About this course
Learn about some of the world’s biggest challenges, from renewable energy to improving the study of disease, with our MSc Chemistry degree. Study in depth traditional areas including analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. You’ll choose from a wide range of specialist modules to match your interests.
Combine theory, practical and research work to develop skills in demand by industry, or prepare for further research study.
On this chemistry master's you’ll take part in sessions to develop your practical, scientific writing, communication and presentation skills. You'll work in state of the art laboratories and gain master's level knowledge of the core areas of chemistry, along with your chosen area of specialisation
Choose from our specialist pathways, including:
Organic chemistry: This covers synthetic reaction and mechanisms. It’s suitable if you already have an undergraduate grounding in nomenclature, stereochemistry and reaction mechanisms. You can specialise in:
- organic synthesis
- medicinal chemistry
- bio-organic chemistry
Inorganic chemistry and materials: The focus here is on functional inorganic, solid-state and supramolecular materials. It’s ideal if you have BSc level knowledge of fundamentals and applications of inorganic chemistry. It addresses challenges in:
- healthcare and diagnostics
- the deposition of nanostructured materials
Physical chemistry: This is suitable if you have an undergraduate level grounding in physical chemistry, especially quantum chemistry, spectroscopy, thermodynamics and kinetics. You’ll be able to specialise in:
- computational chemistry
- surface science
- magnetic resonance
General chemistry: Further your knowledge in a combination of organic, inorganic and/or physical chemistry. Choose this option if you’re interested in developing your expertise across the different disciplines within chemistry.
Dr Guy Denuault is Associate Professor of electrochemistry here at the University. Formerly secretary of the Electrochemistry Group at the Royal Society of Chemistry, Guy’s research focuses on electroanalytical chemistry. Visit Dr Denault’s profile page to view his extensive publications and to learn more about his work.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:2 degree in chemistry, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University. If you’re from outside the UK, you must have 4 years or more in higher education.
Our selection process includes an interview. During the interview you must show how your first degree has prepared you for the modules in your specialist pathway. For example to take the organic chemistry pathway, you must have knowledge of organic nomenclature, reactions and their mechanisms.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need an overall score of 6.5 and the following scores for reading, writing, listening and speaking:
IELTS score requirements
We accept other English language tests, find out which English language tests we accept.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The taught part of the course takes place over the first 2 semesters.
Each semester includes 12 weeks of study followed by 2 or 3 weeks of exams. You'll carry out the research element of the course in semester 3 during the summer.
A highlight of the course is the choice of a specialist pathway. Choose from:
- organic chemistry
- inorganic and materials chemistry
- physical chemistry
- general chemistry
In the final weeks of August you’ll focus on your dissertation preparation and you'll carry out a limited amount of laboratory work.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules:
You must also choose from the following modules:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
On this master’s in chemistry your learning includes:
- staff-led lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and demonstrations
- student-led seminars and presentations
- workshops and tutorials based around instruments in the laboratory
You’ll carry out self-directed learning:
- reading summary texts and scientific literature
- exposure to technical reports
- individual practical work on instruments
- engagement with written assignments and coursework
- revision for written exams
Practical classes give you the opportunity to show your increasing independence. You'll also have meetings about research work with the supervisory team.
You'll be assessed on the taught elements of the course with exams and coursework.
Your research is assessed on the practical outcomes of your project work. As well as on your ability to communicate your research outcomes and through your dissertation. This will be assessed by your supervisor and another academic from within the University by what is called a viva voce, a verbal examination.
You’ll also need to keep a laboratory notebook and create an archive of your research results. These primary sources of information will be reviewed throughout your research project and will be part of the final assessment.
You’ll also write short reports describing your progress throughout the summer. We’ll review these regularly to support your development in preparation for the dissertation.
The research project will explore in depth, one or more of the chemistry topics you covered in the taught part of the course.
You’ll agree your project topic with your supervisor and you'll complete the project preparation in consultation with them.
The project involves around 600 hours of time including 14 weeks of practical research work.
You'll submit your dissertation in mid-September.
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
On this chemistry degree you’ll gain valuable postgraduate research skills. You'll develop transferrable skills including time management, and the ability to effectively communicate and present.
This will prepare you for career success in a wide range of areas such as industry, analysis, policymaking and scientific communication. Recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in:
- material science
- energy storage
- analytical chemistry
- environmental chemistry
- computational chemistry
- biotechnical and pharmaceutics
- science communication
Completing a master’s qualification will help you take on the challenges of an advanced research degree at PhD level, ready for an academic career.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £23,136.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000