Chemistry research at Swansea University is vibrant and covers a wide range of research areas and interests, and will be growing at a fast pace over the next 2-3 years. It is focused on 4 themes: Energy, Health, New and Advanced Molecules and Materials, and Water and the Environment. These research initiatives transcend the traditional discipline boundaries, integrate the core areas of inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistries and intersect with other scientific disciplines, engineering and medicine.
The new Department of Chemistry has excellent, purpose-built modern laboratories and has access to a diverse type of laboratories research infrastructures to develop its research. For example, high-quality, high-impact chemistry research is already taking place in World Class Centres based in Swansea such as The Centre for NanoHealth, The Institute of Mass Spectrometry, The Institute of Life Sciences, The Energy Safety Research Institute, Multidisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre, The Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research and The Materials Research Centre. The integration of the new Chemistry Department with Engineering, the Medical School and other departments in the College of Science provides an environment of research excellence and allows our chemistry students and research staff to invent, innovate and develop products in a way that is best suited to research in the 21st century and the need to generate disruptive, step-change advances with impact on current global challenges.
Energy: One of the key areas where advances in chemistry will be needed is in providing solutions to the global energy challenge. Chemistry research in Swansea University is participating in fundamental and applied research initiatives focused on:
Health: Chemistry research provides new routes to more effective, cheaper and less toxic therapies and to non-invasive disease detection and diagnosis tools – a requirement to transform the entire landscape of drug discovery, development and healthcare, which is unaffordable and needs to benefit more patients. The chemistry research laboratories for this theme are adjacent to Swansea Medical School – which ranked 1st in the UK for research environment, and 2nd for overall research quality in the REF 2014.
Current chemistry research includes:
New and Advanced Molecules and Materials: There is major interest in synthesing, designing and controllling molecular and macromolecular assemblies at multiple length scales. In Swansea this research involves use of:
Water and the Environment: Chemistry at Swansea university has a strong profile in the development of analytical tools for measuring environmental impact, environmental impact assessment of polymer-based materials through their lifetime (including the effects of recycling and biopolymers), technologies for the efficient removal of environmentally harmful materials (and thus reduced emissions per output of discharge), membrane technologies and new methodologies for desalination, and for dewatering and killing pathogens for sanitation applications and the use of new molecules and materials for photocatalytic water splitting and development of self-propelled micro and nanomotor systems for environmental remediation. In collaboration with the Biocontrol and Natural Products (BANP) group in the Department of Biosciences, there is also growing research interest around the characterisation and application of natural products, in particular those derived from fungi and microalgae, to provide therapeutics and nutraceuticals and to act as agents for biocontrol and bioremediation.
Our new state-of-the-art teaching laboratories are being built as part of a multi-million pound investment to create a chemistry hub for the high quality Chemical Sciences research being carried out across the Colleges of Science, Engineering and Medicine.
A chemistry qualification opens the door to a wide range of careers options, both in and out of the lab. There are endless interesting and rewarding science-based jobs available – these can be in research, outdoors or in other industries you might not have thought of. Please visit the Royal Society of Chemistry website for details.
Find out more about the huge range of jobs in chemistry by exploring the job profiles on the Royal Society of Chemistry website (eg Cancer Researcher, Flavourist & Innovation Director, Chief Chemist, Sustainability Manager, Fragrance Chemist, Household Goods Senior Scientist, Analytical Scientist, and many more).
We provide a unique Master’s education in Materials Chemistry, offering the opportunity to carry out a 12-month research project from a selection that covers all aspects of Materials Chemistry.
Optional modules enable you to gain specialist knowledge of core areas such as:
Both synthesis and characterisation are integral to the teaching around these areas.
Materials Chemistry is a key multidisciplinary area, and a growth area for both academic and industrial research. Employment prospects in this area are excellent - the programme will prepare you for a career in industrial or academic research and development, or in production or manufacturing roles.
We will be seeking accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
Ranked 18th in the UK for Chemistry in the Guardian University League Tables 2017.
The MSc in Materials Chemistry qualification comprises of 180 credits. These are divided into modules, the smallest being 20 credits (20 credits are equivalent to 200 student learning hours).
In semester one the programme consists of two core compulsory modules (40 credits) to provide the appropriate framework and a compulsory module (20 credits) to develop your research skills, professional development and commercial awareness.
Semester two also consists of two core compulsory modules (40 credits) to provide the appropriate framework and a compulsory module (20 credits) to develop your research project design skills. Students will be introduced to the concept of peer-review, and will provide feedback on a project proposal from one of their peers.
Students will be guided on how to:
In support of this, students will be required to meet with their supervisor regularly to discuss interim reports and to propose the next steps in the planning of a project. Instruction will be given by library staff in critical reading of the scientific literature. A presentation of the work achieved will be given in the form of a poster presentation.
In semester three students are expected to devote a significant period of time to an individual and original piece of research. The student is required to work independently on their project, and to seek advice or practical help when appropriate, with regular communication with their project supervisor(s). The students’ supervisor will provide guidance on data collection, data analysis, discussion, summarising of findings and writing up of the final dissertation and associated research paper.
A variety of teaching methods appropriate to the learning outcomes of the individual modules are employed throughout the programme. The learning activities include lectures, workshops and directed study.
Core modules are dedicated to developing generic key skills, specialism practice and project management experience. The specialist modules relating to materials chemistry include lectures, workshops and use of specialist software packages under the instruction of a team of interdisciplinary specialists in the area.
The modules are assessed through course work (problem solving exercises, project plan, training plan), oral presentations and formal exams.
These progressively focus on student-centred approaches to learning and will reflect increasing reliance on independent responsibility for learning. In this way you will develop the attributes needed for life-long learning and continued professional development.
Postgraduate students at the University of Bradford learn in a high-quality environment with teaching by academics from around the world, many engaged in ground-breaking research.
You will join a growing community of more than 2,700 students who choose to continue their higher education here each year, whether it's on a taught course such as an MSc in Cancer Pharmacology, or a research degree such as a PhD in Archaeological Sciences.
When you join the University of Bradford as a postgraduate student you gain access to our world-class facilities designed to give you the best possible environment in which to learn and undertake research.
Materials Chemists work in a diverse range of areas including: medical devices; electronic devices; sustainable energy generation; nanomaterials; surface coatings; controlled delivery of drugs and agrochemicals and many other areas.
Transferable skills are also a key component and graduating students will be equipped for careers in both academia and industry.
The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.
Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.
Our comprehensive support services will help you to achieve your full potential – both academically and personally.
We provide all you need to make the very best of your time with us, and successfully progress through your studies and on into the world of graduate employment.
Our support services include:
We have well-stocked libraries and excellent IT facilities across campus. These facilities are open 24 hours a day during term time, meaning you’ll always find a place to get things done on campus.
Our Academic Skills Advice Service will work with you to develop your academic, interpersonal and transferable skills.
Research in Chemistry is broadly themed into Molecular Science and Materials Chemistry, comprising the development of synthetic, analytical and computational methods.
Polymers and polymer composites are increasingly important in our everyday life and can be found everywhere around us.
At the same time, more and more high-performance speciality polymers and polymer nanocomposites have been developed for advanced engineering, plastic electronics and biomedical applications.
Bringing together expertise from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Chemistry, and further supported by the Polymer Centre, the UK’s largest single-university academic network in the field of polymers, this course will provide you with a thorough understanding of advanced topics on polymer and composite science and engineering.
A friendly, forward-thinking community, our students and staff are on hand to welcome you to the department and ensure you settle into student life.
Your project supervisor will support you throughout your course. Plus you’ll have access to our extensive network of alumni, offering industry insight and valuable career advice to support your own career pathway.
Prospective employers recognise the value of our courses, and know that our students can apply their knowledge to industry. Our graduates work for organisations including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, the National Nuclear Laboratory and Saint-Gobain. Roles include materials development engineer, reactor engineer and research manager. They also work in academia in the UK and abroad.
90 per cent of our graduates are employed or in further study 6 months after graduating, with an average starting salary of £27,000, the highest being £50,000.
We have invested in extensive, world-class equipment and facilities to provide a stimulating learning environment. Our laboratories are equipped to a high standard, with specialist facilities for each area of research.
Tools and production facilities for materials processing, fabrication and testing, including wet chemical processing for ceramics and polymers, rapid solidification and water atomisation for nanoscale metallic materials, and extensive facilities for deposition of functional and structural coatings.
Our £3million advanced nuclear materials research facility provides a high-quality environment for research on radioactive waste and disposal. Our unique thermomechanical compression and arbitrary strain path equipment is used for simulation of hot deformation.
You’ll have access to newly refurbished array of microscopy and analysis equipment, x-ray facilities, and surface analysis techniques covering state-of-the-art XPS and SIMS. There are also laboratories for cell and tissue culture, and facilities for measuring electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties.
The Kroto Research Institute and the Nanoscience and Technology Centre enhance our capabilities in materials fabrication and characterisation, and we have a computer cluster for modelling from the atomistic through nano and mesoscopic to the macroscopic.
An interdisciplinary research-led department; our network of world leading academics at the cutting edge of their research inform our courses providing a stimulating, dynamic environment in which to study.
Working alongside students and staff from across the globe, you’ll tackle real-world projects, and attend lectures, seminars and laboratory classes delivered by academic and industry experts.
You’ll be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assignments and a dissertation.
There may be some changes to these modules before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department.
As one of the world's leading Chemistry Departments, we create an exceptional research and learning environment for advancing and sharing knowledge that emphasizes excellence, equity and sustainability. Research areas include:
Outstanding facilities and resources accommodate more than 500 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty that call the Department of Chemistry home. The Department has one of the most comfortable and up-to-date research spaces in North America, and offers MSc and PhD degrees - both degrees require graduate courses and research work reported in a thesis.
Courses offered in the Chemistry Department cover a wide range of subject matter, from synthetic organic chemistry to chemical physics and theory.
The department is one of the most well equipped research facilities along the west coast and is fortunate to be located in a breathtaking locale that includes ocean, mountains and mild climate.
Applicants who are interested in nanomaterials synthesis, characterization and application, and nanoscience instrumentation may consider the NanoMat program that provides additional funding and professional development opportunities. Applicants who are interested in the production, preparation, and application of nuclear isotopes for science and medicine may consider the IsoSiM program. Applicants who are interested in quantum materials may consider the QuEST program.
Our Chemistry degree is a highly-versatile course allowing you to direct your studies to specialised areas of chemistry. The course places strong emphasis on practical chemistry and focuses on current topics in chemistry research.
You will gain extensive hands-on practical experience within the laboratory with a practical skills module that provides tuition in essential practical and analytical procedures and carry out an independent original research project. The practical and analytical skills obtained, in combination with the reporting of the data generated, are essential abilities that enhance employability within the Chemical Sciences industries.
You will study compulsory modules on advanced topics in chemistry, and laboratory skills for chemists as well as undertake a 90 credit extended laboratory project during the summer months.
This will be complemented with a choice of optional modules, allowing you to gain specialist knowledge in a topic that suits your career plans or personal interests. Optional module topics in the following areas: polymer chemistry, food science, chemical engineering, atmospheric chemistry and colour chemistry, amongst others.
The overall aim of the Master of Chemistry programme is to train students to conduct research in an academic or industrial setting.
Students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by identifying a research question, situating it in its proper chemical and social context and designing a study that addresses this research question.
This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
The full programme comprises 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System), including 18 ECTS for compulsory courses and 54 ECTS for electives. In addition, students develop advanced practical skills in an internship at KU Leuven to the value of 18 ECTS, while the remaining 30 ECTS are allocated to the Master’s thesis.
There are five majors to choose from:
The Department of Chemistry consists of five divisions, all of which conduct high quality research embedded in well-established collaborations with other universities, research institutes and companies around the world. Its academic staff is committed to excellence in teaching and research. Although the department's primary goal is to obtain insight into the composition, structure and properties of chemical compounds and the design, synthesis and development of new (bio)molecular materials, this knowledge often leads to applications with important economic or societal benefits.
The department aims to develop and maintain leading, internationally renowned research programmes dedicated to solving fundamental and applied problems in the fields of:
Knowledge and understanding
Acquire, use and form an opinion about information
Communication and social skills
Motivation and attitudes
The Master of Science in Chemistry offers a wide range of specialisations and, as such, many career options are available to our graduates. More than half of our alumni work in industry, while others work in academia or other research institutes.
Within industry, graduates can opt for a technical, a commercial, or research-oriented career. Since the chemical industry is also a major industrial sector throughout Europe and the rest of the world, employment opportunities are enhanced by obtaining a PhD. A few examples of professional domains where chemists are needed include industry (chemistry, petrochemistry, medical sector, pharmaceutical industry, agrochemistry, food industry etc.), government or public administration, and research institutes.
This twelve month chemistry MSc is designed primarily for international students, either to act as a preparation for PhD studies or for students wishing to broaden their research experience and knowledge of chemistry within the context of the English language.
The programme consists of taught modules, worth a total of 90 credits, delivered in the first six months of the course followed by a substantial research project, also worth 90 credits.
The modules will include both analytical and synthetic topics and a research project from a wide range of areas may be selected.
To provide students with essential skills in the characterisation of materials by spectroscopic, structural and analytical techniques. This will be achieved with reference to organic, organometallic and polymeric materials.
To give students an in-depth experience of chemical research through individual, extended Masters research projects.
To develop confidence in the use of English oral and written skills within a chemical context
The taught modules cover a wide range of modern advanced chemistry and include aspects of:
The taught modules will be delivered as lectures with extensive support from workshops and practical classes. The project and Research skills module will address issues of scientific report writing, presentation skills and database searching as a preparation for the research project.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
With an increase in the number of undergraduate degrees offering the MChem qualification, our Chemistry MRes allows BSc graduates to become equally competitive by studying for an enhanced qualification that will set them apart throughout their career.
Our MRes qualification is also a convenient entry point into the UK academic system for overseas students, and many of our MRes graduates go on to successfully complete a PhD.
Our academics are at the forefront of their field, having recently discovered a method for the rapid detection of drugs from a fingerprint; and a naturally sourced, environmentally safe chemical for the treatment of an important agricultural pathogen.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of three taught modules and a research project, which contributes 75 per cent of the final credits to the degree and includes the laboratory based research, library work, COSHH, record keeping and writing the dissertation.
We would normally expect the laboratory based part of the project to be, on average, two to three full days per week during the teaching semesters and five days per week during non-teaching times (for example, over the Christmas, Easter and summer breaks).
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
The Chemistry programme is run within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the cross-faculty Surrey Materials Institute (SMI). Staff in the Department of Chemistry have expertise which includes all aspects of chemistry:
You will receive a thorough education in advanced aspects of chemistry, but also undertake independent research via a project, guided by a dedicated and experienced supervisor.
Projects are available across a range of topics in chemistry, and may extend into areas of biology, forensics or materials science. Past MRes students have continued to further (PhD) education and to posts in research in industry.
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
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.
Materials Chemistry has emerged as an important sub-discipline within Chemistry. It cross-cuts the traditional Organic/Inorganic/Physical boundaries of Chemistry and overlaps many disciplines from Engineering to the Biosciences.
Materials chemists now have a leading role in areas such as microelectronics, polymer science, catalysis and nanotechnology. They also make an important contribution to areas of more traditional chemistry such as the pharmaceutical sector where understanding the 'physical properties' of intermediates and products is now recognised as essential in optimising the synthesis and properties of pharmaceutically active ingredients in medicines.
The degree consists of advanced lecture courses such as:
These are studied concurrently with a predominantly practical based course offering an introduction to research methods.
Students then proceed to a period of full-time research project work leading to the submission of their Master's dissertation.
Lectures are given by leading researchers in the area of materials chemistry. The lecture courses are supported by tutorial sessions and assessed by examination in April/May.
The Introduction to Research Methods course includes an exciting problem solving exercise where you learn important skills such as Communicating Science, Innovation, Dealing with Intellectual Property and Grant Application Writing, together with a literature survey and written report, defining the scope of the subsequent individual research project work.
On completion of the course, you should have developed a depth of comprehension and critique in the core elements of your subject area, including:
Additionally you will have enhanced your professional/practical skills through:
You will also have had the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as: