps your favourite electronic device alive, there’s chemistry happening all over the world, and it’s constant. 

Attending a summer school for Chemistry will certainly give you a better understanding of how the world around us works - and can be a great subject to give you a rounded knowledge of science in general. Chemistry is sometimes referred to as the “central science” because it helps to connect physical sciences, such as Physics and Biology, with applied subjects such as Mathematics, Medicine, and Engineering

As such, even if you don’t have a particularly strong interest in pursuing Chemistry for further study or at degree level, it can be a great ‘all-rounder’ at helping you learn more about how it interlinks with other subjects you may study at school, or how they work together to help our world go round. 

8. Advance your knowledge of other STEM subjects

Looking to improve your overall understanding of science or mathematics? The great thing about Chemistry is that it’s recognised as a ‘central science,’ which means it applies to so many other technical subjects you study in school and/or college. 

Attending a Chemistry summer school  will help you get ahead in many of the other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, and more. The theoretical knowledge and understanding of how to handle and interpret data will make all your other scientific subjects far easier to understand. 

You’ll leave with a better understanding of how all these subjects interact with one another, and find it easier to handle data, think logically, and apply theory to complex problems or experiments.

9. Be inspired by Oxford 

For over 800 years, Oxford has been a source of inspiration for so many Chemistry students. From Nobel-prize winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, some of the world’s most influential thinkers have been inspired by this subject and graduated through the doors of this world-class university.

In university league tables, Oxford has, and continues to top the list as the best university in the UK to study Chemistry. And it comes as no surprise that so many students seek opportunities to spend their summers studying the subject they love here. 

When you attend a Chemistry summer school, you’ll have the opportunity to eat, sleep and study in one of the colleges which make up part of the University of Oxford. It’s your chance to be inspired by the same architecture that has been a source of influence for so many others. 

It really is a truly inspiring place to study. And this year, you could have the opportunity to experience it for yourself too.


10. More than a learning experience

A summer school is far more than just an academic learning experience. Of course, much of your teaching time will be focused on time spent in class, completing homework and assignments, and, for students aged 16 and over, participating in 2:1 tutorial sessions. But, outside of the classroom, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy so much more. 

On weekends, you’ll spend at least one day visiting a world-renowned heritage site in the UK, such as Blenheim Palace, Windsor Castle, or Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Each evening you’ll be invited to experience a new and exhilarating student activity, including punting, mini golf, debate nights, and so much more. All of these activities help to create an enriching extracurricular timetable of activities to make your summer unforgettable.

Furthermore, on the last Friday of each course, students are invited to their very own graduation ceremony. Replicating the ‘formal dinners’ students at Oxford often enjoy, you’ll enjoy a three-course meal in your college dining room, before taking part in a formal graduation ceremony, surrounded by new-found friends. It’s the perfect way to round off your few weeks spent working hard and experiencing new things. 


Chemistry is a truly inspiring and thrilling subject to study. Applying theories and knowledge to experiment and establish a range of pioneering discoveries mean it's a very colourful, explosive, and rewarding subject. 

Attending a Chemistry summer school will open your eyes to the subject in industry; where your expert tutor will give you expert advice and insights into the opportunities Chemistry can present you in the future. You’ll learn more, faster, in small class groups, and gain a real edge over your peers when it comes to applying to study Chemistry at university. 

But even if you’re not fully committed to the idea of pursuing a career in the subject, an Oxford Chemistry course can still be a rewarding experience. From gaining a better understanding of how it affects the world around you, to simply being able to enjoy a few weeks in a new and exciting city environment with other like-minded students - there’s so much to gain from attending a summer school. 

Ready to apply for Oxford Summer Courses?

For a once in a lifetime experience, join us for summer 2023 where you can discover over 40 academic subjects taught by expert tutors. You’ll also meet other like-minded individuals from around the world and make friends for life! Apply today and choose from 3 stunning locations; Oxford, Cambridge and London.

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Discover Chemistry at Oxford summer school: explore branches, learn from expert tutors, gain practical experience, follow great chemists, develop critical skills, enhance STEM knowledge, get inspired by Oxford, and enjoy a well-rounded learning experience.

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