Interviewing in: Chemistry

Background on subject

Chemistry is a wide-ranging science concerned with matter at the atomic and molecular scale. Important aspects are synthesis, structure, reaction mechanisms, properties, analysis and transformations of all types of materials.

At Oxford, the core material is taken by all students, with opportunities to specialise later in the course.

At Cambridge, Chemistry is not offered as a separate discipline but is incorporated into the Natural Sciences course. The course offers the chance for students to study a wide range of scientific disciplines before specialising.

For Oxford, the subject requirements for students are both A-level Chemistry and A-level Maths.

For Cambridge, the subject requirements are two science or maths A-levels.

For Oxford, students have to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA).

For Cambridge, students have to sit the Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment.


Can I interview in this subject?

You do not have to have studied Chemistry at university to give a robust and rigorous practice interview in this subject.

Volunteers from the following subjects, or similar, will also be able to deliver Chemistry interviews:


Interview types

There are two different types of practice interviews in Chemistry, which you may be asked to deliver. 

  1. Interview on 'application material' - asking the students' questions about their personal statement, or an essay they will submit as part of their application

  2. Interview on 'unseen material' - asking the students' questions on an article, study, or research paper they have not seen before, testing how they handle new material

SAMPLE Resources

Below you can access a folder of resources for conducting Chemistry interviews:

  1. Interview on application material - you can see a sample personal statement, highlighted with examples of questions which could be asked

  2. Interview on unseen material - you can see examples of articles which have previously been given to students, along with questions

These resources are intended for inspiration - to give you an idea of the level, length and themes of the material we use in our practice interviews. However, should you wish to use this material in the practice interviews you deliver, just let us know so we can make sure returning students haven't seen it before!


I graduated with an MA in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and then completed a DPhil in Clinical Medicine at Green Templeton College, Oxford.

I've volunteered with OxFizz for the past 10 years, and was involved since the formation of Oxbridge Interviews.

I volunteer because I find it fascinating to meet and help develop the skills of so many young people with potential to go on to study at Oxbridge.