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Our research is grouped into five distinct cognate themes: biological chemistry, catalysis and interfacial science, materials and energy, molecular synthesis and spectroscopy and dynamics.

The research carried out within the School of Chemistry is diverse and encompasses both fundamental and applied themes. Available research topics closely mirror the particular research interests of individual staff members, which fall broadly into biological and organic, inorganic, physical, and theoretical and computational chemistries.

Programme aims

To offer knowledge and expertise for a career in the pharmaceuticals and fine chemical sectors, teaching, biomedical research fields, research and managerial roles in general manufacturing industry (eg. food, cosmetics, petrochemical etc).

Distinctive features

  • Chemistry continues to attract an expanding team of researchers, as well as maintaining an extensive network of industrial contacts
  • Strong interdisciplinary collaborations support projects across traditional subject divisions; postgraduates interact across these groups
  • Our state-of-the-art catalysis, in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, supports world leading research in chemical sciences in our Translational Research Hub Translational Research Hub - Campus developments - Cardiff University
  • Extensive collaborations internationally; a number of research programmes allow placements abroad, including in Europe and Japan.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years, MPhil 1 year
Start dates January, April, July, October

As a PhD/MPhil student in Chemistry, you will undertake cutting-edge research in one of our various research themes.

The School specialises in the following research areas:

Research areas

Catalysis in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

The School of Chemistry has particular strengths in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Homogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science, including the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) dedicated to this exciting area of study.

Chemical Biology

The School of Chemistry has a strong research group in Chemical Biology, including developing our research in medicinal chemistry with links to the Medicines Discovery Institute.

Inorganic Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has a highly experienced research group in Inorganic Chemistry, with research areas including the design of new ligands.

Materials and Energy

The School of Chemistry has a broad research base in advanced materials, with a focus on understanding the fundamental properties of both soft and solid materials.

Organic Synthesis

The School of Chemistry has a dedicated research team in Organic Synthesis, with a particular focus on the development of novel synthetic methods.

Physical Organic Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has a wide-ranging scientific research team in Physical Organic Chemistry, with a variety of research techniques and topics being studied.

Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has an expanding and groundbreaking research team in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, with research into theory and computation.

Research projects

We have a range of research projects with external funding. Please check you meet any specific funding eligibility criteria before applying.

The School of Chemistry also welcomes applicants who have secured funding from external sponsors, or who are self-funded.

We have an extensive list of research projects that are supervisors are currently working on and we welcome applicants interested in these projects.

You are welcome to contact the academics directly for an informal chat, or further information.

Applications should be made via the Cardiff University application service. Please quote the project title and supervisor on your application.

In answer to the question ‘How do you plan to fund your studies?’, please specify the details and upload any documents providing the evidence (for example: letter of confirmation of scholarship).

Our students have gone on to a diverse range of careers, some continue along the academic path with postdoctoral positions in groups both in Cardiff and around the world, others have joined the teaching profession whilst many have entered major industrial companies in jobs that range from research to management.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans


See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Applicants are required to have a BSc 2.2 or above, or equivalent, in Chemistry or in a related subject.

English language requirements

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

Dr Ben Ward

Administrative contact


Apply now
See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

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