Frequently Asked Questions

The decision of where you choose to pursue your postgraduate studies is an important one and there are many important factors to take into consideration. The Chemistry Graduate Office is always happy to receive enquiries from applicants and potential applicants so please feel free to email chemgrad@york.ac.uk with any questions you may have.

We have tried to answer some of the most common questions here:

How do I apply for postgraduate study in Chemistry?

Applications are made electronically via our online application system.

You will be asked to upload your supporting documents to our online system such as your degree certificates, English language certificate, CV and personal statement. You should also enter the email addresses of your referees so that we can obtain your references promptly.

When do the courses start?

The majority of our funded studentships begin in October, as do the University's Overseas scholarships so students on these awards have to start in October. Students on our taught MSc in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology also have to start in October due to teaching arrangements on the first part of the course.

The majority of postgraduate students commence their studies at the beginning of October. This is when we run our induction programme which covers a lot of the information and training that you need, such as health and safety, planning your research etc. The University also runs a variety of welcome events each October to really help new students settle in.

However, we appreciate that not everyone is able to start in October, and research programmes offer the flexibility to start at other points throughout the year if required. This would be by arrangement with your supervisor and the Chemistry Graduate Office.

When should I submit my application? Is there a deadline?

We are happy to accept applications for postgraduate study all year round. However, early applications are recommended to ensure that you do not miss out on any deadlines for any funding for which you are applying or being nominated for.

Applications open at the end of October each year for entry in the following year.

For UK/EU students, the Graduate Awards Panel usually meet in February to award any available studentships. If further funding is still available, they may meet again around April.

For overseas students, the University Scholarships for Overseas students usually have a deadline of April for entry in October. You would need to be in receipt of an offer before applying, so early applications are advisable.

Students who will need to obtain a visa in order to study in the UK should submit their applications in good time so that they have time to make the necessary arrangments.

Do I need to provide a research proposal with my application?

There is no need for you to provide a full research proposal with your application unless you particularly wish to. However, it is advisable for you to provide a personal statement which includes your experience, interests and your motivation for wanting to work in your chosen research area. PhD places are very competitive so a personal statement is your opportunity to highlight to a supervisor why you would be the ideal candidate.

PhD projects are advertised on our webpages. These are projects that have been approved for funding (although this is not always confirmed at this stage), and are usually only open to applicants from the UK and EU.
Overseas applicants are welcome to apply for the projects, but would need to be able to provide funding from another source.

Supervisors are also happy to offer alternative to projects from students who can self fund if you have a specific area of interest.
When submitting your application, you should state the name(s) of some members of staff with whom you would be most interested in working.
The research interests of all our members of academic staff are on our web pages.

I do not yet have all the documents I need for my application. What should I do?

It is helpful if all documents can be provided with your application if possible. However, we understand that often applicants are waiting for results or certificates and not not have the information available straight away. If this is the case, you can still submit your application with the information you do have so that we can begin to assess it.

The Chemistry Graduate Office will contact you when the application is received and confirm what documentation is still required. You should then add the information as soon as you get it by uploading it to your online application.

How long before I know the outcome of my application?

This is likely to depend on other factors, particularly if you are applying for funding.

We aim to process your application as quickly as we can, as long as all necessary documentation and references have been received. However, we are often unable to make an official offer until we know that sufficient funding is available.

We appreciate that this can sometimes be frustrating for applicants, but we endeavour to keep applicants updated via email throughout the application process.

Will I have to attend an interview?

Supervisors will consider applications for funded positions and will invite shortlisted (UK) students to interview before deciding who to nominate for interview. Those students who are not available to visit York may be asked to give a telephone or Skype interview instead.

Overseas applicants are unlikely to be asked to interview unless you happen to already be in the UK. However, a telephone or Skype interview may be requested at the discretion of the potential supervisor in order to find out more about your experience and research interests.

At the discretion of the Course Director, applicants for the MSc in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Indsutrial Technology may be asked to interview in person or by telephone or Skype depending on your location. You should ensure that you provide a personal statement with your application detailing your experiences, ability and motivation to do the course.

What entry requirements do I need to meet?

The MSc in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology requires a minimum of a 2:2 or equivalent in a chemistry related subject.

Applicants for Research Programmes should have, or expect to receive a minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent in a chemistry related subject.

However, other relevant experience and circumstances can also be taken into account and we are happy to consider applications from those who have taken alternative routes but have the required knowledge and experience for any of our postgraduate programmes.

Please note that funded positions are especially competitive and only the strongest applicants (2:1/First) are likely to be nominated for funding.

My first language is not English. Can I still apply?

We welcome applications from all over the world and are always keen to hear from students from outside of the UK.

If English is not your first language, you will need to meet the minimum English Language Requirements of the University and the UK Border Agency.

For Research Programmes, the Department requires a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each component.

From 2012 entry, the MSc in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology will require applicants to have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.

If students still wish to improve their English Language skills when they arrive in York, the University's Writing and Language Skills Centre provides additional training and support, and all non-UK students are given a number of credits to use for this purpose.

What funding can I apply for?

The costs of postgraduate study include the tuition fees and your living expenses.

There is a variety of funding opportuntities available for students from the UK, EU and Overseas.

Further details can be found on our webpages about funding for Research Programmes and our Taught MSc.

Please note that although every effort is made to try and secure funding for strong applicants, this funding is extremely limited and therefore very compeitive. It is therefore advisable for applicants to also look in to other sources of funding that may be available to them.

What else is involved in postgraduate study?

The main focus of your postgraduate studies will be your chosen course or research project. However, it is important that you also gain additional transferable skills that are valued by employers to enable you to continue along your chosen career path. The Department, and the University is committed to providing you with these additional skills to enhance your employability and you will find there are numerous opportunities for Training and Career Development.