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Chemical Sciences

Scotland is a pioneer in chemical sciences. We create new, innovative medicines and explore alternative fuels to make our environment greener.

What impact could you make?

Be part of a team that creates everyday necessities like medicine, food, packaging and cosmetics.
Help Scotland achieve its net zero ambitions. To do this, you'll develop alternative green resources to be used in place of fossil fuels.
Get a job in a cutting-edge technology within science and research. Or, you could bag yourself a cool role outside the laboratory.
I feel like I'm making a real impact on the world. I get so excited to tell everyone about what I'm doing.Jessica AtkinsonLab Trainee, IBioIC

Chemical sciences at a glance

There are many things you could be working on – from developing and manufacturing cosmetics or soaps to turning waste into products, chemicals or energy. Chemical sciences has endless opportunities.


In 2023, there were 27,400 people working in the life and chemical sciences industry.

Job availability

Between 2023 and 2026, it's expected there will be 600 people needed to fill job openings in Scotland.

Job diversity

As of October 2023, there are 65 Modern Apprentices across Scotland training in life sciences and related sciences.

Things you may not know about chemical sciences

Scotland is home to more than 250 chemical science companies.

Source: Scottish Development International

In 2019, chemical sciences accounted for 14% of Scotland's research and development budget. That adds up to £192 million!

Source: Scottish Government

Our chemical sciences sector exported over £4.4 billion worth of goods and services in 2018.

Source: Scottish Development International

Leaders in chemical sciences

Discover some of the organisations within chemical sciences and how they’re making an impact on the industry.