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.
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 intensive programme offers an exciting opportunity to learn from world leaders in both informatics and linguistics. Drawing from our cutting-edge research, the programme’s content covers all areas of speech and language processing, from phonetics, speech synthesis and speech recognition to natural language generation and machine translation.
This flexible programme provides research or vocational training and can be either freestanding or lead to PhD study. The modular nature of the programme allows you to tailor it to your own interests.
Taught by leading researchers from Linguistics & English Language, the Centre for Speech Technology Research and the School of Informatics, this programme combines elements of linguistics, computer science, engineering and psychology.
You will develop up-to-date knowledge of a broad range of areas in speech and language processing and gain the technical expertise and hands-on skills required to carry out research and development in this challenging interdisciplinary area.
You study two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.
Most core compulsory courses have both computational and mathematical content. A few optional courses need a stronger mathematical background. Courses in the second semester can be tailored to your own interests and abilities.
Option courses may include:
This programme aims to equip you with the technical knowledge and practical skills required to carry out research and development in the challenging interdisciplinary arena of speech and language technology.
You will learn about state-of-the-art techniques in speech synthesis, speech recognition, natural language processing, dialogue, language generation and machine translation.
You will also learn the theory behind such technologies and gain the practical experience of working with and developing real systems based on these technologies. This programme is ideal preparation for a PhD or working in industry.
This programme will provide you with the specialised skills you need to perform research or develop technology in speech and language processing. It will also serve as a solid basis for doctoral study.