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Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology

Course Description

The University of Oxford’s online Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology is an online course aimed at professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds who wish to learn more about the foundations of nanotechnology, technological advances and the applications enabled by nanotechnology. There are opportunities to access cutting-edge research and current practice in a wide range of nanotechnology topics.

The course provides relevant, meaningful and up-to-date learning to enhance career development that is recognised and accepted within industry. A modular structure allows a flexible approach to learning and each module may be taken as an individual short course. The tutor-led approach lends cohesion to the distance learning experience which is tailored for busy people in full-time employment who wish to minimise time away from the workplace to study.

Applications for October 2016 are now being accepted. In the meantime you may be interested in applying for one of the modules from the Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology as a short course.

Nanotechnology is the production and application of devices and systems at the nanometre scale, which is of the order of one billionth of a meter. Developments in this area of technology are now coming to fruition, and increasingly impacting our daily lives. However, it is recognised that there is a need for more people to understand the basics about this technology.

The University of Oxford's online Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology offers a nine-month introduction to the subject. The course is taken part-time and online meaning that it can be taken from anywhere in the world by those seeking a solid foundation in nanotechnology, whilst having the option of working full-time. The course uses a blend of individual study of online learning materials, together with group work during live online tutorials, discussions and research. The group sessions with tutors are particularly valuable because they offer highly authentic learning and assessment opportunities.

Visit the website https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/about/postgraduate-certificate-in-nanotechnology


Students study the Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology over three modules that introduce the most commonly used and most important analytical, quantitative and experimental methods in nanotechnology. The course has the following features:

- An online, part-time University of Oxford qualification aimed at industry;

- Three modules giving a thorough introduction to nanotechnology and the behaviour and characterisation of nanoparticles;

- The course is taken part-time so students can complete it whilst continuing to work full-time;

- The course is taught online and can be taken from anywhere in the world;

- Tutors provide online support and replicate electronically the famed Oxford tutorial system;

- Assessment throughout the modules ensures that students can monitor their progress;

- The course has a dedicated Course Director and administration team accustomed to supporting students undertaking distance learning courses;

- Students have access to staff at the University of Oxford’s Begbroke Science Park, particularly the Course Director, Dr Christiane Norenberg;

- Throughout the course, students can use the University of Oxford’s excellent electronic library resources to enable them to complete the assignment tasks.

Who is it for?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology is a part-time, online course leading to a postgraduate qualification at the University of Oxford. The course is designed for students wishing to study part-time. It will appeal to those working in the commercial or healthcare sectors, who use, or expect to use, nanotechnology in their work. Previous students include electrical engineers, materials scientists, project managers, patent agents, chemists, medical practitioners, plastic surgeons and food technologists as well as those involved in manufacturing, research and legislation.

Programme details

The Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology begins in October and runs for nine months. Students take three online nanotechnology modules. At the end of the third module, students are required to attend a residential weekend in nanoscale materials characterisation based in Oxford. This takes place at the University of Oxford's Begbroke Science Park in July 2017.

The content of each module contains up-to-the-minute thinking and reflects the University of Oxford's world-leading research in nanotechnology. Each module has a different focus:

- Module 1: The Wider Context of Nanotechnology (24 October - 4 December 2016) looks at the current state of the technology and addresses its implications;

- Module 2: The Fundamental Science of Nanotechnology (9 January - 18 March 2017) explains the physical and mathematical foundations of nanoscale phenomena and properties of nanoscale materials;

- Module 3: Fundamental Characterisation for Nanotechnology (24 April - 2 July 2017) explores methods for investigating nanoparticles, thin films and nanostructures.

Each module lasts for 7 or 10 weeks corresponding approximately to the University of Oxford's term calendar. Within each module, there are weekly live online tutorials lasting for one hour as well as assignments and problem sheets. Most students should expect to spend an average of between 10 and 15 hours per week on independent study in addition to the timetabled tutorials.

Course aims

By the end of the Postgraduate Certificate students will be expected to:

- Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the physical principles, mathematical methods and techniques appropriate for solving nanotechnology problems and be able to apply them to industrial problems through a critical comprehension of the relative advantages and disadvantages of these methods;

- Demonstrate an understanding of some of the most common applications of nanoscale phenomena and how these relate to the solution of nanotechnology problems in industry;

- Manage their learning and research and conduct independent and effective study;

- Apply skills gained in analytical techniques from across the physical sciences.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford

Visit the Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology page on the University of Oxford website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Dr Lorraine Byrne

"I really enjoyed the module; in my academic and professional career to date I have had little exposure to the ethical and social science considerations of technology and so it was the first occasion I have had the time and opportunity to focus on the other aspects of technology development. The module content gave a good overview of the social, ethical, environmental and business considerations."
Dr Lorraine Byrne, Hewlett Packard

(Student Profile)

Richard Hull

"Although my background is in physics by education and electronics by career, by taking this course it has been instrumental in me obtaining a research post at the National Institute for Nanotechnology, Canada."
Richard Hull, National Institute for Nanotechnology (Canada)

(Student Profile)

Dr Sofia Pascu

"The Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology most certainly helped me making a start in the field and I was even invited to write an article for the Royal Society 350th Anniversary Year incorporating aspects of nanotechnology for drug delivery applications. I would have not been able to make such a contribution to the field without the training received in the course!"
Dr Sofia Pascu, University of Bath


Oxford scholarships - No. of awards TBC

Key facts :
There are over 1,000 full graduate scholarships available for courses starting in 2016-17. Full scholarships will cover your course and college fees and provide a grant for living costs.For over 70% of Oxford scholarships, nothing more than the standard course application is usually required. If you fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will be automatically considered.
The vast majority of Oxford scholarships are awarded to applicants who submit their course application by the January deadline. Oxford scholarships worth over £1,000 are advertised through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search. You should use this tool to find out whether you are eligible for scholarships which require an additional application. If you are, the tool will include links to full details of how to apply.In order to be considered for some scholarships offered by departments, you need to enter a scholarship reference code in the relevant section of the graduate application form. If this is the case, the code will be provided in the scholarship information given on department websites. When are Oxford scholarships awarded?:
Most Oxford scholarships are awarded between late February and June. The approximate date by which decisions are expected to be made will normally be given in the scholarship information, as linked through the Fees, Funding and Scholarship Search.A scholarship may be awarded either at the same time or after you are offered a place by your department. It may be awarded either before or after you have been offered a college place.

Value of Scholarship(s)

worth over £1,000


See the website

Application Procedure

See the website

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Please see course website.

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