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The University of Southampton

Preparing for postgraduate study in chemistry

Welcome to the chemistry community at the University of Southampton. You’ll be supported, challenged and encouraged throughout your master’s programme to reach your full potential.

Before you enrol (subject to satisfying any conditions of your offer), here are some useful tips, advice, and guidance to help you prepare for your master’s degree.

If you have any questions at all before beginning your degree, we’re here to help. Please contact the MSc Admissions team at or you can email Dr Guy Denuault, the MSc programmes director at


Advice for international students


Chemistry knowledge

The majority of our courses have prerequisites from core inorganic, organic and physical chemistry topics. If you have studied a degree not specifically focused on chemistry, e.g. chemical engineering or applied chemistry, you may need to improve your core chemistry knowledge. You should find the following textbooks useful:

For inorganic and materials chemistry

C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe, Inorganic Chemistry, 4th Edition, Pearson, 2012
S. E. Dann, Reactions and Characterisation of Solids, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000

For organic chemistry

J. Clayden, N. Greeves and S. Warren Organic Chemistry OUP, 2012
D Williams, I. Flemming, Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry, 6th ed. McGraw-Hill, London 2008

For physical chemistry

Atkins and De Paula, Elements of Physical Chemistry, OUP, any edition
Atkins and De Paula, Atkins’ Physical Chemistry, OUP, any edition
D. O. Hayward, Quantum Mechanics for Chemists, RSC, 2002

Have a look at the course content of our BSc Chemistry course. This demonstrates the chemistry knowledge we expect you to have in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry.

Choice of courses

Our MSc programmes have compulsory and optional modules (courses). You will be automatically enrolled on all compulsory modules but you will need to enrol online (details on how to do this will be sent to you once you have completed your registration with the University of Southampton) for all optional modules. Here are some tips to help you to choose your optional modules:


Electrochemistry research seminar

Watch this recording from an electrochemistry research seminar to hear about the kind of research happening here at Southampton. If you join us, these are the kinds of seminars you’ll attend.

Preparing to come to Southampton

Once you have accepted your offer and registered with the University of Southampton, you will receive additional information packs. In the meantime, take a look at the following webpages to get a feel for what it will be like to live and study here:

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