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 also interact with experienced researchers in the laboratory from the outset.
Students gain broad background knowledge of cell and developmental biology, and physical theories and experimental physics techniques applied to biological systems. They also gain theoretical and working knowledge of techniques from physics and engineering used in biological physics research, including optical microscopy, microfabrication, and data analysis.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (90 credits), one optional module (30 credits) and a report (60 credits).
Students must select one of the following 30-credit modules:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a report of 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops and 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. BioMEMs and Microscopy Techniques) 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 work and 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. In the last two years the UCL Institute for the Physics of Living Systems has been created 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 in order 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.