The principal component of this degree is an intensive novel research project providing 'hands-on' training in methods and techniques at the cutting edge of scientific research. The programme is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on an academic career, with a strong track record of students moving into graduate research at UCL and elsewhere.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £9,850 (FT) £5,120 (PT)
- £27,580 (FT) £14,180 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
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:
About this degree
Students develop a systematic approach to devising experiments and/or computations and gain familiarity with a broad range of synthetic, analytical and spectroscopic techniques, acquiring skills for the critical analysis of their experimental and computational observations. They also broaden their knowledge of chemistry through a selection of taught courses and are able to tailor the programme to meet their personal interests.
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).
All students undertake a literature project (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits), which are linked.
- Literature Project
Students choose four optional modules from the following:
- Advanced Topics in Energy Science and Materials
- Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry
- Biological Chemistry
- Concepts in Computational and Experimental Chemistry
- Frontiers in Experimental Physical Chemistry
- Inorganic Rings, Chains and Clusters
- Intense Radiation Sources in Modern Chemistry
- Microstructural Control in Materials Science
- Numerical Methods in Chemistry
- Pathways, Intermediates and Function in Organic Chemistry
- Principles of Drug Design
- Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis
- Simulation Methods in Materials Chemistry
- Stereochemical Control in Asymmetric Total Synthesis
- Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry
- Synthesis and Biosynthesis of Natural Products
- Topics in Quantum Mechanics
- Transferable Skills for Scientists
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words and a viva voce examination (90 credits).
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 examination. All students will be expected to attend research seminars relevant to their broad research interest.
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.
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Project Manager, Jiang Clinic
- Secondary School Teacher (Chemistry), Loyang Secondary School
- PhD in Engineering, Imperial College London
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
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 crucial first-hand experience in scientific methods, techniques for reporting science and using leading-edge research tools, as well as further essential skills for a research career.
Student / staff numbers
› 52 staff
including 108 postdocs
› 50 taught students
› 220 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Chemistry
94% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
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.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students wishing to progress to a research degree in chemistry or those seeking to acquire research skills which are valued in a commercial environment.
- All applicants
- 27 July 2018
Applicants can select the research projects in Computational, Inorganic, Organic or Physical Chemistry. In the application cover letter students are asked to indicate which area(s) of chemistry they are interested in studying, clearly indicating why they chose this particular area, and indicating (at least) three academic members of staff they are interested in working with.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study 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. UCL's 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.