Dynamic and research led with a unique interdisciplinary and international approach to research in the Chemical Sciences.

Chemistry in Aberdeen has been recognised as a subject in its own right since 1793, one of the oldest Chemistry Departments in the UK.

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 school attracts research students and research visitors from all over the world.

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.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MSc or PhD

Our Research

We have strong links with industry, which is reflected by major industrial sponsorship to fund research in drug discovery, catalysis, biomaterials, construction materials, and environmental analysis related to the oil and gas industry.

Our facilities are extensive with well-equipped laboratories and workshops.

The Trace Element Speciation Laboratory (TESLA) contains a unique collection of instruments for the analysis and speciation of elements involved in environmental and biological processes.

The Biodiscovery Centre is equipped with state of the art NMR (600MHz) and high resolution mass spectrometric facilities for analysis of natural products.

We have international research links with many European countries, some sponsored by EU Framework grants, and Universities in the USA and Asia.

Research Interests

MSc and PhD Chemistry

MSc by Research

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.

Entry Requirements

To apply for this programme must have at least a good Honours degree in a related subject or discipline.


The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

Fees and Funding

View the tuition fee rates

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Postgraduate Research School
University of Aberdeen
Crombie Hall
AB24 3TS