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Advanced Chemistry (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

This course will prepare you for a range of research careers in universities, government agencies and science companies all over the world.


Industry connections

Our research partners range from local and national SMEs to some of the world's largest multinationals.


Research facilities

Following over £20 million investment, our facilities provide a superb environment for excellence.


Continue towards a PhD

This course provides a strong base for pursuing a research career.


Optional modules

Choose from a range of optional modules in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.

Take your science career to the next level with our Master’s degree in Advanced Chemistry. This broad and flexible course can be tailored to fit your interests and career aspirations, helping you develop the skills you need to follow your chosen career. There is a large selection of optional modules available in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry for you to choose from, so you can focus on the topics that are interesting and important to you. You will also complete a major research project in an active research environment, where you will develop the crucial practical and professional skills that graduate employers are looking for.


Where you'll study

School of Chemistry

We are focused on tackling the important scientific challenges of the 21st century though internationally recognised education and research.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4023
  • MarkerPark Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:2 honours degree in a relevant subject area such as biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemistry, pharmacology, or pharmacy, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area you may still apply but should provide additional evidence to support your application such as a CV and references and will be required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key chemical topics prior to an offer being made. 

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.  

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to lab facilities including chemicals
  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The MSc Advanced Chemistry is a full-time programme, which runs over one academic year.  You will study a total of 180 credits, 120 of which are taught and assessed through coursework and exams (the Diploma phase) followed by a 60 credit project (the Dissertation phase).

Semesters one and two of the programme each consist of a core module and the spring semester has a core practical module, (worth 30 credits in total). The remaining 90 credits  are chosen from a wide range of optional modules. The summer project is worth 60 credits. Students must pass the Diploma phase before being allowed to proceed to the Dissertation phase.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Semesters one and two of the programme each consist of a module of practical work and one other core module,(worth 30 credits in total), plus 30 credits of optional material chosen from a wide range of modules. The summer project is worth 60 credits. Students must pass the Diploma phase before being allowed to proceed to the Dissertation phase.

Module titleModule codeCredits
ColloquiumCHT21610 credits
Key Skills for Postgraduate ChemistsCHT23210 credits
Research ProjectCHT00860 credits

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Students will attend lectures, participate in seminars, problem-solving workshops and tutorials, and carry out practical laboratory work. Students will also undertake self-directed literature-based research and a laboratory-based original research project that will lead to completion of a dissertation. Topics for the research project will normally be chosen from a list of options proposed by staff in areas of current research interest. The research project will consist of supervised independent study and will typically consist of laboratory or computational work.

The programme will be taught in the medium of English.

How will I be assessed?


The taught modules within the programme are typically assessed through a final examination and the following in-course assessments:

  • Written reports;
  • Problem-based workshops and class tests;
  • Oral examination.

Those modules primarily involving independent study and research are assessed through the following:

  • Written dissertation (typically 6,000 to 10,000 words);
  • Oral presentation;
  • Oral examination.


At the commencement of the programme the opportunity to receive feedback on initial knowledge and understanding will be provided through completion of online multiple-choice diagnostic tests within Learning Central. Students will receive written feedback on written assessments and oral presentations. General feedback on performance will be provided by personal tutors after initial diagnostic testing and following the examination periods.

How will I be supported?

All students are allocated a Personal Tutor, for help and support with academic needs. Meetings are scheduled with the Personal Tutor at key points during the programme to discuss progress and provide academic guidance. Students may arrange to meet with the Personal Tutor on additional occasions, as needed. Modules will be supported through the Virtual Learning Environment where course related information and electronic documents will be located.

Students will be allocated an academic staff member as primary supervisor for the research project. A second supervisor/mentor will also be allocated to cover for periods when the primary supervisor is unavailable. Additional support may also be provided by research staff within the research group where the student is based.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding across a broad range of chemical topics;
  • Describe selected recent developments in the major branches of chemistry and recognise how they contribute to the development of chemistry;
  • Explore and critically assess the boundary of knowledge in selected areas of chemistry, both through study and discussion of research literature and by advanced teaching by active researchers;
  • Use, evaluate and apply as appropriate a variety of teaching and learning methods, including developing an ability to learn independently;
  • Appreciate and relate the impact of chemistry in the modern world;
  • Experience the process of scientific investigation by means of an research project and demonstrate how this may be applied to a chemical problem;
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan and conduct an individual scientific investigation of extended duration, and interpret, report and critically discuss the results in appropriate formats.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Propose and apply creative solutions to chemical problems;
  • Integrate and evaluate information and data from a variety of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice;
  • Apply professional judgement to balance risks, costs, benefits, safety, reliability, and environmental impact in relation to aspects of chemistry.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to undertake competent, safe, evaluative, reflective and effective practical work;
  • The ability to critically analyse and evaluate experimental results and determine their strength and validity;
  • The ability to act autonomously, with minimal supervision or direction, within agreed guidelines.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively in a variety of formats in order to present the results of research work;
  • Work effectively as part of a team;
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage time, prioritise workloads, and utilise long- and short-term planning skills;
  • Learn independently in familiar and unfamiliar situations with open-mindedness and in the spirit of critical enquiry;
  • Communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £11,700 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £28,450 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs to consider.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

What the student should provide:
Students are expected to provide general items of stationery. If students choose to use portable computing equipment (e.g. notebooks, tablets, smart phones) they will need to provide these devices. The student should supply a laboratory coat. The School of Chemistry will provide non-prescription laboratory safety glasses, but students may choose to supply their own safety glasses.

What the University will provide:
The University will supply laboratory space, equipment and consumables required for taught modules and the research project. Hardware and software for control of instrumentation and specialist computation and data analysis will be provided. Students will have access to University libraries including physical books/journals and electronic resources. General computing facilities will be available, and for students bringing their own portable devices, wireless access to the University network is available at most locations within the University estate.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

Our graduates are in high demand across many industries and enjoy a broad range of flexible and dynamic career options.

In the past graduates have gone on to pursue careers in the chemical, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries, as well as in regulatory affairs, health and safety, intellectual property and patents. Another popular career path is a research-related role within public and private research institutions, academic institutions, or consulting services.

You might meet our graduates working for companies including Johnson Matthey, Thales, Hexion, BAE Systems in the UK, as well as international companies such as Haldor Topsøe, Denmark and the National Science and Technology Development Agency in Thailand.

This course is particularly suitable for those wishing to pursue further study at PhD level at Cardiff University and other top universities.


There are opportunities for MSc students to undertake their research project in collaboration with one of our external partners. Please enquire for further information.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.