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Chemistry MRes

Course Description

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.

Programme structure

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.

Educational aims of the programme

  • The aim of the MRes is training in the more laboratory-based aspects of chemical research
  • The objectives and learning outcomes/skills are that the student will be able to: assess, plan, carry out, analyse, interpret and disseminate (all with appropriate training and supervision) a significant piece of chemistry research to an extent that results in a satisfactory assessment of a dissertation and viva
  • In addition, competence in related (non-laboratory based) aspects of research training will be assessed via examination (formal exam and/or coursework) of lecture/workshop-based modules
  • A knowledge of discipline-related aspects of professional training including data analysis, literature searching and reporting and presentation techniques

Programme learning outcomes

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

  • Knowledge and understanding of the scientific method
  • Knowledge and understanding of research ethos and strategy
  • Knowledge and understanding of advanced communication skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of reporting of technical concepts
  • Knowledge and understanding of critical analysis
  • Knowledge and understanding of advanced aspects of chemistry including subjects at the frontiers of the discipline
  • Knowledge and understanding of advanced principles in a research led area of chemistry
  • Knowledge and understanding of Health and Safety legislation
  • Knowledge and understanding of statistics for data analysis
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles of experimental design

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • The ability to plan and carry out an advance research project
  • The ability to analyse and solve problems of technical nature under consideration of various constraints
  • The ability to make effective and efficient decisions in an environment of conflicting interests
  • The ability to think strategically
  • The ability to synthesise and critically evaluate the work of others
  • The ability to apply fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies
  • The ability to self-reflect to improve behaviour

Professional practical skills

  • Assessment of the research literature
  • Risk assess experiments / procedures
  • Design and set up experiments using the most appropriate methods
  • Carry out laboratory work safely
  • Deal safely with unexpected events / results
  • Apply prior knowledge to new situations

Key / transferable skills

  • Planning
  • Organisation
  • Independent working
  • Apply prior knowledge to unfamiliar problem
  • Using initiative
  • Time-management
  • Personal development planning
  • Use of word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphical software packages
  • Management of data
  • Effective literature / patent searching


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:

  • Inorganic
  • Medicinal
  • Physical
  • Physical organic
  • Materials
  • Polymers
  • Nanotechnology
  • Analytical

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.

Global opportunities

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.

Visit the Chemistry MRes page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Zhanet Zaharieva

4468.jpg "I’m originally from Bulgaria, and decided to move to Surrey to study an MRes in Chemistry because I liked the emphasis put on the practical application of science.

Surrey’s campus is lovely and its Department of Chemistry is a great place to develop your knowledge, and to get the results that you want. It was difficult for me at the beginning, adjusting to a new environment and atmosphere, as I wasn’t used to working in a lab from 9am - 5pm; but the transition was easy as people were so friendly.

I was able to use many facilities at the University. The labs and equipment enabled me to analyse my samples with XRD, UV-Vis, TEM, SEM, TGA, DMA, FTIR and Raman – which was amazing, because I could generate so many results for my dissertation, involving an investigation of a novel approach to the fabrication of photocatalytically active chitosan-titania composite fibres for the removal of organic contaminants in water. The results obtained from my project are described in a manuscript in preparation for publication.

My lecturers taught me about really interesting aspects to chemistry, and the modules covered everything I wanted to explore on the programme. I took polymer chemistry and a spectroscopy class for instance – the spectroscopy lecture was directly related to my analysis, whilst the polymer session was highly relevant to my experiments.

I’ll always remember how friendly the Department of Chemistry was, and how helpful my supervisors were. They really enabled me to achieve my goals. I was more than welcome to ask questions, meet with them and whenever I needed something they were there to assist.

Coming to Surrey to study the subject was a great experience for me, and I feel much more confident now. Surrey helped me to achieve great goals and to continue with my future research. I was very lucky with my programme and with my supervisors. I’m looking forward to starting my PhD in Materials Science at the University of Oxford soon.

To anyone considering Surrey’s MRes Chemistry, I’d say this: anything is possible if you put your mind to it. You just have to work very hard but you can get amazing results."

(Student Profile)

Professor Dulcie Mulholland; Head of Department of Chemistry

"The Department of Chemistry welcomes postgraduate students from all over the world. We provide a supportive environment for your research and a researcher development programme to develop your skills. Research students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories and computational facilities, a wide range of excellent instrumentation and inspirational supervisors."


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]


GREAT Surrey Scholarships India - 6 Awards

Funded by the University and the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, up to six scholarships worth £5,000 (paid in the form of a fee discount) are being offered on postgraduate taught courses from the following subjects:- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Chemistry
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Environment and Sustainability
- Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- PhysicsWHO CAN APPLY?You can apply for a GREAT Surrey Scholarship if:- You hold a high first-class degree from an Indian university (the minimum requirement is 65 per cent from a prestigious university or 70 per cent from a regional university).
- You hold an offer from Surrey to study any MSc course within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as listed above (you must hold an offer before submitting an application for a scholarship)

Value of Scholarship(s)



The GREAT Scholarship – India programme is aimed at high-calibre Indian students who want to study for a postgraduate programme in engineering.

Application Procedure

To apply, you will need to complete the online form - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/great-scholarships-india-2016

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related discipline. Selection is based upon a candidate’s application, references and may include an informal interview if required.

Last Updated

15 August 2017

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