Three chemistry PhD students working in laboratories

Chemistry PhD opportunities

If you love chemistry, you might like to think about doing advanced research into an area you are especially interested in and study for a chemistry PhD. The Department of Chemistry offers a wide range of chemistry PhD projects to students living in the UK, EU or further afield.

What is a chemistry PhD?

A chemistry PhD is a postgraduate research degree, normally done after an undergraduate degree. It gives you the opportunity to do some advanced independent research, in close collaboration with a supervisor, into an area of chemistry that interests you.

What PhD projects are available?

We have a small number of PhD projects with guaranteed funding for UK/EU students. 

There are a wide range of projects for students who can fund their own studies.

Click on the link below to find details of the PhD projects available: 

Find a PhD 

Why do a chemistry PhD?

You can gain a huge sense of achievement from completing and writing up an in-depth piece of research. It will also provide you with a tool for a range of careers. Read what some of our PhD students say about their studies.

How long is a chemistry PhD?

A chemistry PhD will take you three to four years to complete. Most students write up and submit a thesis within a year of completing their lab based research. Most funded PhDs start on 1st October. Externally funded projects may become available throughout the year.

Degree Full time Part time Writing up period Approximate word length of thesis Assessment
MSc by Research 1 year 2 years 3 months 15,000 - 25,000 

Thesis (An oral examination can be requested in some circumstances)

MPhil 2 years 4 years 12 months 50,000 - 75,000  Thesis and oral examination
PhD 3 years 6 years 12 months 70,000 - 100,000  Thesis and oral examination

How will I pay for a chemistry PhD?

Funding is available for some projects and we offer a small number of scholarships to outstanding students. If you can fund your own studies or you have been awarded a scholarship from your own country, you can work with a prospective supervisor to find a mutually suitable project. Click here to see a full list of academic staff research interests.

I'd like to apply for a PhD

If you'd like to apply for a PhD with us, you'll need to submit a formal application. Follow this link for further guidance and instructions on how to do this.

Equality and Diversity

We are committed to gender equality in higher education through the Athena SWAN charter. In fact we were the first department in the UK to achieve a coveted gold Athena SWAN award. Read more on our Equality and Diversity webpages.


If you have any questions, or require any further information about postgraduate study here with us in the Department of Chemistry, please do not hesitate to contact us

Female PhD student carrying out mass spectrometry. Photo: Baluga Photography