University of Manchester Featured Masters Courses
University of Warwick Featured Masters Courses
University of Kent Featured Masters Courses
Buckinghamshire New University Featured Masters Courses
Swansea University Featured Masters Courses

Course content

Register your interest now

The principal component of this degree is an intensive novel research project providing 'hands-on' training in methods and techniques at the cutting edge of scientific research. The programme is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on a research career. This programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

About this degree

Students develop a systematic approach to devising experiments and/or computations and gain familiarity with a broad range of synthetic, analytical and spectroscopic techniques, acquiring skills for the critical analysis of their experimental and computational observations. They also broaden their knowledge of chemistry through a selection of taught courses and are able to tailor the programme to meet their personal interests.

You will undertake Chemistry modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of core literature (30 credits) and research projects (90 credits), and a research and professional skills development module (15 credits) and optional taught modules (45 credits in total). Optional modules are chosen in consultation with your research advisor.

Compulsory modules

All students undertake a literature project (30 credits) and a research dissertation (90 credits), which are linked. In addition students take a module (15 credits) to develop their research and professional skills.

  • Literature Project
  • Research Project
  • Transferable Skills for Scientists

Optional modules

Students choose three optional modules from the following:

  • Advanced Topics in Energy and Environmental Science
  • Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Concepts in Computational Chemistry
  • Frontiers in Experimental Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Rings, Chains and Clusters
  • Intense Radiation Sources in Modern Chemistry
  • Topics in Quantum Mechanics
  • Numerical Methods in Chemistry
  • Pathways, Intermediates and Function in Organic Chemistry
  • Principles of Drug Design
  • Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis
  • Simulation Methods in Materials Chemistry
  • Stereochemical Control in Asymmetric Total Synthesis
  • Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry
  • Synthesis and Biosynthesis of Natural Products
  • New Directions in Materials Chemistry


All students undertake an independent research project which features an oral examination and culminates in submission of an extended dissertation (90 credits).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory classes and research supervision. Assessment is through the dissertation, unseen written examinations, research papers, a written literature survey, and an oral examination. All students will be expected to attend research seminars relevant to their broad research interest.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Students can be self-funded or find sponsorship from funding agencies such as research councils, the European Union, industry or charities.

There are a number of Graduate School Scholarships available.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


This MSc is designed to provide first-hand experience of research at the cutting-edge of chemistry and is particularly suitable for those wishing to embark on an academic career (i.e. doctoral research) in this area, although the research and critical thinking skills developed will be equally valuable in a commercial environment.

Why study this degree at UCL?

With departmental research interests and activities spanning the whole spectrum of chemistry, including development of new organic molecules, fundamental theoretical investigations and prediction and synthesis of new materials, students are able to undertake a project that aligns with their existing interests.

Students develop crucial first-hand experience in scientific methods, techniques for reporting science and using leading-edge research tools, as well as further essential skills for a research career.


This programme is accredited by the RSC and successful completion will count towards eligibility for Chartered Chemist status for students with an appropriate Batchelor level qualification in Chemistry

Department: Chemistry


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students wishing to progress to a research degree in chemistry or those seeking to acquire research skills which are valued in a commercial environment.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

Applicants can select the research projects in Computational, Inorganic, Organic or Physical Chemistry. In the application cover letter students are asked to indicate which area(s) of chemistry they are interested in studying, clearly indicating why they chose this particular area, and indicating (at least) three academic members of staff they are interested in working with.

NOTE: for applicants holding a UCL Chemistry Batchelors’ degree, the choice of a Master’s programme must not include one which requires modules previously studied at UCL - contact the Programme Director before applying.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Chemical Research at graduate level. Please tell us what has led you to research. What were the enjoyable or difficult aspects of your undergraduate projects? Do you have much experience in laboratory work or computing? What are the skills you most need to acquire?
  • why you want to study an MSc in Chemical Research at UCL. UCL's Chemical Research degree is heavily research oriented (50% in terms of credits). Tell us how you will make the most of this opportunity?
  • how your academic background meets the demands of a challenging programme: Most applicants for this programme have a first degree in Chemistry. How well did it prepare you for research? What skills do you want to acquire that will help you in a research career?
  • how you anticipate that your future career might proceed.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Visit the Chemical Research MSc page on the University College London website for more details!