Chemical Research MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The principal component (50%) 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 also contains advanced taught courses which can be selected to cover the branches of chemistry of interest, a review of aspects of the scientific literature relevant to the research project and training in transferable skills for scientists.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

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

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

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.

The programme is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on a research career and is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Who this course is for

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.

What this course will give you

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.

The foundation of your career

The MSc will equip students with an in depth knowledge of cutting edge chemistry as part of their research. This will help develop skills of analytical thinking, problem solving, data analysis and communication all of which are valuable to prospective employers.


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.


Masters students will have opportunities to visit the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society both situated in central London, to attend public lectures and meetings given by eminent national and international scientists. The student run ‘Chemical Physical society’ which is the oldest student run chemical society also holds weekly social events and scientific discussions and seminars on a variety of topical chemical and physical aspects. In addition there are many scientific events offering networking opportunities organised by several societies across the college ranging from Life Science to Data science.


This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Accreditation of degree programmes by the Royal Society of Chemistry is a mark of assurance that teaching and learning meet the standards expected from a university. Furthermore, accredited programmes ensure the needs of employers and students are fulfilled.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face lectures, seminars and workshops.

The programme is delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and research supervision.

Assessment is through unseen written examination and coursework. The literature project is assessed by written dissertation. The research project is assessed by a written report, supervisor appraisal, an interim oral presentation with viva voce and poster presentation.

All students will be expected to attend research seminars relevant to their broad research interest.

On average it is expected that a student spends 150 hours studying for each 15-credit module. This includes teaching time, private study and coursework. Modules are usually taught in weekly sessions (approx. 2 hours per week) over 10 weeks each term.


Students choose topics to the value of 45 credits from an extensive list of topic subjects in consultation with the programme director/research supervisor. These topics are aligned with programme aims and those of the individual research project and include topics from fundamental to applied chemistry. Topic areas include organic synthesis: asymmetric and biomimetic processes and the interface of chemistry with biology; inorganic/ materials chemistry: preparation and characterisation of catalysts and green chemistry; physical chemistry: fundamentals of gas and condensed phase processes and their applications such as atmospheric and surface chemistry and computational chemistry: ranging from data acquisition and analysis to fundamental quantum chemical calculations.  Other topics focus on advanced experimental skills.

Optional modules

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

You will undertake Chemistry modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Chemical Research.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £15,100
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no programme-specific costs.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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

There are a number of Graduate School Scholarships available.

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

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

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.

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.

Note: for applicants holding a UCL Chemistry Bachelor's degree, the choice of a Master's programme must not include one which requires modules previously studied at UCL - contact the Programme Director before applying.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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