Chemistry MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
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
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (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.

You’ll engage with a wide range of chemistry-related subjects, 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 will give you 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:

  • This Masters degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  • Our globally-renowned research conducted right here in our School feeds directly into the course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking in areas such as atmospheric and planetary chemistry, chemical biology and medicinal chemistry.
  • Broaden your knowledge and skills in a range of core areas of advanced chemistry, both theoretically and practically.
  • Tailor the course to specialise in your career interests with a selection of optional modules to choose from including modern medicinal chemistry, ceramics, polymers and composites and physical aspects of food.
  • Conduct your own individual project which focuses on a real-world topic, giving you the chance to gain valuable and extensive hands-on experience working within a research group.
  • Access industry-standard specialist facilities as part of your research project, such as state-of-the-art NMR instruments, a cutting-edge CCD-based X-ray diffractometer, electrospray and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy.
  • Experience excellent practical and theoretical teaching delivered by a programme team with a wealth of expertise and experience across many chemistry topics.
  • Enhance your career prospects and become part of our successful alumni who have pursued exciting careers in global companies.


Royal Society of Chemistry

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and provides access to qualified membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This Masters degree 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

You'll study compulsory modules on advanced topics in chemistry and laboratory skills for chemists and undertake an extended laboratory project. Within the 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.

Project work

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.

You'll typically spend around 10 weeks in your supervisor's 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
Advanced Topics in Chemistry (Coursework) 30
Advanced Topics in Chemistry (Examined S2) 15
MSc Research Project 60
Advanced Practical, Professional and Research Skills for Scientists 30

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

Module Name Credits
Ceramics, Polymers and Composites 15
Nanomaterials 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
Food Safety and Regulatory Practice 15
Colloid Science 15
Food Chemistry and Biochemistry 15
Soft Matter Physics: Liquid Crystals 15
Soft Matter Physics: Polymers, Colloids and Glasses 15
Physics of Biological Systems 15

Learning and teaching

Postgraduate study involves a range of teaching methods, supported by independent learning. 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. You’ll be supported by a personal tutor who you can meet regularly to discuss any study or career questions you might have.

Active research environments

Many researchers in the School of Chemistry are members of the University of Leeds’ world-leading interdisciplinary research centres: the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology focuses on understanding life in molecular detail; The Priestley International Centre for Climate aims to further our physical, technological, economic and social understanding of climate change with strategies for mitigation and adaptation; the Bragg Centre for Materials Research brings together scientists and engineers to discover, create and design new materials.

We are also active partners in UK national research centres including the Henry Royce Institute for advanced research and innovation and the Rosalind Franklin Institute, developing new technologies to tackle important health research challenges. Companies that have spun out of the School of Chemistry include Keracol (natural materials for sustainable consumer products), C-Capture (chemical processes for capture of carbon dioxide), and LUNAC Therapeutics (anticoagulant therapies).

Specialist facilities

Three female chemistry students doing an experiment in the lab

To support your practical work, you’ll have an extensive range of specialist facilities accessible throughout your degree. The Joseph Priestley teaching laboratory, with space for 110 students, gives you the opportunity to perform synthetic and analytical chemistry experiments in an industry standard environment, and reflects the research-based approach to learning and teaching within the School of Chemistry. You’ll use techniques such as IR (infra-red), NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance), and UV-vis (ultraviolet-visible) spectroscopy.

The George Porter teaching laboratory is equipped with modern research-grade equipment for physical and instrumental analytical experiments, along with a computer cluster where you can process your data under expert supervision.

Our research facilities, which you may benefit from during your project work, include the latest equipment for synthetic, physical and analytical chemistry, 500 and 600 MHz NMR machines, cutting-edge Mass Spectrometry (MS) facilities, a CCD-based X-ray diffractometer, scanning electron microscope and a purification laboratory.

You can also make extensive use of digital technology throughout the course; you’ll be taught in person how to use the latest software for modelling and understanding chemistry, solving chemical problems and analysing experimental data – acquiring digital skills applicable in many potential areas of employment.

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 June 2024 – International applicants

8 September 2024 – UK applicants

Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.

If you're still 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 Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Chemistry

Contact us

School of Chemistry Admissions Team



UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £31,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

Additional cost information

The School of Chemistry will provide you with personal protective equipment and laboratory notebooks you’ll need to undertake laboratory work. You’ll also have access to a vast supply of books, academic journals and periodicals from the university libraries however you may wish to purchase some books that are recommended on the course.

This course requires work using a range of relevant software which is provided by the university. We also use a blended learning model where you’ll need to access course materials and video conferences using a computer or mobile device (e.g. laptop, tablet, smartphone).

You’ll have access to the extensive IT facilities on campus including 24/7 computer clusters with everything you need to complete your work however you may wish to purchase your own computer.

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, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research.

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. We have a wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team who are in contact with many employers around the country and advertise placements and jobs.They are also on hand to provide 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, write your CV and cover letter, 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.

Student profile: Fatima Mammadova

There are too many things I love about my course. The teaching is excellent, the professors are always kind and helpful.
Find out more about Fatima Mammadova's time at Leeds