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The School of Chemistry is an internationally recognised centre of teaching and research. Currently there are over 250 postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers, from many different countries, working with more than 60 academic staff on a wide range of research themes. Extensive collaborations with science-based industries and leading international academic centres ensure that research in Bristol remains at the frontier of science.

The School of Chemistry is housed in spacious, modern laboratories, which are well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. There is a comprehensive graduate programme to ensure you have the opportunity to build a wide range of skills, both in chemistry and other transferable skills.

The School of Chemistry hosts or participates in a number of Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). Training opportunities in these national flagship centres are available in the following disciplines:

  • technology enhanced chemical synthesis
  • aerosol science
  • synthetic biology
  • biosciences
  • earth and environmental sciences
  • composites science, engineering and manufacturing
  • quantum engineering
  • computational statistics and data science
  • future autonomous robotic systems
  • future innovation in non-destructive evaluation
  • digital health and care
  • biomedicine
  • trust, identity, privacy and security in large-scale infrastructures 

Research groups

The School of Chemistry maintains a traditional managerial structure encompassing three sections: Inorganic and Materials; Organic and Biological; and Physical and Theoretical. However, the school's research profile is defined according to our research themes, each with a critical mass of researchers. Further information on the school's research profile can be found at Explore Bristol Research.

Internationally leading research: 

Rated in the top four UK Chemistry departments in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (see Times Higher Education analysis of REF 2014), we are internationally recognised for the breadth, creativity and high quality of our research.

Outstanding individuals and world-class teams:

The talent of our researchers, from students to professors, is our greatest asset. Bringing these scientists together, our five research themes highlight our broad range of interests.

Across the chemical sciences and beyond: 

Our research themes connect activities across traditional boundaries of chemistry and build bridges to other disciplines such as engineering and medicine.

Our research themes are:

  • Catalysis and Synthesis
  • Chemical and Synthetic Biology
  • Computational Chemistry, Theory and Dynamics
  • Environment and Energy
  • Functional Molecules and Materials

Researchers in the School of Chemistry are engaged in a number of collaborative centres and research institutes, including the Cabot Institute and BrisSynBio, with broader engagement from researchers across the Faculty of Science, the University and beyond.


Many of our PhD graduates are successful in securing post-doctoral positions at universities in the UK and abroad. A PhD in chemistry is valued in many employment sectors worldwide, including pharmaceutical sciences, polymers, coatings, agrochemicals, instrumentation manufacturers and management consultancy. Your skills will be in high demand from the chemical and allied industries, as well as the public sector.

For the latest information on student destinations and careers, please look at Chemistry Explored, the annual magazine produced by the School of Chemistry in Bristol.

Visit the Chemistry - MSc by Research page on the University of Bristol website for more details!





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