Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Less breadth more depth

Chemistry degrees are often very broad. What might a degree look like if we covered fewer topics more deeply?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: The breadth and depth of topic coverage in a degree emphasize different relationships to knowledge for students.


  1. Ramsden, P. Learning to Teach in Higher Education (Routledge, 2003).

  2. Kaiser, N. Mimicry is not mastery. Nat. Rev. Chem. 2, 197–198 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Krathwohl, D. R. A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory Pract. 41, 212–218 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Bloom, B. S., Engelhart, M. D., Furst, E. J., Hill, W. H. & Krathwohl, D. R. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain (David McKay, 1956).

  5. What do graduates do? 2021/22 (JISC/AGCAS, 2022);

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael O’Neill.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

O’Neill, M. Less breadth more depth. Nat Rev Chem 6, 444–445 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing