Undergraduate Laboratory Teaching 3

Chemical Research MSc

This programme introduces the methods and techniques of scientific research in a particular area of Chemistry via undertaking an intensive novel research project. Students also broaden their knowledge of chemistry through a selection of taught courses and are able to tailor the programme to meet their personal research interests.

What will I learn?

The objectives of the programme are to provide intensive training in the methods and techniques of scientific research. Students develop a systematic approach to devising experiments and/or computations and gain familiarity with a broad range of synthetic, analytical and spectroscopic techniques, together with the acquisition of skills for the critical analysis of their experimental and computational observations.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The principal component (50% of assessment) of the degree is an intensive novel research project providing experience at the frontiers of world-leading academic research. With departmental research interests and activities spanning the whole spectrum of chemistry, including development of new organic molecules, fundamental theoretical investigations and prediction and synthesis of new materials, students are able to undertake a project that aligns with their existing interests.

Students develop experience in scientific methods, techniques for reporting science, and the many skills required for a future career. Crucially this is all done ‘hands-on’, providing first hand experience of using leading-edge research tools.

Student / staff ratios › 53 staff › 50 taught students › 163 research students

Degree Structure

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (30 credits), four optional modules (15 credits each) and a research project (90 credits).

An exit-level only Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is available.

Core Modules
  • Literature Project
  • Research Project
Optional Modules
  • Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Intense Radiation Sources in Modern Chemistry
  • Numerical Methods in Chemistry
  • Microstructural Control in Materials Science
  • Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
  • Synthesis and Biosynthesis of Natural Products
  • Stereochemical Control in Asymmetric Total Synthesis
  • Topics in Quantum Mechanics
  • Frontiers in Experimental Physical Chemistry
  • Advanced Topics in Energy Science and Materials
  • Simulation Methods in Materials Chemistry

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words and a viva voce examination.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and research supervision. Assessment is through the dissertation, unseen written examinations, research papers, a written literature survey, and an oral exam. All students will be expected to attend research seminars relevant to their broad research interest.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Chemical Research MSc

Research Projects

The following projects are shown as an indication of the nature of the research projects in MSc Chemical Research. They are divided into Computational, Inorganic, Organic, Physical and Theoretcal categories, representing the broad research themes in the Department. Many of the projects feature more than one category due to the multidisciplinary nature of the research.


This MSc is designed to provide first-hand experience of research at the cutting-edge of chemistry and is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on an academic career (i.e. doctoral research) in this area, although the research and critical thinking skills developed will be equally valuable in a commercial environment.

Top career destinations for this programme
  • PhD, Chemistry, University of Surrey (2013)
  • PhD, Chemistry, UCL (2013)
  • Product Development Specialist, Imerys (2013)
  • PhD, Chemistry, McGill University (Canada) (2011)

Key Information

Tuition Fees (2015/16)
£8,755 (FT)
£22,350 (FT)


Students can be self-funded or find sponsorship from funding agencies such as research councils, the European Union, industry or charities.

There are a number of Graduate School Scholarships and departmental bursaries and prizes available.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY
£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

Those wishing to continue to a research degree in Chemistry or those seeking research skills valued in a commercial environment.

Application deadlines
All applicants
31 July 2015

In the application cover letter students are asked to choose (at least) three project titles to indicate their research preferences.

What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • Why you want to study for an MSc in Chemical Research at graduate level: Please tell us what has led you to research. What were the enjoyable or difficult aspects of your undergraduate projects? Do you have much experience in laboratory work or computing? What are the skills you most need to acquire?
  • Why you want to study an MSc in Chemical Research at UCL: The UCL Chemical Research degree is heavily research oriented (50% in terms of credits). Tell us how you will make the most of this opportunity?
  • How your academic background meets the demands of a challenging programme: Most applicants for this programme have a first degree in Chemistry. How well did it prepare you for research? What skills do you want to acquire that will help you in a research career?
  • How you anticipate that your future career might proceed.
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Next Steps

Contact Information
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More Information

Subject area


Faculty overview

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Department website


University Campus

UCL UK Campus

Tania Selina

MSc Chemical Research (2012 – 2013)

I graduated from UCL with an MSc degree in Chemical Research in September 2013. After a few months of intense job hunting I was offered the position of Product Development Specialist by Imerys Minerals Ltd. based at Cornwall, UK.

Imerys is a world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry. My job at Imerys is being an active member of the FiberLean™ team. FiberLean™ MFC is an innovative composite of Micro-Fibrillated Cellulose (MFC) and mineral which is commercially supplied in a full scale by Imerys (you can learn more about the product at My job includes liaising with a wide range of people like engineers, scientists and technicians in order to deal with any problems associated with the small or large scale production and the performance of our product. In addition, I am working on a number of different projects which aim the optimisation of analytical techniques and product quality as well as the development of new applications for our product. My position holds a lot of responsibility including leading projects and supervising students.

I truly believe that the great reputation of UCL played an important role in getting this position. UCL equipped me with skills such as delivering work on time and being able to deal with a number of different tasks simultaneously. In my opinion though the excellent research and analytical skills along with the advanced scientific knowledge that were gained during my time at UCL boosted my confidence as a scientist and helped me not only to get this position but to be able to cope with the everyday challenges in a modern workplace.