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Masters Degrees (Synthetic)

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This MRes programme aims to train students in the fast-growing area of synthetic biology, a discipline which takes the knowledge and understanding we now have of the individual parts of biological systems and uses them in a defined way to design and build novel artificial biological systems. Read more

This MRes programme aims to train students in the fast-growing area of synthetic biology, a discipline which takes the knowledge and understanding we now have of the individual parts of biological systems and uses them in a defined way to design and build novel artificial biological systems.

About this degree

Students develop an understanding of the areas involved in synthetic biology, including engineering principles, mathematical modelling, advanced molecular biology, microbiology, biochemical engineering and necessary chemistry. Modules also provide the necessary skills for acquisition and critical analysis of the primary scientific literature and transferable research development skills. The programme includes a major research project that will provide in-depth training in synthetic biology research methods.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (60 credits) and an extended research project (120 credits).

Core modules

  • Synthetic Biology
  • The Scientific Literature
  • Biosciences Research Skills

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent laboratory-based extended research project which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000–18,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, combining research-led and skills-based modules. The taught modules are assessed by assignments and coursework. The research project is assessed by an oral presentation, submission of a dissertation and is subject to oral examination.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Synthetic Biology MRes

Careers

The Synthetic Biology MRes will qualify students to go on to work in the growing number of small companies engaged in synthetic biology both here in London and across the UK and the world. There are many large companies that are building their own synthetic biology potential and some of our students are already working with these groups. Our students often go on to do further research in PhDs and EngDs globally. Our graduates have practical experience of generating novel research with our unique facilities that makes them of great value to employers and collaborators.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Freelance Software Developer
  • PhD in Biochemistry, University of Oxford
  • PhD Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology, University of Cambridge
  • Scientific Consultant, Labcitec, Mexico
  • PhD in Synthetic Biology, UCL

Employability

Synthetic biology is a fast growing area of research and will have a major economic and social impact on the global economy in the coming decades. The involvement of molecular biologists, biochemists, engineers, physical scientists, chemists and biologists can create designed cells, enzymes and biological modules that can be combined in a defined manner. These could be used to make complex metabolic pathways for pharmaceuticals, novel hybrid biosensors or novel routes to biofuels. A future integration of biological devices and hybrid devices as components in the electronics industry might lead to a whole new high value industry for structured biological entities.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is recognised as one of the world's best research environments within the field of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology as well as biological and biomedical science.

UCL Biochemical Engineering is in a unique position to offer tuition and research opportunities in internationally recognised laboratories that carry out synthetic biology research, and an appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology research.

Students on this MRes programme undertake a major research project where topics can be chosen spanning the expertise in six departments across UCL.



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This academically challenging and career-developing programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries. Read more

This academically challenging and career-developing programme focuses on research and development using biological and chemical principles and systems to create new products, services and industries.

You will employ elements of the developing field of synthetic biology to bring about significant changes and major innovations that address the challenges of rapidly changing human demographics, resource shortages, energy economy transition and the concomitant growth in demand for more and healthier food, sustainable fuel cycles, and a cleaner environment.

Programme structure

You will learn through a variety of activities, including:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • presentations
  • laboratory work
  • field work
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • discussion groups and project groups
  • problem-based learning activities

You will attend problem-based tutorial sessions and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor or programme director.

You will carry out research at the frontier of knowledge and can make a genuine contribution to the progress of original research. This involves carrying out project work in a research laboratory, reviewing relevant papers, analysing data, writing reports and giving presentations.

Compulsory courses:

  • Applications of Synthetic Biology
  • Tools for Synthetic Biology
  • Social Dimensions of Systems & Synthetic Biology
  • Environmental Gene Mining & Metagenomics
  • Research Project Proposal
  • MSc Project and Dissertation

Option courses:

  • Biochemistry A & B
  • Introduction to Scientific Programming
  • Commercial Aspects of Drug Discovery
  • Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
  • Biological Physics
  • Enzymology & Biological Production
  • Next Generation Genomics
  • Machine Learning & Pattern Recognition
  • Drug Discovery
  • Biophysical Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • BioBusiness
  • Molecular Modelling & Database Mining
  • Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A & B
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Data Mining & Exploration
  • Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
  • Bioinformatics
  • Principles of Industrial Biotechnology

Learning outcomes

By the end of the programme you will have gained:

  • a strong background knowledge in the fields underlying synthetic biology and biotechnology
  • an understanding of the limitations and public concerns regarding the nascent field of synthetic biology including a thorough examination of the philosophical, legal, ethical and social issues surrounding the area
  • the ability to approach the technology transfer problem equipped with the skills to analyse the problem in scientific and practical terms
  • an understanding of how biotechnology relates to real-world biological problems
  • the ability to conduct practical experimentation in synthetic biology and biotechnology
  • the ability to think about the future development of research, technology, its implementation and its implications
  • a broad understanding of research responsibility including the requirement for rigorous and robust testing of theories and the need for honesty and integrity in experimental reporting and reviewing

Career opportunities

You will enhance your career prospects by acquiring current, marketable knowledge and developing advanced analytical and presentational skills, within the social and intellectual sphere of a leading European university.

The School of Biological Sciences offers a research-rich environment in which you can develop as a scientist and entrepreneur.



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We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology. the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. Read more

We offer an opportunity to train in one of the newest areas of biology: the application of engineering principles to the understanding and design of biological networks. This new approach promises solutions to some of today’s most pressing challenges in environmental protection, human health and energy production.

This MSc will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the primary design principles and biotechnology tools being developed in systems and synthetic biology, ranging from understanding genome-wide data to designing and synthesising BioBricks.

You will learn quantitative methods of modelling and data analysis to inform and design new hypotheses based on experimental data. The University’s new centre, SynthSys, is a hub for world-leading research in both systems and synthetic biology.

Programme structure

The programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation, which can be either modelling-based or laboratory-based.

Compulsory courses:

  • Information Processing in Biological Cells
  • Social Dimensions of Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Dissertation project
  • Practical Systems Biology
  • Applications of Synthetic Biology
  • Tools for Synthetic Biology

Option courses:

  • Neural Computation
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning
  • Functional Genomic Technologies
  • Bioinformatics Programming & System Management
  • Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • Biobusiness
  • Gene Expression & Microbial Regulation
  • Bioinformatics Algorithms
  • Biological Physics
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Molecular Phylogenetics
  • Next Generation Genomics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Biochemistry A & B
  • Environmental Gene Mining & Metagenomics
  • Economics & Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry
  • Industry & Entrepreneurship in Biotechnology
  • Introduction to Scientific Programming
  • Practical Skills in Biochemistry A & B
  • Mathematical Biology

Career opportunities

The programme is designed to give you a good basis for managerial or technical roles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. It will also prepare you for entry into a PhD programme.



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This course provides you with a balance of molecular biology, engineering, computing and modelling skills necessary for a career in synthetic biology. Read more

This course provides you with a balance of molecular biology, engineering, computing and modelling skills necessary for a career in synthetic biology. Computational design of biological systems is important as the field of synthetic biology grows. This allows the construction of complex and large biological systems.

While laboratory approaches to engineering biological systems are a major focus, the course specialises in computational design. This provides you with essential computing and engineering skills to allow you to develop software to program biological systems.

Our course is designed for students from both biological and computational backgrounds. Prior experience with computers or computer programming is not required. Students with mathematical, engineering or other scientific backgrounds are also welcome to apply. It is ideal if you are aiming for careers in industry or academia.

We provide a unique, multidisciplinary experience that is essential for understanding synthetic biology. The programme draws together the highly-rated teaching and research expertise of our Schools of Computing Science, Mathematics and Statistics, and Biology, as well as the Medical Faculty and the Institute of Human Genetics.

Research is a large component of this course. The emphasis is on delivering the research training you will need in the future to meet the demands of industry and academia effectively. Newcastle's research in life sciences, computing and mathematics is internationally recognised.

The teaching staff are successful researchers in their field and publish regularly in highly-ranked systems synthetic biology journals.

Our experienced and friendly staff are on hand to help you. You gain the experience of working in a team in an environment with the help, support and friendship of fellow students.

Project work

Your five month research project gives you real research experience in Synthetic Biology. You will have the opportunity to work closely with a leading research team in the School and there are opportunities to work on industry led projects. You will have one-to-one supervision from an experienced member of the faculty, supported with supervision from associated senior researchers and industry partners as required.

The project can be carried out:

-With a research group at Newcastle University

-With an industrial sponsor

-With a research institute

-At your place of work

Accreditation

We have a policy of seeking British Computer Society (BCS) accreditation for all of our degrees, so you can be assured that you will graduate with a degree that meets the standards set out by the IT industry. Studying a BCS-accredited degree provides the foundation for professional membership of the BCS on graduation and is the first step to becoming a chartered IT professional.

The School of Computing Science at Newcastle University is an accredited and a recognised Partner in the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.

Facilities:

You will have dedicated computing facilities in the School of Computing. You will have access to the latest tools for system analysis and development. For certain projects, special facilities for networking can be set up.

You will enjoy access to specialist IT facilities to support your studies, including:

  • a dedicated virtual Linux workstation
  • a dedicated virtual Windows workstation
  • high specification computers only for postgrduates
  • over 300 PC's running Windows, 120 just for postgraduates
  • over 300 Raspberry Pi devices 
  • high-performance supercomputers
  • the latest Windows operating system and development tools
  • 27" monitors with high resolution (2560X1440) display
  • high-capacity database servers
  • motion capture facilities
  • 3D printing facilities

You will have access to a Linux based website that you can customise with PHP hosting services.

We have moved to the new £58m purpose-built Urban Sciences Building. Our new building offers fantastic new facilities for our students and academic community. The building is part of Science Central, a £350 million project bringing together:

  • academia
  • the public sector
  • communities
  • business and industry.


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The course provides graduate students from the life sciences, engineering and physical sciences with a platform to overcome traditional barriers and collaboratively work on the ‘big problems’ and applications in synthetic and systems biology. Read more
The course provides graduate students from the life sciences, engineering and physical sciences with a platform to overcome traditional barriers and collaboratively work on the ‘big problems’ and applications in synthetic and systems biology.

Students gain intensive hands-on experience in a combination of experimental biology and modelling to understand, predict and redesign biological pathways.

There is a link with the BIOS Centre at King’s College to facilitate the integration of this research with emerging ethical, legal and societal issues.

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The aim of UCLan’s Master of Science in Synthetic Organic Chemistry course is to provide an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying modern aspects of organic chemistry. Read more
The aim of UCLan’s Master of Science in Synthetic Organic Chemistry course is to provide an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and studying modern aspects of organic chemistry.

This course blends a theoretical knowledge of advanced concepts in organic synthesis and spectroscopic analysis with industrial applications but, unlike many Masters level courses of this type, does not focus students on one particular application of organic chemistry eg, medicinal chemistry. Instead it provides training, knowledge and a perspective of a broad range of chemical industries reliant upon organic chemistry.

INDUSTRY LINKS

We will be seeking accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

Our Chemistry department is top in the UK in terms of student satisfaction, ranking first in the Times Good University Guide 2015.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Computing Facilities are available in the general computing suites found within the building and throughout campus. Extensive Resources are available to support your studies provided by Learning & Information Services (LIS) – library and IT staff. You are advised to take advantage of the free training sessions designed to enable you to gain all the skills you need for your research and study.

LIS provide access to a huge range of electronic resources – e-journals and databases, e-books, images and texts.
Course and module materials are not provided in ‘hard copy’ format, however, wherever practicable, lecture notes and/or presentations, seminar materials, assignment briefs and materials and other relevant information and resources are made available in electronic form via eLearn. This is the brand name for the online Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that the University uses to support and enhance teaching and learning.

All students can access the eLearn spaces for the course and modules for which they are registered. Once logged into your eLearn area you can access material from the course and all of the modules you are studying without having to log in to each module separately.

The modules are assessed by both coursework and examination. To ensure that you do not have an excessive amount of assessment at any one time, the coursework assessment will take place uniformly throughout the course.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The theoretical aspects of the course are underpinned by an extensive series of laboratory classes. This cumulates in an 80 credit project where you have the opportunity to specialise an area of organic chemistry. This course will appeal to graduates from chemistry and related disciplines and will provide excellent preparation for anyone wishing to find employment in any organisation where a knowledge of organic synthesis or analysis is important.

Semester 1 of the course is designed to ensure that you have the basic skills needed to obtain an MSc. It is important that you enhance the skills you have that will be of benefit when you gain employment after the course. The main skills that you will enhance will be presentational skills, report writing, independent working and problem solving.

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A funded Masters position is available in the field of smart molecular materials. The aim of the project is to make molecules that change shape in response to light and integrate them with polymers to produce flexible materials that move selectively. Read more

A funded Masters position is available in the field of smart molecular materials.

The aim of the project is to make molecules that change shape in response to light and integrate them with polymers to produce flexible materials that move selectively. This is part of a larger research programme within the Shepherd group to investigate structural changes in molecular solids and exploit those processes to produce useful motion at the macroscopic scale. Imagine artificial muscles that can detect small changes in their environment to power artificial limbs, or surgical instruments that can sense and move carefully around delicate areas of the body. As a first step, this research project aims to demonstrate that molecular materials can be used in this way. The Masters position will involve synthesis of active molecular materials using standard synthetic chemistry protocols, and various materials chemistry approaches to the integration of these molecules with polymers. It will also require evaluation of properties of the composite materials using a range of analytical techniques. The project will thus provide the student with a broad range of technical experience across diverse areas of chemistry, preparing them well for a future career in academia or industry.

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent's main campus in Canterbury as part of the Functional Materials Group, and work under the supervision of Dr. Helena J. Shepherd.

Deadline Date for Applications: 31st January 2018



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The MPhil is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Read more
The MPhil is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff, in one of the following areas of Chemistry:

Biological:

with a focus on enzymes, nucleic acids, protein folding and misfolding, and physical techniques; with relevance to health and disease, drug discovery, sensors, nanotechnology, ageing and energy research applications.

Materials Chemistry:

including surfaces, interfaces, polymers, nanoparticles and nanoporous materials, self assembly, and biomaterials, with applications relevant to: oil recovery and separation, catalysis, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, crystallization and pharmaceutical formulation, gas sorption, energy, functional materials, biocompatible materials, computer memory, and sensors.

Physical Chemistry:

including atmospheric sciences, surfaces and interfaces, materials, and physical and chemical aspects of the behaviour of biopolymers and other soft systems.

Synthetic Chemistry:

including complex molecule synthesis, synthetic catalysis, synthetic assembly, synthetic biology and medicine, new technology for efficient synthesis, green synthesis, and preparation of new materials.

Theory, Modelling and Informatics:

including quantum dynamics, modelling soft materials, protein folding and binding, biomolecules in motion, pharmacological activity, molecular switches, redox chemistry, designing bioactive molecule and drugs, chemical biology, crystallography, and simulation of spectroscopic studies.

Potential supervisors and their area of research expertise may be found at Department of Chemistry (Research): http://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/research

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/pcchmpmch

Course detail

Educational aims of the MPhil programme:

- to give students with relevant experience at first degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and

- to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests and a broader set of transferable skills.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

- a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
- demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
- demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

Format

The MPhil involves minimal formal teaching. Students may attend the Department's programme of research seminars and other graduate courses, including the Transferable Skills programme that forms part of the PhD programme. Informal opportunities to develop research skills also exist through mentoring and other opportunities by fellow students and members of staff. However, most research training is provided within the research group structure and all students are assigned a research supervisor.

All graduate students receive termly reports written by their supervisors.

Assessment

The scheme of examination for the MPhil in Chemistry shall consist of a thesis, of not more than 15,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry, submitted for examination at the end of 11 months. The examination shall include an oral examination on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls. The thesis shall provide evidence to satisfy the Examiners that a candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspectives of the subject.

Continuing

The Department offers a PhD in Chemistry course and MPhil students can apply to continue as a graduate student on this course.

MPhil students currently studying a relevant course at the University of Cambridge will need to pass their MPhil course (if examined only by thesis) or obtain a minimum merit (if there is a marked element) in order to be eligible to continue onto the PhD in Chemistry.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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Interdisciplinary approach. Our Chemistry Master's programme provides you with an exceptional toolbox for your future. The programme is closely associated with the research Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). Read more

Interdisciplinary approach

Our Chemistry Master's programme provides you with an exceptional toolbox for your future. The programme is closely associated with the research Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM). Its mission is to fundamentally understand, design and control the functioning of molecules and materials. The institute is a centre of excellence that trains the next generation of leaders in science and entrepreneurship. Research in the IMM ranges from condensed matter science to chemical biology, and builds on novel theoretical, synthetic and spectroscopic methods. Our goal is to explore new roads proceeding from synthesis and growth to design and architecture of molecular constructs and materials with specific, desired properties. The cooperation of chemists and physicists, and increasingly biologists, in one research institute is unique worldwide. It is the secret of IMM's success and its many scientific breakthroughs.

Specialisations within the Master's in Chemistry

The Master's programme in Chemistry offers you three specialisations:

- Chemistry for Life

- Molecular Chemistry

- Physical Chemistry

Top scientists

The funding we have received for our research reflects the achievements we have made. Prof. dr. Wilhelm Huck received an ERC Grant for his research on chemical reactions in extremely small drops of water. The ultimate goal is to build a synthetic cell for this. We need to understand how complex networks function in confined spaces and how the physical environment of the cell impacts on enzymatic reactions. Prof. dr. Roeland Nolte received an ERC to do research on the development of supramolecular catalysts and materials using nature as a guide. Prof. dr. Jan van Hest received funding from the Gravitation programme for his work on self-repairing materials, materials that continually adapt to their environment. This includes the idea of how the body repairs its cells and ensures that the right substances reach the right places at the right time. They want to gain fundamental understanding of the complexity of that dynamic.

The Nijmegen approach

The first thing you will notice as you enter our Faculty of Science is the open atmosphere. This is reflected by the light and transparent building and the open minded spirit of the people that you will meet, working, exploring and studying there. It is no wonder students from all over the world have been attracted to Nijmegen. You study in small groups, in direct and open contact with members of the staff. In addition, Nijmegen has excellent student facilities, such as high-tech laboratories, libraries and study ‘landscapes'.

Studying by the ‘Nijmegen approach' is a way of living. We will equip you with tools which are valuable for the rest of your life. You will be challenged to become aware of your intrinsic motivation. In other words, what is your passion in life? With this question in mind we will guide you to translate your passion into a personal Master's programme.

Career prospects

Most of our graduates take up a PhD position, either in Nijmegen or elsewhere in the world. Our research institutes have many vacancies for PhD projects every year. Our graduates also find work as researchers and managers in industry, in business and in research institutes.

Our approach to this field

"The Republic has no need of chemists and savants", were the words with which Antoine Lavoisier, one of the founders of modern chemistry, ended up on the guillotine during the French revolution. Fortunately these days the importance of chemistry for the benefit of a sustainable society is well-recognised. As such, chemistry has been designated a key area by the Dutch "innovatieplatform". So there will be many chemistry-related innovation initiatives in both industry and academia. This will be substantiated by a steering committee formed by the Association of Dutch Chemical Industries (VNCI) and the Chemical Science division of the Netherlands' Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO/CW). These developments demand a continuous influx of well-trained chemists.

An integrated Chemistry programme was set up at the University of Nijmegen in 1962. The current Master's degree programme in Chemistry derives from the integrated programme that was established in 1999.

Radboud University Nijmegen aims to provide a Master's degree programme in Chemistry at an internationally recognised level. The programme is based on the research themes that exist within the Research Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM) and to a somewhat lesser extent, the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS). In recent years, the IMM has focused on chemistry research in the areas of organic chemistry (synthetic, bio-organic, supramolecular and materials), nuclear magnetic resonance (solid state NMR and biophysical chemistry), and solid state chemistry. Furthermore, increasing research interaction with biology and physics groups has emerged to offer ample opportunities for new research and education. Based on this research, modern, high quality education can be provided within the Master's degree programme.

See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/chemistry

Radboud University Master's Open Day 10 March 2018



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This one-year taught programme offers the opportunity to study Chemistry at an advanced level, covering both the traditional core areas of chemistry, as well as more specialist courses aligned to the research groupings of the department. Read more

This one-year taught programme offers the opportunity to study Chemistry at an advanced level, covering both the traditional core areas of chemistry, as well as more specialist courses aligned to the research groupings of the department. The course provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate advanced knowledge, understanding, and practical/research skills.

Introducing your course

Would you like to upgrade your bachelor’s degree to a master’s and gain access to a chemistry career in industry or research? Join the MSc Chemistry and develop your lab and theoretical skills. Specialise in inorganic and materials, organic or physical chemistry, or maintain a broad portfolio, for a more detailed description of the available pathways, click the Pathways tab. Courses are available in synthesis, advanced structural, analytical and spectroscopic techniques, materials chemistry, modelling, biological and medicinal chemistry, and electrochemistry.

Overview

The MSc Chemistry course combines the opportunity for students to take modules from a wide range of cutting-edge fields in chemistry with sessions on practical, technical skills, and scientific writing, communication and presentation and a three month summer project supervised by one of Southampton’s expert academics. The course aims to:

  • Provide you with advanced knowledge the core areas of chemistry and your chosen area of specialisation;
  • Provide you with an opportunity to work in state-of-the-art laboratories dedicated both to education and also to research;
  • Develop your knowledge and research skills applicable to a career in chemistry, particularly in research project driven roles.

Find out more about the course visit the programme specification

Career Opportunities

A Chemistry masters degree will give students valuable insight into postgraduate research skills. Independent project work will support students to develop transferable skills in areas such as time management, communication and presentation skills that are key for career success in a wide range of areas such as industry, analysis, policymaking and scientific communication. Completing an MSc qualification will help individuals tackle the challenges of an advanced research degree at PhD level and prepare them for a career in academia.

Pathways

The following information summarises the typical pathways offered when choosing the MSc Chemistry degree programme:

Organic Chemistry

This area focuses on synthetic organic chemistry, total synthesis, synthetic methodology, reaction mechanism, organocatalysis, organofluorine chemistry, photochemistry and carbohydrate chemistry, both towards the synthesis of bioactive compounds and organic materials, and includes the study of organic reactions under flow conditions. This pathway offers the opportunity to specialise in the following areas

  • organic synthesis
  • medicinal chemistry
  • bio-organic chemistry

This pathway consists of advanced postgraduate courses in synthetic reaction mechanisms and is best suited to students who already have a thorough BSc level grounding in aspects of nomenclature, stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms.

Inorganic chemistry and materials

This area focuses on the synthesis of functional inorganic, solid-state and supramolecular materials and assemblies to address key challenges in energy, sustainability, healthcare and diagnostics and the deposition of nanostructured materials. This pathway will give you the opportunity to specialise in the following areas

  • inorganic synthesis
  • metal organic framework
  • supramolecular chemistry
  • zeolites
  • catalysis
  • materials characterisation

This pathway is best suited to students who already have a thorough BSc level grounding in the fundamentals and applications of inorganic chemisry.

Physical chemistry

This pathway is best suited to students who already have a thorough BSc level grounding in the fundamentals and applications of inorganic chemistry. This area covers a wide range of fundamental and applied topics. This pathway will give you the opportunity to specialise in the following areas

  • computational chemistry
  • spectroscopy
  • electrochemistry
  • surface science
  • magnetic resonance

This pathway is best suited to students who already have a thorough BSc level grounding in the fundamentals and applications of physical chemistry, in particular quantum chemistry, spectroscopy, thermodynamics and kinetics

General chemistry

You can choose to further your knowledge across a blend of advanced courses from organic, inorganic and/or physical chemistry (any combination). This pathway is suited to those wishing to develop an interdisciplinary expertise. If you choose this pathway you should already have a sound BSc-level grounding in the areas of chemistry in which you intend to choose modules (see other boxes).



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. Research profile. Pursuing a research degree at the School of Chemistry could be one of the best experiences of your life. Read more

Research profile

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.

Synthesis

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.

Materials Chemistry

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.

Training and support

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.

Facilities

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.



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How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living. Read more
How can biological processes and organisms be used in the development of new technologies? Biotechnology enables us to improve practices in diverse fields including genetics, agriculture, bioremediation, immunology, diagnostics, energy production, and age-assisted living.

Our course provides you with knowledge, understanding and hands-on experience in modern biotechnology, and with practical insights into current commercial applications. It creates access to a broad range of career opportunities in this rapidly growing key technology.

You will learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address the challenges facing our planet, including:
-The development of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and crops to support and feed the growing human population
-Industrial, plant and medical biotechnology
-Gene and protein technology
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics

The course has a very high proportion of practical work that provides valuable experience for your career, and in addition to this, our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture challenges you to think creatively. This increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biotechnology sector.

Your research project is a major component of this course, for which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories, or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology, and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside leading academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art equipment

Your future

Our graduates are well placed to find employment in the ever-growing bio-based economy, and postgraduate study is often a requirement for becoming a researcher, scientist, academic journal editor and to work in some public bodies or private companies.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Biotechnology - MSc
-Research Project: MSc Biotechnology
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Genomics
-Professional Skills and the Business of Biotechnology
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Industrial Biotechnology: Enzymes, Biochemicals and Biomaterials (optional)
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology (optional)
-Plant Biotechnology (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)

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The Biomedical Materials research degrees cover an exciting area of research in the School focusing both on fundamental understanding of interactions between man-made materials and biological tissues and the development of useful applications. Read more
The Biomedical Materials research degrees cover an exciting area of research in the School focusing both on fundamental understanding of interactions between man-made materials and biological tissues and the development of useful applications. We have close links with the world's leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies and the clinical applications of our research impact many areas of medicine.

The subject

The subject of biomedical materials covers those materials that are used in the context of biology and medicine, usually to evaluate, treat, augment or replace any tissue, organ or function of the body. In surgery, a biomaterial may be a synthetic material used to replace part of a living system or to function in intimate contact with living tissue.

A new area in biomaterials involves the exploration of nanotechnology for drug delivery, biological sensing or tissue regeneration. Examples of these bionanomaterials are small particles that may be used for the delivery of drug molecules to target sites within the body or to detect diseased areas.

Biomaterials are produced using chemical, physical, mechanical processes and they often employ or mimic biological phenomena in order for them to interact with their biological surroundings in defined ways.

Application of research

The clinical applications of our research impact many areas of medicine, including drug delivery, cancer, wound healing, stem cell technology, repair and regeneration of nerve, tendon, cartilage, bone, intevertebral disc, skin, ligament and cornea.

Industry collaboration

We have strong ties with industry, including ongoing collaboration with Smith & Nephew, Johnson & Johnson, and Versamatrix A/S (Denmark), developing novel biomaterial based strategies for wound healing, bone repair, control of inflammation and drug delivery.

Facilities

To underpin the research and teaching activities, we have established state-of-the-art laboratories, which allow comprehensive characterisation and development of materials. These facilities range from synthetic/textile fibre chemistry to materials processing and materials testing.

To complement our teaching resources, there is a comprehensive range of electrochemical, electronoptical imaging and surface and bulk analytical facilities and techniques.

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The Composite Materials research degrees are part of a forward-thinking area of research in the school. Read more
The Composite Materials research degrees are part of a forward-thinking area of research in the school. We have close links with the Northwest Regional Development Agency and other leading companies such as, Quickstep, a manufacturer of autoclave processing equipment, as well as a large number of suppliers in the aircraft industry.

Active research

Current research covers interfacial phenomena in composite materials, natural composites and rapid composites manufacture. The deformation mechanics of a range of high performance synthetic reinforcement fibres for composites are explored, as are those of natural and regenerated cellulose fibres. In the later case the main emphasis is on understanding the relationships between the microstructure and molecular structure of these materials and their mechanical properties. Molecular dynamics modelling together with experimental studies have been used to gain an improved insight into the behaviour of natural fibres.

Northwest Composites Centre

We are actively involved with the Northwest Composites Centre, a collaboration which incorporates researchers from several schools in the university, together with colleagues from the University of Liverpool, University of Bolton and Lancaster University covering a wide range of polymer and metallic composites. The hub of this activity is based here at the School of Materials, established through a £2.1m grant from NWDA, and has facilities for rapid processing of composites through a variety of new technologies, including microwave and radio frequency heating as well as Quickstep. There are also extensive facilities for the characterisation of composites.

There are a large number of researchers working in the centre, nearly all on the rapid processing of composites with a view to improving the cycle time and properties of composites. These involve not just the use of rapid curing techniques, but also textile structures for next generation 3 D composites. The evaluation of these materials is also an important part of the projects and therefore supported by state-of-the-art equipment.

Facilities

To underpin the research and teaching activities, we have established state-of-the-art laboratories, which allow comprehensive characterisation and development of materials. These facilities range from synthetic/textile fibre chemistry to materials processing and materials testing.

To complement our teaching resources, there is a comprehensive range of electrochemical, electronoptical imaging and surface and bulk analytical facilities and techniques.

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Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Read more
Molecular medicine is transforming the way we understand and treat human diseases, from cancers to neurodegenerative disorders. Combining contemporary medical studies with biochemistry and molecular biology, this rapidly advancing area creates a bridge between the subjects, and draws on other fields such as physics, chemistry, biology and medicine.

This course examines how normal cellular processes are affected by disease. You gain an understanding of the core foundations of molecular medicine, studying the topics most relevant to the real world, and how this science may be used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

You learn about and appraise the approaches that can be used to address global health problems, including cancer as well as genetic and infectious diseases. The foundations that support investigations of molecular disease mechanisms and the search for new diagnostic tools and treatments will be laid, as you explore topics including:
-Gene and protein technology.
-Synthetic biology
-Bioinformatics
-Genomics

This course has a very high proportion of practical and bioinformatic work that provides valuable experience for your career. This includes our optional module Creating and Growing a New Business Venture, which challenges you to think creatively and increases your value to organisations, including small enterprises, which are a growing part of the biopharmaceutical sector.

Your research project is a major component of your course, in which you perform novel laboratory and/or bioinformatic research in one of our academic laboratories or (subject to approval) carry out research in an industrial or hospital setting.

Two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014), and you learn from and work alongside our expert staff.

Our expert staff

As one of the largest schools at our University, we offer a lively, friendly and supportive environment with research-led study and high quality teaching. You benefit from our academics’ wide range of expertise and research on important national and international problems using cutting-edge techniques.

The University of Essex has a Women's Network to support female staff and students and was awarded the Athena SWAN Institutional Bronze Award in November 2013 in recognition of its continuing work to support women in STEM.

Specialist facilities

Recent investment has provided modern facilities for functional genomics, computational biology and imaging biological systems. On our course you have the opportunity to:
-Work in an open and friendly department, with shared staff-student social spaces
-Conduct your research alongside academics and PhD students in shared labs
-Learn to use state-of-the-art research facilities, from protein purification, to cell culture and imaging, to molecular modelling

Your future

Contribute to a growing industry and gain the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in biomedical research and industry, or continue your studies further in postgraduate science and medical degrees.

Advances in molecular medicine will continue to drive growth of new services and products in health care, biomedical and pharmaceutical organisations and companies, and our graduates are well placed to take advantage of employment opportunities in the life science, biotech and pharmaceutical industries and hospitals.

Many of our Masters students progress to study for their PhD, and we offer numerous studentships to support our students in their studies.

We work with our university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-Research Project: MSc Molecular Medicine
-Protein Technologies
-Gene Technology and Synthetic Biology
-Professional Skills and the Business of Molecular Medicine
-Molecular Medicine and Biotechnology
-Genomics
-Advanced Medical Microbiology (optional)
-Human Molecular Genetics (optional)
-Cancer Biology (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Rational Drug Design (optional)
-Molecular and Developmental Immunology (optional)
-Cell Signalling (optional)
-Mechanisms of Neurological Disease (optional)

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