Masters degrees in Chemistry provide advanced postgraduate training in different branches of the Chemical Sciences. Some programmes are general degrees. Others allow you to specialise in areas such as Analytical Chemistry, Biomolecular Chemistry or Industrial Chemistry.
These courses are often taught MSc degrees, but opportunities also exist for you to spend longer on a research-focussed Masters such as an MRes or MPhil. Entry requirements will normally include an appropriate undergraduate degree in Chemistry or a related Science subject.
Despite being a highly academic subject area, Chemistry has many professional and vocational applications. Postgraduates in the Chemical Sciences are well equipped for careers in practical fields such as drug development, human nutrition or medical research. Other, more exotic, career paths could include working on future technologies such as nanomaterials or chemical engineering solutions for exploration in extreme environments.
Professional chemists also work in professional roles with a surprising range of other organisations, whether as advisors on the design of new sportswear materials or as forensics experts assisting police and security forces.
If your interests are more academic you'll find that a Masters in Chemistry provides an excellent preparation for PhD research in other Physical or Applied Science subjects.
Information in these tables is based on the 2014/15 publication of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey, produced by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. Data is given for graduates of UK Masters degrees and other level 7 postgraduate courses, after 3.5 years. Some figures have been rounded.
This course aims to:
You will build upon your previous undergraduate studies to develop an in depth knowledge of selected aspects of advanced cutting edge topics in chemistry.
MSc Chemistry Level 7 Programme (all modules are 20 credits unless otherwise specified)
*Advanced Topics in Organic Chemistry
*Advanced Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
*Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry
*Advanced Topics in Chemical Analysis
MSc Research Project (120 credits)
*Select three from these four core option modules.
The UK’s chemical industry is one of the leading industrial contributors to the national economy and there are many opportunities to apply chemical knowledge, principles and skills to a successful career in the chemistry, pharmaceutical science, chemical engineering or other chemistry-related disciplines. “Chemistry will underpin economic growth, say industry leaders”, it was reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) publication, Chemistry World, on the “Strategy for delivering chemistry-fuelled growth of the UK economy”. Currently the Chemistry-using industries contribute ~£195bn to the UK economy with approximately £10bn coming from chemical manufacturing and £9bn from pharmaceutical manufacturing. The areas of chemical manufacture, process technology, product development and application, and formulation skills are key areas of these chemical sciences. In chemicals (including pharmaceuticals) 95.6% of UK companies are SME’s employing 42% of the total workforce and account for 29% of turnover.
If you choose not to go into the chemical industry there are still extensive career opportunities in teaching and academic research
You will have evidenced good practical skills, be literate, numerate, have high level of IT skills and be capable of logical, scientific, critical thinking and problem solving. You will have developed a great deal of autonomous decision making and research capability and you will be able to evidence a range of professional, personal transferable skills and be well versed with the concept of continuous professional development. These skills will make you well equipped for the workplace, be it in a chemistry environment or the wider world of work in general, or for further research if you so choose.
Faculty of Science and Engineering on Facebook
Faculty of Science and Engineering on Twitter
Chemistry is the central science enabling a healthy future in a sustainable society. During this master's programme you will learn to take a fundamental approach in finding tailored solutions for complex societal problems in human health and environmental issues.
The aim of this two-year programme is to train you as an independent scientist and to develop the necessary skills and proficiency to advance your career. The master’s programme in Chemistry offers you access to cutting edge research. The research is concentrated in two major research areas:
Read more about our Chemistry programme.
Find more reasons to choose Chemistry at Leiden University.
The programme is open for students with an internationally recognized bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in chemistry. Chemistry is the right master’s programme for you if you are interested in fundamental chemistry and applied research. You will be trained for a career in research within or outside academia. You can also choose a specialisation where you combine one year of Chemistry research with one year of training in business, communication or education.
Read more about the entry requirements for Chemistry.
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.