2021 start


Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Securing a place on a chemistry PhD at a top institution, or joining a research and development lab in industry, is a competitive process. This masters course is designed to help you stand out. You'll gain research experience at postgraduate level and learn advanced lab techniques in our state-of-the-art facilities.
Chemistry postgraduates using state-of-the-art equipment

Course description

For most of this one-year course, you will be working full-time as a chemistry researcher on your own research project. You’ll get to choose a topic that you're interested in, be assigned an academic supervisor who specialises in that area and work in their laboratory as part of a team of scientists. Some students' projects even lead to publications in academic journals.

We'll teach you advanced lab techniques and train you to use state-of-the-art chemistry equipment. Two lecture modules will help you further develop your chemistry expertise. Each one allows you to pick the topics that most interest you from a range of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry subjects. 

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We have state-of-the-art research laboratories and we're home to several multimillion pound research facilities. These facilities include the Lord Porter Laser Laboratory, which has three laser stations that can be used in studies ranging from energy transport in molecules and materials to artificial photosynthesis, and our Soft Matter Analytical Laboratory, where scientists can study samples that are 100 times smaller than a human hair.


Core modules:

Advanced Chemistry Topics 1

In this unit students select four courses from the following options. Two courses must be taken from each of section A and section B. Topics offered will vary from time to time. In addition, students select to do one piece of coursework from each of section A and section B.Section A: (a) Supramolecular Chemistry 1, (b) Metals in Medicine, (c) Stereoselective Synthesis, (d) Mechanism and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry, (e) Quantum Chemistry, (f) Advanced Spectroscopy and Theory.Section B: (g) Homogeneous Catalysis, (h) New Materials, (i) Chemistry of Radical Polymerization, (j) Polymer Architectures, (k) Graph Theory for Chemists, (l) Physical Chemistry of Heterogeneous Catalysis.

30 credits
Advanced Chemistry Topics 2

In this unit students select six courses from the following options. Three courses must be taken from each of section A and section B. Topics offered will vary from time to time.Section A: (a) Supramolecular Chemistry 2, (b) Heterogeneous Catalysis, (c) Medicinal Chemistry; (d) Metals in Organic Synthesis, (e) Chemistry in Space, (f) Photochemistry and Molecular Photonics. Section B: (g) Biomimetic Nanopartical Synthesis, (h) Chemistry of High-Energy Materials, (i) Enzyme Catalysis, (j) Organic Chemistry of the Main Group Elements, (k) Biophysical Chemistry; (l) Nanochemistry.

30 credits
Chemistry Research Project

This module is the major research project associated with the Masters programmes in Chemistry. Students are trained in research methodology, and undertake a project in the research laboratory of a member of academic staff. Projects use state-of-the-art research facilities. Students undertake a throrough literature search, give a research talk and a poster, have a viva, and present a thesis.

120 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


  • Lectures
  • Laboratory training
  • Independent research project


  • Coursework
  • Laboratory reports
  • Dissertation (20,000 words) and viva


1 year full-time

Your career

You will be an active, contributing member of your project supervisor’s research group, which makes this course great preparation for a PhD, or a research and development role in industry. Employers and PhD supervisors really value the experience students get from completing an extended project on an MSc(Res) degree.

Student profiles

Chemistry postgraduate Liam Smith with a colleague in lab

My current research is within the world of artificial photosynthesis, trying to produce molecules that would hopefully end our reliance on harmful fossil fuels. Other than that I have gained a copious amount of transferable skills that would be perfect within the chemical industry or professional environment.

Liam Smith
MSc(Res) Chemistry

Entry requirements

BSc (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent in chemistry or a chemistry-related subject.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pre-Masters programmes

If you're an international student and don’t meet our entry requirements, we offer a Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering programme through the University of Sheffield International College. The programme develops your knowledge of your chosen subject, introduces you to vital study skills and provides additional support to reach the English language level for the course, should you need it.

Once you complete your Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering and achieve the required grades, you can enter your chosen postgraduate degree at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

+44 114 222 9500

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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