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Course content

Materials Chemistry has emerged as an important sub-discipline within Chemistry. It cross-cuts the traditional Organic/Inorganic/Physical boundaries of Chemistry and overlaps many disciplines from Engineering to the Biosciences.

Materials chemists now have a leading role in areas such as microelectronics, polymer science, catalysis and nanotechnology. They also make an important contribution to areas of more traditional chemistry such as the pharmaceutical sector where understanding the 'physical properties' of intermediates and products is now recognised as essential in optimising the synthesis and properties of pharmaceutically active ingredients in medicines.

The degree consists of advanced lecture courses such as:

  • Properties & Reactions of Matter
  • Chemistry of Functional Materials
  • Physical Techniques in Action
  • Techniques and Concepts in Inorganic Chemistry

These are studied concurrently with a predominantly practical based course offering an introduction to research methods.

Students then proceed to a period of full-time research project work leading to the submission of their Master's dissertation.

Programme structure

Lectures are given by leading researchers in the area of materials chemistry. The lecture courses are supported by tutorial sessions and assessed by examination in April/May.

The Introduction to Research Methods course includes an exciting problem solving exercise where you learn important skills such as Communicating Science, Innovation, Dealing with Intellectual Property and Grant Application Writing, together with a literature survey and written report, defining the scope of the subsequent individual research project work.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, you should have developed a depth of comprehension and critique in the core elements of your subject area, including:

  • Critical analysis and management of data.
  • Judging the relationship between theory and methodology.
  • Assessment of the appropriate methods of data collection/analysis to address the research question.
  • Assessment of relevance of previous studies.
  • Critical thinking.

Additionally you will have enhanced your professional/practical skills through:

  • Experience of research design and management.
  • Advanced instrumentation or techniques.
  • Production of scientific reports.

You will also have had the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as:

  • Written, visual and oral delivery and dissemination of research findings.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Computing proficiency.
  • Organisation skills.

Visit the Materials Chemistry - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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