Pursuing a research degree at the School of Chemistry could be one of the best experiences of your life.
In addition to gaining research skills, making friends, meeting eminent researchers and being part of the research community, a research degree will help you to develop invaluable transferable skills which you can apply to academic life or a variety of professions outside of academia.
The Chemistry/Biology Interface
This is a broad area, with particular strengths in the areas of protein structure and function, mechanistic enzymology, proteomics, peptide and protein synthesis, protein folding, recombinant and synthetic DNA methodology, biologically targeted synthesis and the application of high throughput and combinatorial approaches. We also focus on biophysical chemistry, the development and application of physicochemical techniques to biological systems. This includes mass spectrometry, advanced spectroscopy and microscopy, as applied to proteins, enzymes, DNA, membranes and biosensors.
Experimental & Theoretical Chemical Physics
This is the fundamental study of molecular properties and processes. Areas of expertise include probing molecular structure in the gas phase, clusters and nanoparticles, the development and application of physicochemical techniques such as mass spectoscropy to molecular systems and the EaStCHEM surface science group, who study complex molecules on surfaces, probing the structure property-relationships employed in heterogeneous catalysis. A major feature is in Silico Scotland, a world-class research computing facility.
This research area encompasses the synthesis and characterisation of organic and inorganic compounds, including those with application in homogeneous catalysis, nanotechnology, coordination chemistry, ligand design and supramolecular chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, heterocyclic chemistry and the development of synthetic methods and strategies leading to the synthesis of biologically important molecules (including drug discovery). The development of innovative synthetic and characterisation methodologies (particularly in structural chemistry) is a key feature, and we specialise in structural chemistry at extremely high pressures.
The EaStCHEM Materials group is one of the largest in the UK. Areas of strength include the design, synthesis and characterisation of functional (for example magnetic, superconducting and electronic) materials; strongly correlated electronic materials, battery and fuel cell materials and devices, porous solids, fundamental and applied electrochemistry polymer microarray technologies and technique development for materials and nanomaterials analysis.
Students attend regular research talks, visiting speaker symposia, an annual residential meeting in the Scottish Highlands, and lecture courses on specialised techniques and safety. Students are encouraged to participate in transferable skills and computing courses, public awareness of science activities, undergraduate teaching and to represent the School at national and international conferences.
Our facilities are among the best in the world, offering an outstanding range of capabilities. You’ll be working in recently refurbished laboratories that meet the highest possible standards, packed with state-of-the-art equipment for both analysis and synthesis.
For NMR in the solution and solid state, we have 10 spectrometers at field strengths from 200-800 MHz; mass spectrometry utilises EI, ESI, APCI, MALDI and FAB instrumentation, including LC and GC interfaces. New combinatorial chemistry laboratories, equipped with a modern fermentation unit, are available. We have excellent facilities for the synthesis and characterisation of bio-molecules, including advanced mass spectrometry and NMR stopped-flow spectrometers, EPR, HPLC, FPLC, AA.
World-class facilities are available for small molecule and macromolecular X-ray diffraction, utilising both single crystal and powder methods. Application of diffraction methods at high pressures is a particular strength, and we enjoy strong links to central facilities for neutron, muon and synchrotron science in the UK and further afield. We are one of the world's leading centres for gas-phase electron diffraction.
Also available are instruments for magnetic and electronic characterisation of materials (SQUID), electron microscopy (SEM, TEM), force-probe microscopy, high-resolution FTRaman and FT-IR, XPS and thermal analysis. We have also recently installed a new 1,000- tonne pressure chamber, to be used for the synthesis of materials at high pressures and temperatures. Fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy instruments are available within the COSMIC Centre. Dedicated computational infrastructure is available, and we benefit from close links with the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.
This new programme prepares students for a career in the rapidly developing field of biological physics. Navigating across the boundaries of the established disciplines of biology and physics – using tools and techniques developed for one discipline to answer questions arising in another – students will interact with experienced researchers in the laboratory from the outset.
Students gain broad background knowledge of cell and developmental biology, as well as physical theories and experimental physics techniques applied to biological systems. You will gain theoretical and working knowledge of techniques from physics and engineering used in biological physics research, including optical microscopy, microfabrication, and data analysis. You will be further prepared for the research environment with a series of transferable skills classes and seminars.
The research project will empower students by immersing them in an active research environment. The projects are around interdisciplinary research across the faculties of Mathematics and Applied Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering.
The MSc in Biological Physics is a one year full-time programme requiring the attainment of 180 credits. The programme consists of 5 core taught modules, a choice of one core biological module, one or two optional modules and a dissertation.
Biological module (students must select one)
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a report of 10,000 words. The projects will be multidisciplinary, built around the cutting-edge research across the faculties of MAPS, Life Sciences and Engineering.
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical classes, and tutorials by an element of problem-centred learning, innovatively linking taught material to a set of student-selected research case studies. Taught modules are assessed by problem sets and examinations; ‘hands-on’ modules (e.g. Microfabrication and Microscopy for Biophysics) and research projects are assessed by presentations, assessed reports and the dissertation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biological Physics MSc
This programme will prepare students for an increasingly interdisciplinary research environment in biological physics and quantitative biology and their applications in industrial research or academic settings.
The programme includes significant transferable skills components (e.g. scientific writing, presentations, outreach, innovation) which are highly relevant to future employability. Students gain a deep understanding of both the physics and biology underpinning phenomena observed in living systems - as well as direct knowledge of cutting-edge technologies likely to play a role in industrial development and academic research - while addressing key societal challenges (from cancer to healthy ageing).
The new Biological Physics MSc brings together expertise in biological and physical sciences at UCL. The UCL Institute for the Physics of Living Systems has been created at UCL to enhance the teaching and research opportunities in interdisciplinary physics and life sciences at UCL.
The necessity to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries is particularly true of biology where there is a growing realisation that understanding the physics underlying biological phenomena is critical to rationally develop next generation treatments for disease and solutions for food security in a globalised world.
Students are immersed in an active research environment from the outset, interacting with experienced researchers in the laboratory and familiarising themselves with state-of-the-art biological and biophysical research techniques.
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: Physics & Astronomy
90% 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.
The International Master in Bio-Imaging at the University of Bordeaux offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary academic program in cellular and biomedical imaging, from molecules and cells to entire animals and humans. It is part of the “Health Engineering” program, which combines three academic tracks (Biomedical Imaging, Cellular Bio-Imaging and Bio-Material & Medical Devices).
Built on the research expertise of the researchers at the University of Bordeaux, this Master program provides excellent training opportunities in advanced bio-imaging methods and concepts to understand (patho)-physiological processes through the vertical integration of molecular, cellular and systems approaches and analyses.
Students receive intense and coordinated training in bio-imaging, combining a mix of theoretical and practical aspects. They acquire scientific and technological knowledge and experience in the main imaging techniques used in biomedical research and practice.
Semesters 1 and 2 focus on the acquisition of general knowledge in the field (courses and laboratory training). Semester 3 consists of track specialization in cellular bio-imaging, biomedical imaging and bio-materials & medical devices. Semester 4 proposes an internship within an academic laboratory or with an industrial partner.
Cellular Bio-Imaging track
Biomedical Imaging track
Cellular Bio-Imaging track
Biomedical Imaging track
Graduates will be qualified in the following domains of expertise:
Potential career opportunities include: researcher, service engineer, application scientist, bio-medical engineer, sales engineer, healthcare executive.
Best of all worlds
Biological sciences gives you expertise in a broad range of biological and fundamental sciences.
Find out more about the Master of Science parent structure.
When you study Massey’s Master of Science with a major in biological sciences you don’t have to focus on one particular type of science, but will gain expertise across a range of your interests.
If you are interested in subjects like microbiology, genetics and biochemistry, but don’t have all the prerequisites you need to specialise, or you want to open the door to a broader range of careers, a major in biological sciences gives you a broad-based degree that keeps your options open.
Within the degree you can focus on one particular area of science, or keep your study broad - the choice is yours!
At Massey you have the flexibility to choose from different locations for your study - either Manawatu or the Auckland campuses - as well as other research institutes such as AgResearch, Scion, and Plant & Food Research. This flexibility provides a great deal of project choice, as well as providing important industry linkages that enhance job prospects.
Whether you study on the Auckland or Palmerston North campuses, you will have access to world-class facilities. These include the Manawatu Microscopy and Imaging Centre and the Massey Genome Service (part of New Zealand Genomics Limited), our controlled environment plant growth facilities, the unique and extensive university orchards and state-of-the-art plant physiology and biology equipment. We have large animal units and there are extensive Massey farms that operate as commercial beef, dairy and sheep farms.
Massey has a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers, as well as a microscopy centre, offering confocal, and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services.
Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory housed on the university’s Manawatu campus. This service center is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. We house a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment, including DIGE imaging and access to mass spectrometers. There is also an X-ray diffraction laboratory and access to the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.
Massey offers a very broad range of research areas in chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and all the biological sciences, Genetics ranges from classical through molecular, biomedical, genomic and computational projects. These utilise a wide range of biological systems including microbial, plant, animal and human species.
You will also be able to utilise Massey’s broad range of expertise in the sciences, working with other departments and experts as you need to for your research.
A critical part of the postgraduate experience at Massey is being part of the vibrant, well-established community of fundamental scientists and students. We have active student groups where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.
Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Master of Science will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.
Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning, time management, setting goals and milestones and undertaking research.
A comprehensive training in the theory and practice of groundwater science and engineering, providing an excellent basis for careers in scientific, engineering and environmental consultancies, water companies, major industries, research, and government scientific and regulatory services in the UK and abroad.
Modules encompass the full range of groundwater studies and are supported by practical field sessions and computing and hydrogeological modelling based on industry standard software.
This is a vocational programme relevant to graduates with good Honours degrees in appropriate subjects (for example, Geosciences, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biosciences, and Environmental Sciences). It is important to have a good knowledge of mathematics.
The lecture component of the programme encompasses the full range of hydrogeology. Modules cover drilling, well design, aquifer test analysis, laboratory test analysis, groundwater flow, hydrogeophysics, inorganic chemistry of groundwaters, organic contamination of groundwater, contaminated land and remediation, groundwater modelling, contaminant transport, hydrology, and groundwater resources assessment.
These lecture modules are supported by practical field sessions, and by computing and hydrogeological modelling based on industry standard software. Integration of concepts developed in the taught programmes is facilitated through student-centred investigations of current issues linked to a diverse range of hydrogeological environments.
Examinations are held in January and April. From May onwards, you undertake a project, a report on which is submitted in September.
Projects may be field-, laboratory-, or modelling- based, and are usually of an applied nature, although a few are research-orientated. Our chemical (inorganic and organic), rock testing, computing, geophysical and borehole-logging equipment is available for you to use during this period.
Career openings include those with consulting engineering and environmental firms, government scientific services and regional water companies, both in this country and abroad. Demand for hydrogeologists is substantial and students from the course are highly regarded by employers.
Hydrogeology is the study of groundwater; an essential component of the world’s water supply. More than 2 billion people depend on groundwater for their daily needs (approximately 30% of water supplied in the UK is groundwater).
The aim of our Hydrogeology MSc Course is to provide students who have a good scientific or engineering background with a comprehensive training in the fundamentals of groundwater science and engineering, together with considerable practical experience.
The School is well supported and you will have the use of all equipment and facilities appropriate to your work:
You will have access to the multiple clusters of PCs in the University Learning Centre and Library, and the School-based Earth Imaging Laboratory. The MSc course also has its own dedicated room for teaching and study with six PCs for convenient access to email, web and on-line learning resources.
The University based computers have an extensive range of software installed that covers the needs of students of all disciplines, but in common with the School-based PCs, specialist software packages used routinely by professional hydrogeologists are installed for our MSc students. These include industry standard groundwater flow modelling, contaminant transport modelling, geochemical modelling, geophysical interpretation and field and laboratory hydraulic test analysis packages. You can also register for more specialist software on the University high speed BlueBEAR computing facility if your individual project requires it. Research software developed within the Water Sciences research group is also available.
The School is well equipped for inorganic and organic chemical analysis of field and laboratory samples. Facilities include: Total Organic Carbon analysis, Gas Chromatography, ICP Mass Spectrometry, Ion Chromatography, Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry and Luminescence and UV/visible spectroscopy. These facilities have been used in a wide range of MSc projects, for both standard geochemical analysis of groundwater samples and for more specific purposes including studies of persistent organic pollutants and toxic heavy metals in the environment, and denitrification in river beds.
The School also has a dedicated microbiology laboratory equipped with an autoclave for sterilizing media and equipment, a class II safety cabinet for handing microbial samples, and incubators.
Facilities are also available within the School and elsewhere for geological material analysis, including thin section preparation and microscopy, a wide range of electron microscopy techniques, XRD, pore size distribution determination, and surface area measurement.
The School has two field sites on campus for use by MSc students and research staff. Both consist of arrays of boreholes drilled into the underlying sandstone aquifer to depths of up to 60m.
The groundwater group is well stocked with field equipment, which is used extensively in research projects, for teaching, and particularly on individual MSc projects. This equipment includes pumping test equipment (submersible pumps, generators, packers, digital pressure transducers, data loggers, divers, dip meters, pipe-work and installation frames); chemical sampling and tracer transport equipment (depth samplers, sampling pumps, tracer test equipment and field fluorimeter, hand held EC, pH and EH probes, portable chemical lab kit); geophysical equipment (resistivity imaging, electromagnetic surveying, ground penetrating radar, and borehole logging); and a secure, towable, mobile laboratory for off-site testing.
Fieldwork and projects transform theory into practice and form a large part of the course. They are supported by extensive field, laboratory and technical facilities.
A weeklong course of practical work and site visits is held in Week 7 of the Autumn Term. The content varies from year to year, but typically includes pumping tests, small-scale field tests, chemical sampling, and geophysics using the research boreholes on campus. Visits to landfill sites, water resources schemes, wetlands, and drilling sites are also arranged in collaboration with the Environment Agency, consultants and landfill operators. During the Spring Term, field demonstrations are provided by chemical sampling equipment distributors and manufacturers. You will gain further field experience either during your own 4.5 month project or when helping your colleagues on other projects.
This taught MSc course gives you a comprehensive overview of state-of-the-art research in nanoscience. It provides you with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary for this emerging area.
The course is mainly designed to equip you for a research-based career in industry but it can also serve as a way of progressing towards a PhD.
This course will be of interest to physical science graduates looking to work in the field of nanoscience. It’s also suitable for those with an industrial background as a further training opportunity and a way of gaining insights into topics at the forefront of academic research.
This course explores the frontiers of science on the nanoscale. It provides a strong grounding in basic nanoscience before progressing to advanced topics.
Taught classes have been developed from the many years of nanoscience research at the University in areas such as:
Two semesters of formal teaching are followed by a three-month intensive project.
Following the taught classes, you’ll undertake a research intensive project in a relevant nanoscience topic.
The projects take place primarily in research labs located in the University’s physical science departments. There are some opportunities for relevant industrial placements.
This course is run by the Department of Physics. The department’s facilities include:
The final assessment will be based on your performance in exams, coursework, a research project and, if required, in an oral exam.
What kind of jobs do Strathclyde Physics graduates get?
To answer this question we contacted some of our Physics graduates from all courses to find out what jobs they have. They are working across the world in a number of different roles including: