All our courses provide extensive first-hand experience of research at the cutting-edge of chemistry, modelling and materials, and are particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on an academic career, i.e. PhD. However the research and critical thinking skills developed are equally valuable to those considering a career in a commercial environment, and therefore a Masters qualification at the Department of Chemistry, UCL, provides the perfect opportunity to enhance your prospects whatever your career goals.
The Chemistry Department at UCL is the oldest in England and is one of the best in the UK. We are in the heart of London and offer an exciting and vibrant environment in which to study in one of the UK's and the World's top universities. We offer an excellent education with high standards of teaching in an exciting but friendly environment. We foster a community feel to the department and you will mix throughout your time here with staff, undergraduate students and researchers.
The department was ranked 2nd in the UK in the 2014 REF exercise for the world-class impact of its research, with 94% of papers submitted for assessment judged as world-leading or internationally excellent, demonstrating the strength of the department in all areas of Organic, Inorganic, Materials, Physical and Computational Chemistry.
We currently offer five Masters Courses in the department, these are:
A new MSc course offered by UCL; Dr Daren Caruana talks about the ethos behind this vibrant programme.
This masters programme provides the training and knowledge to be able to design, build and use analytical devices to provide meaningful information. The course covers an extraordinary breadth of training ranging from medical diagnostics to analysis of historical artefacts and environmental air monitoring and water surveillance. Students on this course will appreciate basic principles of analytical chemistry underpins all analytical applications; namely dealing with the matrix and the target analyte; generating data and meaningful interpretation. This degree provides an excellent springboard to forge a career in analytical science either in mainstream analytical chemistry or more niche applications. Further information.
Students are provided intensive training in the methods and techniques of scientific research. Crucially this is all done ‘hands-on’, providing first-hand experience of using cutting-edge research tools. With departmental research activities spanning the whole 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. This programme is also accredited by the RSC. Further information.
Students gain an advanced knowledge of materials science as it applies to energy and environmental technologies, with research activities spanning the spectrum of energy-related research from development of batteries and fuel cells to prediction of the structure of new water-splitting catalytic materials. Students benefit from courses in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering, thus offering a future employer a wide-ranging skills base. Further information.
Students gain detailed knowledge and skills in molecular modelling, focusing on the state-of-the art simulation techniques used to understand the molecular level properties that determine the macroscopic behaviour of matter in a wide range of applications, including catalysis, energy materials and nanotechnology. They gain key research skills in simulation tools and learn concepts in business and entrepreneurship as applied to high tech industries, thereby broadening employment prospects. Further information.
This MRes has been developed in response to the needs of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for highly qualified students as leaders in the discovery of new medicines. Students gain an outstanding training in synthetic organic chemistry applied to drug design, providing a thorough foundation in advanced organic synthesis and molecular modelling, together with a breadth of experience in several areas of synthetic methodology. Further information.
The Molecular Modelling and Materials Science MRes programme provides training in the key area of the application of state-of-the-art computer modelling and experimental characterisation techniques to determine the structure, properties and functionalities of materials and complex molecules. Further information.
What our students say
- 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 www.fiberlean.com. 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.
- Lisa Richards (MRes Molecular Modelling and Materials Science 2015-16)
I obtained my undergraduate BSc in Chemistry with Management Studies from The University of Sussex and subsequently taught Chemistry up to A-level in secondary schools in the UK and then in China. I wanted to take a year out to obtain a Master’s degree and learn new skills. The Masters of research (MRes) in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science was appealing because it offered the chance to learn new computational techniques with a combination of research, something I had particularly enjoyed during my undergraduate degree. The course is fast paced resulting in me acquiring a lot of new knowledge and experience in a short space of time. I enjoyed the MRes course and it was excellent preparation for the PhD programme I am now undertaking in molecular modelling.
- Giuliamonica Leonardi (MRes Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery 2014-15)
Choosing UCL for my Master’s degree was never a dilemma for me. I followed the work of many academics worldwide during my undergraduate degree in Industrial Chemistry at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy. UCL had excellent track record in research and presented the opportunity to apply for masters degree that did not only focus on one subject but instead, aimed to prepare students to question science with a general broad background with multidisciplinary and transferable skills modules. Contrary to the BSc degree, which in my opinion is mostly the same anywhere in the world, postgraduate studies project your career towards a specific direction. Therefore, I was looking for a university that could offer a good research level and high technological facilities but also a place with a multidisciplinary and multicultural mind set. The MRes Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery programme allowed me to experience research full time and eventually prepare me to do a PhD later on. This high standard and very demanding programme combines perfectly, theoretical knowledge with novel research projects allowing you to grow in a challenging and inspiring environment. I enjoyed every minute of this course even if it required a great amount of hard work and strong time management skills. The worldwide reputation of UCL and the quality of education I received, definitely played (and still play) an important role in achieving my goals. I was employed before even finishing my master by Taylor and Francis Group. I was working first in publishing for Informa- CRC press and then as data analyst in Pharmaceutical R&D focus at QuintilesIMS, just a year after the end of my studies.
- Yingxue Hu (MSc Materials for Energy and Environment 2012-2013)
I received my BEng Degree in Printing Engineering from Hangzhou Dianzi University (Hangzhou, China) in 2008. I am very interested in printing materials (ink, papers et al.), which inspired me to further my study in material science. UCL as one of the top universities in the world has very high international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. In 2013, I received my Master of Science with Distinction from UCL. After that, I joined the group of Wilkinson and Tabor group at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) as a PhD candidate. My current research is focused on the synthesis and self-assembly of photo-responsive carbohydrate materials.
- Fernando Pérez Mendez (MSc Materials for Energy and Environment 2013-2014)
My fascination to understand how things work lead me to study a degree in Mechatronics Engineering in the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, in México. These studies would be of great convenience to obtain a job afterwards since the state of Nuevo Leon is mainly dedicated to the industry. During my studies and the subsequent job hunting I realised how important it was to have adequate materials and energy sources when designing or improving a device. This realisation summed to the increasing world-wide concern in the environment and energy problems led me to choose the MSc in Materials for Energy and Environment at University College London since I felt this programme offered the courses in the most relevant energy technologies while maintaining a focus that could easily be applied to other areas of engineering thanks to the materials science content, which for me really differentiated this programme from the rest. The programme prepared me with very good research experience and I had the opportunity to do a lot of experiments which were the part I personally enjoyed the most. After culmination of my Master programme I worked in the design of electrical transformers and I felt like the course really helped me in the way I see and question things, as now I have a different perspective and I gained awareness of the opportunities in the different areas of the energy sector where we can implement improvements. This programme helped me to make a shift in the direction of my career as I currently work in the development of an axial-gap superconducting synchronous machine as a PhD in Engineering student at the University of Cambridge, I really believe that the formation gained through the MSc Materials for Energy and Environment has made my incursion in this new area of research a much easier task by giving knowledge in a different area and research skills.
Studentships currently available in the department can be found under Further information