Postgraduate research courses in Chemistry

The School of Chemistry has a large, committed and talented postgraduate community and takes pride in the diversity of its research base.

The postgraduate research courses offered by the School - PhD, MPhil and MSc by Research - provide you with the chance to work and research alongside some of the best scientists in their fields.

Choosing the best project and supervisor for you is an important step in successfully completing a postgraduate research degree. If you need support in deciding the area in which you want to study, please contact

The School of Chemistry offers the following research degrees:

  • PhD (Doctorate): a research-based degree, normally of three to four years duration. You will engage in a full-time research project and write a thesis of no more than 80,000 words and undergo an oral examination.
  • MPhil: normally of two years duration. Year 1 involves a taught component and a research project. Year 2 focuses on full-time research leading to a dissertation of no more than 40,000 words.
  • MSc (Res): a one-year research-based Masters degree. You will engage in a full-time research project and write a dissertation of up to 30,000 words. It is an excellent opportunity to spend a shorter time in a research environment either for a standalone degree or as preparation for a PhD.

Conversion to a higher research degree than originally intended (such as from an MSc (Res) or MPhil to a PhD) is possible where the student shows the ability to complete the higher-level degree.

See the current Postgraduate Prospectus for general information on the postgraduate community in St Andrews and in the School of Chemistry.