Become a Chemistry teacher

As a Chemistry teacher you can help a class break down the world into elements, molecules and atoms. It’s a subject that will help them understand what everything is made of, including all forms of life.

You’ll get to take young minds on scientific journeys, where they can explore and experiment with different elements and learn from the chemical reactions that occur when they collide. Chemistry can inspire the scientists and pioneers of tomorrow. It begins by making science both fascinating and easy to grasp.

But being a good Chemistry teacher is also about, well, chemistry. It’s about the rapport you strike with your young learners, and your ability to enthuse them through teaching and hands-on experiments in the lab.

"A highlight of my career so far has been changing pupil’s perception and enjoyment of science. It’s a good feeling." Maxine McNeil – Chemistry Teacher at Bell Baxter High School, Fife
Maxine McNeil_ISOLATED_SPEECHMARKS_chemistry

What being a Chemistry teacher covers:

  • Organising and setting lessons
  • Monitoring the progress of pupils, through coursework, experiments and homework
  • Setting up and controlling experiments safely
  • Working with pupils to guide their development and share that progress with parents and caregivers
  • Planning, supervising and leading study trips.

Take that next step into Chemistry

It’s a career choice that comes with a good starting salary and great opportunities for progression. To begin your journey, you need to have a degree in Education and Chemistry or a one-year diploma following your undergraduate degree in Chemistry. And if these options don’t quite work for your circumstances, there are some alternative routes to consider.

This subject, as with others in the Curriculum for Excellence, can be delivered through Gaelic Medium Education. There are lots of benefits to teaching in Gaelic and we have more information about how to take this route into teaching.

Four-year university courses in education

For the four-year combined degree and other undergraduate degree programmes you must have at least:

  • English and two other National Qualifications at SCQF Level 6 (Higher) and
  • Mathematics and one other subject at SCQF Level 5 (or an accepted alternative, for example, National 5, Credit Standard Grade or Intermediate 2).

Check the entry requirements with the course provider.

Universities you can study in

PGDE university courses

Here are the universities you can study for a PGDE in Chemistry at secondary level. Entry requirements vary so it’s best to check with the course provider for the most up-to-date information.

The University of the Highlands and Islands and University of Strathclyde also offer a pathway into Gaelic Medium Education. Find out more about the opportunities and benefits of teaching in Gaelic.

Universities you can study in

Alternate routes into teaching

This route offers a little more flexibility in order to encourage diversity in the profession:

University of the West of Scotland – Concurrent degree programme covers Physics, Chemistry and Maths – this is a four-year full-time undergraduate course that aims to develop individuals with the knowledge and skills required to teach these subjects at Secondary School level.

Every teacher has a story.
What will yours be?

Whether you’re getting ready for a new term, planning your next class, or helping pupils prepare for exams, there’s always something going on. There are challenges, just as there are with any job. But you’ll be supported. And you’ll find other teachers are there to help you, and share their experiences.

Read about some proud moments from teachers

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