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The University of Southampton

MSc Chemistry by Research (1 year)

This masters in chemistry by research is a one year course beginning in October each year and is intended for participants with high quality first degrees in chemistry or a closely related subject.

Introducing your course

Would you like to carry out an extensive piece of research whilst developing your theoretical skills? Our most research-intensive MSc programme includes a year-long research project embedded into one of our leading research groups and with access to our state of the art facilities.

Theory modules can be selected from topics in synthesis, advanced structural, analytical and spectroscopic techniques, materials chemistry, modelling, biological and medicinal chemistry, and electrochemistry.

 You can specialise in a research area of your choice, within one of our main six research groups:



This programme provides training in chemical research and involves both lecture based units, and a one year research project that constitutes 66 per cent of the assessment. In addition to units to enhance knowledge in chemistry, participants are offered training with regard to safety in the laboratory and to improve their professional skills, such as data analysis and presentation and oral presentations for example.

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

To Apply

For further information on the masters in chemistry by research programme, please contact: tel: +44 (0)23 8059 4121

Dr Andrew Hector, Admissions Tutor, 

Programme Structure

Before and during registration for the MSc Chemistry by Research programme, students nominate the field of chemistry in which they wish to specialise and the Supervisor for their project. The one year research project is within the chosen specialisation and chemical knowledge units are selected from MChem and postgraduate units to enhance knowledge related to the specialisation. It is the responsibility of the Project Supervisor to advise students on the selection of courses. Students are also expected to participate in section seminars, group meetings and the social activities of the section.

Examination on the masters in chemistry by research programme is through both formal exams and continuous assessment; research projects are assessed following the submission of a thesis and this may involve an oral examination.

Key Facts

All students are located in new or recently fully refurbished custom-designed buildings with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities

The Graduate School is staffed by internationally recognised scientists whose expertise covers a broad range of the fields of modern chemistry

Most MSc entrants have a background in chemistry but we welcome students with training in biochemistry, physics, polymer science, environmental sciences, engineering and all related subjects.

Photo of Danni Sun
The University offers a great learning environment, especially for masters students who study in the chemistry department.
Danni SunSecond year

Typical entry requirements

2020 entry requirements
English language requirements

Band B IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in all components

All applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency. Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK who do not offer GCSE English language (or GCSE English) at the required level will need to meet the following English language proficiency requirement. Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements.

Selection process

Intake: 20

Typical entry requirements

The normal entry requirement is at least an upper second class honours BSc degree or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in Chemistry, or a closely related subject. Non-UK applicants will usually have completed 4 years or more in higher education. Students who have achieved a lower second honours degree will only be admitted in exceptional circumstances. At interview you will need to be able to demonstrate that your first degree prepares you for the modules available within your area of interest, for example organic chemistry modules assume a knowledge of organic reactions and their mechanisms.

The degree must have had a minimum chemistry content of 50%. Closely related subjects are: biochemistry, physics, polymer science, environmental sciences, material science, mathematics. Applicants must elect one of the 4 research sections (Computational Systems Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics, Magnetic Resonance and Molecular Assembly, Function and Structure) within which they wish to further their interest.

Candidates who do not hold any of the above qualifications, but who have relevant professional experience may be eligible for admissions, but are advised to contact the Admissions Tutor prior to applying.

As part of your application you will need to identify a research supervisor in the area of chemistry in which you wish to specialise.  The selection process will involve close scrutiny of your academic credentials in a process that will include an interview (via Skype for students not available to come to Southampton). The whole process is supported by a Post Graduate Admissions Administrator who remains in touch with students throughout the application process.

A minimum standard of English Language is required. You will need a band C pass in one of the tests listed at:

Admissions policies on language

Further information on language support can be found at:

English Language Proficiency


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The MSc Chemistry by Research programme combines both a taught and research component.

Year 1

The research component is assessed largely through the production of a high quality dissertation at the end of the 1 yr period. However, the taught component is assessed through examination and other forms of assessment. The modules that are undertaken by the student reflect the specialisation in each case. These modules may cover organic synthesis, spectrometry, electrochemistry, materials and molecular electronics. In order to be awarded an MSc, each student is expected to pass a set of these modules at a suitable level.

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.

MSc Research Project

Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

During the masters in chemistry by research programme you will be expected to continue to broaden your education while completing your research project by attending postgraduate lectures, seminars, technical instruction, and skills development.


Study locations

Chemistry building

Chemistry, Highfield Campus

Chemistry is based at the heart of the University of Southampton's Hig...Find out more

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