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    College of Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Chemistry

  • Start Date

    October, January

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc, Research Only

  • Course Fees

    For current fees visit our website

  • Last Updated

    20 August 2018

Chemistry research at Swansea University is vibrant and covers a wide range of research areas and interests, and will be growing at a fast pace over the next 2-3 years. It is focused on 4 themes: Energy, Health, New and Advanced Molecules and Materials, and Water and the Environment. These research initiatives transcend the traditional discipline boundaries, integrate the core areas of inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistries and intersect with other scientific disciplines, engineering and medicine.

Key Features of MSc by Research in Chemistry

The new Department of Chemistry has excellent, purpose-built modern laboratories and has access to a diverse type of laboratories research infrastructures to develop its research. For example, high-quality, high-impact chemistry research is already taking place in World Class Centres based in Swansea such as The Centre for NanoHealthThe Institute of Mass SpectrometryThe Institute of Life SciencesThe Energy Safety Research InstituteMultidisciplinary Nanotechnology CentreThe Centre for Water Advanced Technologies and Environmental Research and The Materials Research Centre. The integration of the new Chemistry Department with Engineering, the Medical School and other departments in the College of Science provides an environment of research excellence and allows our chemistry students and research staff to invent, innovate and develop products in a way that is best suited to research in the 21st century and the need to generate disruptive, step-change advances with impact on current global challenges.

Department of Chemistry Research Group:

Energy: One of the key areas where advances in chemistry will be needed is in providing solutions to the global energy challenge. Chemistry research in Swansea University is participating in fundamental and applied research initiatives focused on: 

  • Conversion and storage of electrochemical and solar energy 
  • Capture, storage, and chemical conversion of carbon dioxide 
  • Development of new molecules, materials and nanotechnologies related to energy production, conversion, transport, and storage and their incorporation into devices.
  • Electron transfer reactions
  • Development and implementation of advanced characterisation techniques for acquiring in-depth understanding of photovoltaics, batteries and processes, which enable improvement in performance.
  • Routes for rapid processing and manufacturing at scale.
  • Optimized utilization of fossil energy 
  • Hydrogen as an energy vector

Health: Chemistry research provides new routes to more effective, cheaper and less toxic therapies and to non-invasive disease detection and diagnosis tools – a requirement to transform the entire landscape of drug discovery, development and healthcare, which is unaffordable and needs to benefit more patients. The chemistry research laboratories for this theme are adjacent to Swansea Medical School – which ranked 1st in the UK for research environment, and 2nd for overall research quality in the REF 2014.

Current chemistry research includes: 

  • Nanoparticle-based drug delivery
  • Antibody-drug conjugates
  • Nanoparticle-enabled chemoimmunotherapy and immunoengineering
  • Chemical systems for cell and tissue imaging
  • Stimuli-responsive and adaptive systems for drug activation and release
  • Construction of biofunctional artificial motor systems
  • Bioelectronic medicines and sensors
  • Mass spectrometric analysis of clinical samples, lipids, proteins and natural products
  • Pharmaceutical analysis and analytical technologies for medical/chemical analysis
  • Magnetic nanoparticles for magnetic resonance and multimodal imaging
  • Silicon processing, microfabrication and microelectronic fabrication
  • Self-assembly of colloids at interfaces and the use of colloids and nanoparticles dispersed in complex biological fluids
  • Microneedles for transdermal blood sampling and drug delivery
  • Biosensors – surface functionalization, fluorescence detection, electrochemistry, chemical sensing and lab-on-a-chip
  • Microfluidics and MEMS 
  • Studying structure, dynamics and function of enzymes as a route to understanding and controlling nature's chemistry
  • Natural products biosynthesis (particularly involving compounds with antibiotic, antifungal, or other medically relevant activity).

New and Advanced Molecules and Materials: There is major interest in synthesing, designing and controllling molecular and macromolecular assemblies at multiple length scales. In Swansea this research involves use of: 

  • Soft condensed matter including surfactants, colloids and polymers
  • Synthesis and characterization of transition metal-based and organic dye molecules for application in dye sensitized solar cells
  • Materials for efficient multiphoton absorption and upconversion 
  • Natural products
  • Molecular recognition and self-assembly to generate novel materials
  • Continuous flow synthesis
  • Molecular scale and nanoscale characterisation of ordered and amorphous assemblies
  • Development of nanocomposites comprising metallic nanoparticles and hydrogels
  • Autonomous and remotely guided micro- and nanoscale objects
  • Studying and tuning the characteristics of nanomaterials and biomaterials 

Water and the Environment: Chemistry at Swansea university has a strong profile in the development of analytical tools for measuring environmental impact, environmental impact assessment of polymer-based materials through their lifetime (including the effects of recycling and biopolymers), technologies for the efficient removal of environmentally harmful materials (and thus reduced emissions per output of discharge), membrane technologies and new methodologies for desalination, and for dewatering and killing pathogens for sanitation applications and the use of new molecules and materials for photocatalytic water splitting and development of self-propelled micro and nanomotor systems for environmental remediation. In collaboration with the Biocontrol and Natural Products (BANP) group in the Department of Biosciences, there is also growing research interest around the characterisation and application of natural products, in particular those derived from fungi and microalgae, to provide therapeutics and nutraceuticals and to act as agents for biocontrol and bioremediation.

Facilities in the Department of Chemistry

Our new state-of-the-art teaching laboratories are being built as part of a multi-million pound investment to create a chemistry hub for the high quality Chemical Sciences research being carried out across the Colleges of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

Careers for Chemistry Graduates

A chemistry qualification opens the door to a wide range of careers options, both in and out of the lab. There are endless interesting and rewarding science-based jobs available – these can be in research, outdoors or in other industries you might not have thought of. 

Find out more about the huge range of jobs in chemistry by exploring the job profiles on the Royal Society of Chemistry website (eg Cancer Researcher, Flavourist & Innovation Director, Chief Chemist, Sustainability Manager, Fragrance Chemist, Household Goods Senior Scientist, Analytical Scientist, and many more).


Visit the Chemistry MSc by Research page on the Swansea University website for more details!

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