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Advanced Chemistry (MSc)

This course will prepare you for a range of research careers in universities, government agencies and science companies all over the world. It's also a strong base for pursuing further study at PhD level.

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.

Distinctive features

  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Our School of Chemistry is ranked 9th in the UK for Research in the most recent REF cycle.
  • Cardiff University has invested over £20 million in our Chemistry research facilities
  • Our research partners range from local and national SMEs to some of the world's largest multinationals.
  • Join a large and internationally diverse chemistry community of students and academic staff from many countries around the world.
  • Choose from a range of optional modules in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration1 year

Admissions criteria

The programme is suitable for applicants that hold a minimum 2:2 degree or equivalent, in chemistry or a related discipline such as chemical engineering, pharmacy, pharmacology and biochemistry.  Applicants with a degree in a subject other than chemistry will be required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key chemical topics prior to an offer being made.

Typical IELTS offer: IELTS score of 6.5(with at least 5.5 in each section).


Entry to courses in Chemistry will be subject to the University requirements for English language.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

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).

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

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
Research ProjectCHT00860 credits
ColloquiumCHT21610 credits
Key Skills for Postgraduate ChemistsCHT23210 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Structure and Mechanism in Organic ChemistryCHT20610 credits
Biocatalysis I: Modern Approaches to BiocatalystsCHT21410 credits
Catalyst Design StudyCHT21720 credits
Preparation and Evaluation of Heterogeneous CatalystsCHT21910 credits
Mechanism and Ligand Design in Homogeneous CatalysisCHT22110 credits
Biocatalysis II: Industrial Applications of BiocatalysisCHT22310 credits
Practical Catalytic ChemistryCHT22510 credits
Bioinorganic ChemistryCHT22610 credits
Asymmetric Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals and Natural ProductsCHT22810 credits
Advanced Techniques in Organic and Biological ChemistryCHT22910 credits
Advanced Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Principles and ApplicationsCHT23110 credits
Practical Chemical BiologyCHT23410 credits
Analytical and Structural Techniques in Chemical BiologyCHT23510 credits
Bio-imaging Applications of Coordination ChemistryCHT23710 credits
Industrial CatalysisCHT23810 credits
Advanced MaterialsCHT23910 credits
Molecular ModellingCHT31310 credits
Molecular Modelling for Postgraduate ChemistsCHT31710 credits
Engineering BiosynthesisCHT32710 credits
Applications of Advanced Spectroscopic MethodsCHT33010 credits
Catalytic Materials for Green ChemistryCHT34210 credits
Drug Discovery ChemistryCHT35110 credits
Techniques in Drug DiscoveryCHT35210 credits
Drug TargetsCHT35310 credits
Drug Development from Laboratory to ClinicCHT35410 credits
Trends in Drug DiscoveryCHT35510 credits
Practical Medicinal ChemistryCHT35610 credits
Planet EarthPX112710 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.

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 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.

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.

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

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

EU students entering in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

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

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.

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.