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Harry Potter Wiki

Alchemy was an elective course taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The course was open to sixth and seventh-years if there were enough students interested in taking the subject. The ancient science of Alchemy focused on the study of nature's four basic elements (fire, earth, air, and water), as well as the transmutation of substances (such as base metals into gold).[1]

Graduates from Uagadou were known to be well versed in Alchemy,[2] so presumably the subject formed a significant part of the school's curriculum.

Behind the scenes

  • As revealed in Pottermore, J. K. Rowling had originally devised Alchemy to be compulsory from the first year.[1]
  • It is unknown whether there are any minimum requirements for taking the subject. Any subject taken at O.W.L. level can only be continued at N.E.W.T. level if they achieved a high grade in the subject, but Alchemy cannot be taken until N.E.W.T. level. There is a chance that the student may need a grade in a related subject or that everyone is given the chance to study it if they want to.
  • It could be that Alchemy and other specialised subjects are merely advanced specific branches of both the core and elective classes, which can be taken by everyone, regardless of having achieved an O.W.L. and/or the required high grade.


Notes and references

Hogwarts subjects
Core classes Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration
Elective classes Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes
Extracurricular classes Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Ghoul Studies · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy
First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams ·
Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test