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MSc Chemistry (by research)

Explore a research project of your interest, supported by academic experts.

  Length Start dates (semester dates)
MSc by research

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Apply for MSc by research


At York, our renowned research groups play a leading role on both the national and international stages. If your passion lies in research, our MSc Chemistry (by research) degree provides the opportunity for academic independence. You can focus on your research project but also benefit from the support of your research group and the wider Department.

Your research

The focus of your work will be an independent research project. This will take 12 months to complete when taken full-time, or 24 months when taken part-time. Our academics are working on a wide range of projects suitable for research students to join.


You will be required to write up the results of your research project in a thesis of between 15,000 and 20,000 words which will be examined by at least two examiners. In some cases an oral examination may be requested, but this is at the discretion of the examiners.

Although there are no formal taught modules for an MSc by research, as a research student, you'll be required to complete our researcher graduate training programme.

Choosing a project

You would usually apply to work with a supervisor in your chosen area of interest, who would help you develop a research project. We also offer projects for PhD students, some of which may be appropriate for the MSc by research.

9th in the UK for our research

with the majority of our research and impact rated as world leading, according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021)

Athena Swan Gold award

We've been recognised as a champion of gender equality in chemistry for over a decade.

Training and support

You'll receive a comprehensive welcome and induction programme to help you get settled in. You'll have a dedicated supervisor who'll meet with you regularly to provide support as well as an assigned Graduate Student Mentor. There are regular research group seminars and group meetings in addition to the comprehensive departmental seminar programme

You'll have a dedicated desk space in your department, close to your lab and supervisor, facilitating day-to-day communication with access to incredible facilities as well as access to departmental and related analytical services which are mostly free.

There is also a Wild Overseas Scholars Scheme which will allow you to visit prestigious international research groups to carry out work not possible in York.

Course location

This course is run by the Department of Chemistry. 

You will be based in the Department of Chemistry on Campus West where all of our facilities are housed. 

Careers and skills

An MSc by research will show potential employers that you have the motivation and commitment to complete a substantial piece of work independently. The MSc programme can enhance your technical abilities and chemical knowledge, as well as improve your transferable skills, making you a strong potential employee. Our previous MSc students have gone on to work for a variety of chemical companies as well as other industries and sectors.

Our dedicated careers team offers specific support including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work. It may be possible for you to transfer from the MSc by research to a PhD.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirement for the MSc by research is a minimum of a 2:2 or overseas equivalent in a relevant subject chemistry, or chemistry related depending on the nature of the project. Please note that if you are a Student Visa holder, a course transfer can have implications for your visa so you should seek advice before submitting a request.

If you have relevant professional or academic experience we may take this into account.

If you are an international applicant, please check the entry requirements for your country.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

Check your English language requirements


Apply for MSc Chemistry (by Research)

  • Take a look at the research interests of our staff to identify some specific members of staff with whom you would like to work. If you wish to contact any potential supervisor directly prior to making your application, please feel free to do so.
  • Include the name(s) of the supervisor(s) whose research groups you are interested in joining, and the project title if you are applying for a specific project. You can list more than one. 
  • There is no need to provide a full research proposal although applicants not applying for advertised projects should give an indication of areas in which they would be interested in working.

Take a look at the supporting documents you may need for your application.

Find out more about how to apply.

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Why York

Discover more about our researchers, facilities and why York is the perfect choice for your research degree.

Graduate Research School

Connect with researchers across all disciplines to get the most out of your research project.

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