Chemical Science (MSc) 2020 entry

The MSc in Chemical Science provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in modern chemical sciences and encourages them to explore research-led topics through a wide range of modules.

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Course type

Postgraduate, leading to a Master of Science (MSc)

Course dates

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 September 2021

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Chemical Sciences MSc page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

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Tuition fees

UK and EU: £9,450
Overseas: £23,090

Application deadline

Wednesday 12 August 2020. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date
  • two original signed academic references
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language)
  • letter of intent (optional).

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course information

The MSc in Chemical Science is a one-year taught programme run by the School of Chemistry. The course is designed for students and professionals who have a degree in Chemistry or an allied subject.

The course provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in modern chemical sciences and encourages them to explore research-led topics through a wide range of modules. Students can choose from a number of module options, expanding their fundamental knowledge of all areas of chemistry or specialising in a particular area of interest. 

Highlights

  • The aims of the programme include introducing modern chemical science concepts and techniques, exploring further advanced research-led topics through a range of optional modules, and equipping you with analytical, critical, and communication skills.
  • A key aspect of the programme is undertaking a significant research project for your dissertation. This enables you to develop skills in one of many areas aligned with the research interests of the School of Chemistry, for example, catalysis, surface science, energy materials, chemical biology, synthetic chemistry or structural chemistry.

Teaching format

The course consists of two semesters of taught modules followed by a significant research project and dissertation (15,000 words) focused over the summer months.

Teaching methods include:

  • seminars
  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practical laboratory work
  • consultation sessions with supervisors.

Modules are assessed through coursework and written examinations. Typical class sizes range from around 5 students for seminars and tutorials and around 40 students for lectures. 

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

Students will take three compulsory modules during the course and choose four optional modules in Semester 1 and three optional modules in Semester 2.

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2019–2020 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

  • Contemporary Research Awareness: research colloquia and seminars delivered by external speakers and covering areas within current chemical science research.
  • Literature Review for MSc: an in-depth survey of the published literature within a specified research area which is related to the prospective research project.
  • Research Skills in Chemistry: develops knowledge of specialised research techniques for the prospective research project.

Here is a sample of optional modules that may be offered.

Semester 1 – students choose four optional modules for the first semester.

  • Advanced Metal Chemistry
  • Advanced Spectroscopic Methods
  • Asymmetric Synthesis
  • Heterocyclic and Pericyclic Chemistry
  • Homogeneous Catalysis
  • Integrating Chemistry
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • Physical Chemistry Laboratory
  • Processing of Materials

Semester 2 – students choose three optional modules for the second semester.

  • Advanced Physical Inorganic Chemistry
  • Blockbuster Solids
  • Chemical Biology
  • Chemical Applications of Electronic Structure Calculations
  • Energy Conversion and Storage
  • Molecular Recognition
  • Natural Products, Biosynthesis and Enzyme Cofactors
  • Reactive Intermediates
  • Surface Science and Heterogeneous Catalysis

Optional modules are subject to change each year, and some may only allow limited numbers of students (see the University's position on curriculum development).

During the final three months of the course, students undertake a research project culminating in a 15,000-word dissertation. The project is supervised by a member of the academic staff, and the project topic and aims will be selected by both supervisor and student. 

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MSc, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MSc.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Upcoming postgraduate visiting days:

  • Wednesday 13 November 2019

Sign up

Virtual events

Find out more about studying at St Andrews, why it's unique and what it will do for your future.

Upcoming virtual events:

  • Sunday 18 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 22 October at 9.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 29 October at 3.15pm (UK time)
  • Tuesday 5 November at 9.15am (UK time)
  • Friday 15 November at 3.15pm (UK time)

Register

Conferences and events

This programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the largest organisation in Europe for advancing the chemical sciences. Supported by a worldwide network of members and an international publishing business, its activities span education, conferences, science policy and the promotion of chemistry to the public. The RSC often organises events and conferences in the Tayside area. 

Funding

Recent Graduate Discount
The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships

After the MSc

Research degrees

In addition to the taught MSc, the School offers a one-year research MSc (Res) and a two-year Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree option in Chemistry.

Many graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. The School of Chemistry offers a large number of fully-funded PhD studentships each year. Key areas of PhD research include:

  • chemical biology
  • materials chemistry
  • molecular synthetic and structural chemistry
  • surface science
  • theoretical chemical physics.

The School hosts the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Critical Resource Catalysis, which provides studentships and innovative training in catalysis research. 

PhD in Chemistry

Careers

Chemistry graduates have gone on to successful careers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries with companies such as:

  • AstraZeneca
  • BP
  • GSK
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Pfizer
  • Shell
  • Siemens

Other career routes outwith a research environment include scientific publishing, patent law, forensic science, IT and energy consultancy.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills. 

Contact information

School of Chemistry
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3800
Email: chempg@st-andrews.ac.uk

Chemistry website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).