There are quite a few different areas of chemistry and inorganic chemistry is another area that is quite interesting.
There are a few different branches of inorganic chemistry which include descriptive, industrial, theoretical, mechanistic, synthetic but for now we’ll just stick to the basics to help you decide if this is an area you’re interested in.
We’ve put together some general information and taken a look at some courses that might be helpful in your pursuit to develop your career in this field. You can never be too educated so why not take a leap of faith?
What is inorganic chemistry?
Inorganic chemistry focuses on synthesis and behaviour of inorganic and organometallic compounds. Basically, it studies inorganic compounds, the elements, including carbon and all other compounds other than carbon. Inorganic compounds are used as pigments, coatings, medicines, fuels, catalysts and much more.
The difference between organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry is that organic chemistry is the study of molecules that contain carbon compounds but inorganic chemistry studies all compounds that do not have carbon compounds. While there are a few exceptions to this, overall, the definition covers a majority.
The role of an inorganic chemist is to study the properties, the structure and reactions of molecules. These molecules are those that do not contain carbon as we explained above. The main role of an inorganic chemist is to study the different characteristics of inorganic substances and figure out why they do what they do and behave how they behave.
There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Coivd-19 and may offer courses online. Courses available include:
Postgraduate courses in inorganic chemistry will focus on different areas of research including chemosensors, catalysis, imaging, applied spectroscopy and material chemistry for photovoltaic divides. Students will gain the necessary skills and knowledge needed in order to work in the world of chemistry, in particular, inorganic chemistry. There are a number of these courses by the same title in many different universities across the UK. Specific course content may differ from course to course so be sure to look into the exact course in your desired university to gain a better understanding of what you will cover.
This is another postgraduate course that is available in this field. This course will allow students to develop their knowledge in the area of protein crystallography and focus on a few different areas of study. These areas include the fundamentals of protein structure, x-ray diffraction and symmetry, how to determine structures using protein crystallography and how to judge the quality of coordinates.
As stated above, there are a number of courses available under the title of Inorganic Chemistry so your options are not limited to one course in one university. Be sure to find the course that best suits your needs.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1. A degree in chemistry or a related field is required.
Your salary in this area can be impacted by location, your employment type and your experience in the field. It is believed that your salary in this area can start out between £18,000 – £25,000. With experience this will increase to an average of close to £31,000. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only.
Potential employers in the chemistry area may include:
- Government agencies
- Laboratories & hospital laboratories
- Agrochemical companies
- Environmental agencies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Chemical manufacturers
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:
- Strong communication skills
- Strong writing skills
- Strong research and analysis skills
- Problem solver
- Good time management
- Organisation skills
- Ability to work well with others
- Trust your own initiative
- Knowledge of IT and technology
- An interest and understanding of chemistry