Chemistry in Aberdeen has been recognised as a subject in its own right since 1793, making this one of the oldest Chemistry Departments in the country.
The Department has a wide range of modern equipment, notably a state-of-the-art thermal analysis laboratory, two electron microscopes, an electron probe microanalyser, powder and single crystal x-ray diffractometers (including a Bruker SMART 1000 CCD area detector single crystal instrument and D8 Advance diffractometer with high temperature and texture analysis facilities), three liquids n.m.r. spectrometers (250, 400 and 600 MHz and 400MHz solids), three ICP systems (including the only ICP-TOFMS instrument in the UK and a laser ablation attachment), mass spectrometers, Laser Raman with microscope, an i.r. scanning microscope, optical microscopes, e.s.r., i.r., u.v. and visible spectrometers, GC-MS, plus equipment for a.c. impedance spectroscopy and non-standard materials synthesis.
Most postgraduate degrees are by research, but include compulsory PG lecture courses, seminar programmes and research group meetings which involve students in Departmental life. In addition to the research postgraduate degrees, the department offers two MSc taught programmes in Environmental Analytical Chemistry and Oil and Gas Chemistry.
The research school has a strongly international flavour, with research students and a steady stream of research visitors from all over the world. Many of these international links grow into collaborations lasting for many years. There are existing links with European Universities which are expanding through the Framework 7 EU funding initiatives. In addition, we currently have many industrially funded PhD students in all areas of our research.
The Graduate School offers an induction programme and skills training opportunities for all research students to support their studies and to help with career planning.
Students undertake a research project under the guidance of an academic supervisor and, unlike a postgraduate taught degree by coursework and dissertation, there are no formal lectures or seminars and work is not formally examined until after the final thesis is submitted. The thesis is required to display evidence of originality or present a satisfactory, orderly and critical exposition of existing knowledge within the field concerned.
A PhD is a Doctorate of Philosophy, a prestigious qualification that demonstrates talent, academic excellence and a thirst for knowledge. It usually culminates in a thesis based on research carried out over the course of 3-4 years. The research must “make a distinct contribution to knowledge and afford evidence of originality as shown by the exercise of independent critical powers”. There are no formal lectures or seminars but your work will be periodically qualitatively monitored by the Graduate School.
Graduate School Admissions Unit
College of Physical Sciences
University of Aberdeen
Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen is dynamic, young, and research led with a unique interdisciplinary and international approach to research in the Chemical Sciences.
Research is organised into two broad themes:
These two themes are not exclusive; staff work in both themes, and both are supported by activities in Computational Chemistry.
For a full list of current PhD vacancies please click here.
Example PhD opportunities
The nature of our research creates good industrial contacts with many job opportunities; many of our PhD graduates move on to industrial posts in the UK and abroad.
Some of the areas where chemists are to be found include:
However, in following a chemistry degree, students also acquire many other valuable general skills, for example numeracy, data handling, computing and IT, in evaluating written material and in presenting both written and verbal reports of their work.
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
ABERDEEN AB24 3TU