Chemistry MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2023
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in chemistry, or a chemistry related subject.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.
UK fees
£12,750 (total)
International fees
£28,000 (total)

Course overview

Chemistry experiment

At its most fundamental, chemistry is the ‘art’ of transforming one molecule into another. Our highly versatile Chemistry MSc course has been designed to allow you to direct your studies to specialised areas of chemistry. The course places strong emphasis on practical chemistry, complemented with focus on current topics in chemistry research. This enables the principles and theories of chemistry to be applied within a laboratory setting to solve real-world challenges.

Engagement with a wide range of chemistry-related subjects is promoted, ensuring that the course is highly interdisciplinary and contains expertise from a range of specialisms, including chemistry, food science and nutrition, physics, chemical biology and material science. You'll have the opportunity to be taught by experts across faculties, to gain the skills and knowledge to work in a multidisciplinary environment.

You'll gain extensive hands-on practical experience within the laboratory by undertaking a practical skills module, and by carrying out an independent original research project. Optional modules may provide the chance to build up specialist knowledge in areas that align with your interests and career aspirations.

During the Chemistry MSc course, you'll develop the knowledge and skills you need for a career within the chemical sciences industries. As well as learning crucial research techniques, you'll develop a range of key skills in problem solving, information technology, scientific presentation, and scientific communication.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Learn the latest innovations in areas such as atmospheric and planetary chemistry, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry, colour and polymer science, computational chemistry and chemical physics, crystallisation and directed self-assembly, and process chemistry from our world-leading research conducted right here on campus that feeds directly into the course.
  • Broaden your knowledge and skills in of a range of core areas of advanced chemistry, both theoretically and practically.
  • Tailor the degree to suit your specific interests with a selection of optional modules to choose from including modern medicinal chemistry, ceramics, polymers and composites and food analysis.
  • Put theory into practice by conducting your own individual project which focuses on a real-world topic relevant to your MSc, giving you the chance to gain valuable and extensive hand-on experience working within a research group or, in some cases, collaborating with external industrial companies.
  • As part of your research project, access industry-standard specialist facilities such as state-of-the-art NMR instruments, a cutting-edge CCD-based X-ray diffractometer, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy.
  • Experience expert theoretical and practical teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics who specialise in a wide range of chemistry topics.
  • Enhance your career prospects and join our successful alumni who have secured jobs in many excellent organisations worldwide.


Royal Society of Chemistry

This masters degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, meaning you’ll have the qualifications and skills you’ll need to succeed in industry upon graduation.

Accreditation of a university course by professional and statutory bodies is a mark of assurance that particular standards are met. Masters accreditation provides access to qualified membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry and forms a basis for satisfying the academic requirements for the Royal Society of Chemistry’s award of Chartered Chemist (CChem), through further study or continuing professional development.

Course details

Watch our Masters talk

Professor Bruce Turnbull explains what you'll learn on this course

You'll study compulsory modules on Advanced Topics in Chemistry, and Laboratory Skills for Chemists, and undertake an extended laboratory project. Within Advanced Topics in Chemistry, you'll be able to select particular topics to focus on. Optional modules in, for example, Polymer Chemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Soft Matter Physics, Materials Science, and Colour Chemistry will give you the chance to build up specialist knowledge in areas that align with your interests and career aspirations.

The focal point of the degree course is your extended research project. Your supervisor will help you to select a project that is right for you, in an area that interests and motivates you. This is your chance to make your own contribution to science. The project will equip you with the independent research and critical thinking skills that you'll draw on throughout your future career.

Some research projects may be linked with our partners in industry, helping you to make new connections and develop industrial experience that will benefit your employment prospects on graduation.

Project work

You'll typically spend around 10 weeks in your supervisors' research laboratories working alongside PhD students and experienced postdoctoral researchers. Throughout the research project, you'll have access to the outstanding research facilities that are available at Leeds.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Chemistry MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Research Project for Chemistry-based MSc courses 60
Advanced Topics in Chemistry (Coursework) 30
Advanced Topics in Chemistry (Examined S2) 15
Advanced Practical, Professional and Research Skills for Chemists 30

Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

Module Name Credits
Structure-based Drug Discovery 15
Ceramics, Polymers and Composites 15
Nanomaterials 15
Synthesis and Characterisation of Organic Molecules 15
Foundations of Chemistry - Coursework 15
Foundations of Practical Chemistry 15
Modern Drug Discovery 15
Advanced Topics in Chemistry (Examined S1) 15
Cosmetic Science 15
Advanced Colour Science 15
Physical Aspects of Food 10
Colloid and Dairy Science 10
Food Quality Assurance and Control 10
Soft Matter Physics: Liquid Crystals 15
Soft Matter Physics: Polymers, Colloids and Glasses 15
Physics of Biological Systems 15

Want to find out more about your modules?

Take a look at the Chemistry module descriptions for more detail on what you'll study.

Learning and teaching

You'll be taught by experts across faculties, to gain the skills and knowledge to work in a multidisciplinary environment, through a series of lectures, small group workshops and practical lab sessions. You'll also get involved in student led activities such as literature presentations.

Specialist facilities

You'll have access to excellent teaching and laboratory facilities, supplemented by extensive computing equipment. Our specialist facilities include the latest equipment for synthetic, physical and analytical chemistry, 500 MHz NMR machines, a cutting-edge CCD-based X-ray diffractometer, and instruments to enable mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry, thermal analysis, particle size analysis, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and electrophoresis, amongst other forms of analysis. Depending on the modules and projects that you choose to work in, you'll also have access to teaching facilities from across the different schools and faculties.

Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it is the principal place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme, and modules.

You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.

Programme team

The programme is led by Professor Bruce Turnbull. He provides biological and organic chemistry lectures to students at all levels. His research is concerned with chemical and enzymatic methods for site-specific modification of proteins and carbohydrates with applications in synthetic biology, medical diagnostics and drug delivery.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


The wide range of continual assessment formats will allow you to improve your generic skills, and to hone your ability to solve problems. As part of the continual assessment of modules, you'll give a wide range of oral presentations; prepare short articles, essays, and research reports; perform computational exercises; and undertake group-based problem-solving activities. Your research project will be assessed through your practical work and a written research report.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in chemistry, or a chemistry related subject. Applicants must have taken and consistently scored 2:2 level marks (or higher) in modules covering: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and analytical chemistry.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

30 July 2023 – International applicants

10 September 2023 – UK applicants

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Chemistry

Contact us

School of Chemistry Admissions Team



UK: £12,750 (total)

International: £28,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

This Masters degree offers a wide range of optional modules, giving you the flexibility to design your course and gain specialist knowledge in a topic that suits your career plans. The scope of skills you’ll learn in advanced chemistry will be widely transferable across a range of industries and job roles. From pharmacology to materials science, geochemistry to academia – you'll have the in-depth understanding to pursue a career in many different fields.

The extended research project and practical skills module will further enhance your employability as you’ll gain the hands-on experience expected of every chemist in the professional working world.

Plus, the University of Leeds is in the top five most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2022 report.

Here’s an insight into some of the job positions and organisations previous chemistry graduates have secured:

  • Chemistry PhD student, University of Leeds
  • Clinical Research Assistant, St James Hospital
  • Research Scientist, The Cyprus Institute
  • Laboratory Analyst, Environmental Essentials
  • Innovation Consultant, PNO Consultants
  • Research Chemist, Tracerco
  • Technical Service Assistant, Scott Bader Co.
  • Teacher of Chemistry, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
  • PhD Student, University of Leeds
  • Fuels Scientist, Shell Global Solutions
  • Drug Stability Analyst, Sanofi
  • Environmental Sampler, Severn Trent
  • Ice Core Analytical Scientist, British Antarctic Survey
  • Formulation Technologist, Boots UK Ltd
  • Research Fellow, University of Leeds

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team — are on hand to offer guidance and support, ensuring you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Employability events — we run a full range of events including careers fairs in specialist areas and across broader industries — all with employers who are actively recruiting for roles.
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Qualified careers consultants — gain guidance, support and information to help you choose a career path. You’ll have access to 1-2-1 meetings and events to learn how to find employers to target, research before interviews and brush up on your interview skills.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more about career support.

Alumni profile: Zhenghui Wu

The University of Leeds gave me an international perspective which has helped me a lot in my career progression.
Find out more about Zhenghui Wu's time at Leeds