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MPhil in Chemistry

Course Description

The MPhil is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff, in one of the following areas of Chemistry:


with a focus on enzymes, nucleic acids, protein folding and misfolding, and physical techniques; with relevance to health and disease, drug discovery, sensors, nanotechnology, ageing and energy research applications.

Materials Chemistry:

including surfaces, interfaces, polymers, nanoparticles and nanoporous materials, self assembly, and biomaterials, with applications relevant to: oil recovery and separation, catalysis, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, crystallization and pharmaceutical formulation, gas sorption, energy, functional materials, biocompatible materials, computer memory, and sensors.

Physical Chemistry:

including atmospheric sciences, surfaces and interfaces, materials, and physical and chemical aspects of the behaviour of biopolymers and other soft systems.

Synthetic Chemistry:

including complex molecule synthesis, synthetic catalysis, synthetic assembly, synthetic biology and medicine, new technology for efficient synthesis, green synthesis, and preparation of new materials.

Theory, Modelling and Informatics:

including quantum dynamics, modelling soft materials, protein folding and binding, biomolecules in motion, pharmacological activity, molecular switches, redox chemistry, designing bioactive molecule and drugs, chemical biology, crystallography, and simulation of spectroscopic studies.

Potential supervisors and their area of research expertise may be found at Department of Chemistry (Research): http://www.ch.cam.ac.uk/research

Visit the website: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/pcchmpmch

Course detail

Educational aims of the MPhil programme:

- to give students with relevant experience at first degree level the opportunity to carry out focussed research in the discipline under close supervision; and

- to give students the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests and a broader set of transferable skills.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

- a comprehensive understanding of techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature, applicable to their own research;
- demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
- demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.


The MPhil involves minimal formal teaching. Students may attend the Department's programme of research seminars and other graduate courses, including the Transferable Skills programme that forms part of the PhD programme. Informal opportunities to develop research skills also exist through mentoring and other opportunities by fellow students and members of staff. However, most research training is provided within the research group structure and all students are assigned a research supervisor.

All graduate students receive termly reports written by their supervisors.


The scheme of examination for the MPhil in Chemistry shall consist of a thesis, of not more than 15,000 words in length, exclusive of tables, footnotes, bibliography, and appendices, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry, submitted for examination at the end of 11 months. The examination shall include an oral examination on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls. The thesis shall provide evidence to satisfy the Examiners that a candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspectives of the subject.


The Department offers a PhD in Chemistry course and MPhil students can apply to continue as a graduate student on this course.

MPhil students currently studying a relevant course at the University of Cambridge will need to pass their MPhil course (if examined only by thesis) or obtain a minimum merit (if there is a marked element) in order to be eligible to continue onto the PhD in Chemistry.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

There are no specific funding opportunities advertised for this course. For information on more general funding opportunities, please follow the link below.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Chemistry page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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