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Chemistry (MSc by Research)

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

1 October 2024

13 January 2025

14 April 2025

Duration

The maximum duration for an MSc by Research is 1 year (12 months) full-time or 2 years (24 months) part-time with an optional submission pending (writing-up) period of 4 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For September 2024

07 June 2024 for International and Scholarship Students

28 June 2024 for Home Students

For October 2024

07 June 2024 for International and Scholarship Students

28 June 2024 for Home Students

For January 2025

18 October 2024 for International and Scholarship Students

15 November 2024 for Home Students

For April 2025

24 January 2025 for International and Scholarship Students

21 February 2025 for Home Students

About the research degree

A Master of Science (MSc) by Research allows you to undertake a one-year (full-time) research degree. It contains little or no formal taught component. This type of study gives you the chance to explore a research topic over a shorter time than a more in-depth doctoral programme.

Our research degrees are available as full-time, part-time and some are offered distance learning.

Research Master's students choose a specific project to work on and have a greater degree of independence in their work than is the case with a taught Master’s course.

You’ll be expected to work to an approved programme which you will develop in conjunction with your supervisor within the first few months of starting your studies. Whilst undertaking the research project you will also develop your research skills by taking part in training courses and events.

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members. The research supervisor will advise and support you on your project.

At the end of the project, you write up your findings in the form of a short thesis of around 25,000 words, which will then be examined.

On successful completion, you will be awarded your degree and if you have enjoyed this taste of research, you may then decide to apply for the full research doctoral degree (PhD).

Entry requirements

The normal entry requirements for enrolment on a MSc by Research is an upper second honours degree (2.1) from a UK university or a qualification of an equivalent standard, in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Why choose Huddersfield?


There are many reasons to choose the University of Huddersfield and here are just five of them:

  1. We were named University of the Year by Times Higher Education in 2013.
  2. Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of permanent teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Authority.
  3. Our courses have been accredited by 41 professional bodies.
  4. 94.6% of our postgraduate students go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating.
  5. We have world-leading applied research groups in Biomedical Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

Most geochemical processes occur at the mineral-fluid interfaces. Characterization of these interfaces and their interaction with contaminants (including radionuclides and heavy metals) and pollutants is therefore crucial to the understanding and the control of any interface process whether involved in geochemical processes or in any industrial and technological approaches that see mineral phases at the heart of their applications. This PhD will address the modelling challenges in the field, covering approaches that are capable of gaining insights into the structure and the processes, including but not limited to adsorption, transport and reactivity, at the interfaces of minerals with the surrounding environment. Applications to contaminants and pollutants remediation, construction, mineral formation and uptake in biological media, human healthcare and of course geochemistry could all be considered. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches to contaminants and pollutants at mineral/material interfaces with focus on the role of structure, adsorption and reactivity. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. The supervisor’s research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum is required but can be discussed based on the characteristics of the project and student’s interest.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Biomedical materials engineering develops biomaterials that are manufactured to be suitable for use as medical devices. Nanomaterials of oxides, metals, carbon-based materials (i.e. graphene, nanotubes, etc.), and polymers make up the vast majority of biomaterials. For practical uses (sensors, biosensors, nanozymes etc.) nanomaterials are usually chemically modified at the surface forming composite materials. Unlike, the bulk properties of these materials which are generally well known, the properties arising at the nanoscale from surfaces and interfaces in contact to the biological environment are peculiar to the system. The chemistry of surfaces and interfaces and their characterization are therefore key to a quantitative understanding of the materials properties. Controlling such properties is imperative to allow for the prediction of the materials behaviour when immerse in the biological environment. This will not only affect biomedical processes at the materials interfaces but also any industrial and technological applications that see such systems at the heart of their approaches. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale and microscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the surfaces and interfaces of biomedically relevant materials. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. The supervisor’s research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum is required but can be discussed based on the characteristics of the project and student’s interest.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Key factors in modelling energy materials are related to their properties. The modelling of transport properties in polycrystalline materials is key to understand performance of solid-state electrolytes. The interfaces and grain boundaries control such properties. Most interfaces are not pristine and dopants are likely to segregate, thus impacting materials’ properties. Grain boundaries are structural features that can enhance conductivity or blocks transport across the interface, depending on the nature of the material considered. Here, the segregation behaviour is highly dependent on the grain boundary structure, and there is scope to control the transport properties by changing the structure these interfaces. Grain boundary engineering will be at the core of this project. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the interfaces of materials for energy generation. We will be using molecular modelling based on classical and ab initio techniques. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. The supervisor’s research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum is required but can be discussed based on the characteristics of the project and student’s interest.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Key factors in modelling nuclear materials are related to their properties. The student can choose topics related to nuclear materials for energy generation, or their storage and disposal. In polycrystalline nuclear materials, most interfaces are not pristine, and dopants and fission products are likely to segregate, impacting the mass and thermal transport properties at the grain boundaries. This ultimately affects the way we engineer compositions that can better sustain the extreme conditions of the surrounding environments. As nuclear materials are exposed to extreme environments, corrosion may occur at their surfaces. The effect of the environment on the surfaces is key to understand corrosion for the long-term storage and disposal of nuclear materials. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the surfaces and interfaces of materials for nuclear applications. We will be using molecular modelling based on classical and ab initio techniques. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. The supervisor’s research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum are required but can be discussed based on the characteristics of the project and student’s interest.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Key factors in modelling catalytic materials are related to their surface properties. Surface morphology is known to affect catalytic activity. Here one of the key challenges is to identify strategies to enhance the expression of such surfaces and also to prevent their disappearance over time. To understand how surface composition affects surface catalysis, we will be using molecular modelling to predict surface composition at relevant conditions of temperature and pressure. By mapping the energetics of the interactions, we can calculate temperature of desorption and predict nanoparticle morphology of catalytically relevant oxides. The PhD student will undertake novel research using multiscale computational approaches capable of gaining nanoscale insights into the chemistry, structure and processes at the surfaces of materials for catalysis. We will be using molecular modelling based on classical and ab initio techniques. The details of the project will be discussed with the candidate and the project will be tailored based on the candidate’s research interest. The supervisor’s research outputs: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=jAUrSBQAAAAJ&hl=en

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum is required but can be discussed based on the characteristics of the project and student’s interest.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

This research will be in the area of synthetic organic chemistry and will focus specifically on the synthesis of heterocyclic natural products. The targets of this project are the indolizidine and pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These systems are of interest in the possible treatment of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes and viral infections such as AIDS, and some of them have the potential to function as potent analgesics or as potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. Examples of such compounds include the well-known "poison frog alkaloids".

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

This topic is in the area of synthetic organic chemistry used to target heterocyclic products with medicinal applications. The heterocyclic targets include pyrrolo-fused natural products such as the pyrrolobenzodiazepines and their sulfur analogues, beta-sultams, homotropanes, isoflavones, oxadiazoles and aza-sugars. The biological activities that we are interested in include anti-tumour compounds, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory compounds that target diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3000 will be required for this research topic

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

All major areas of chemistry are covered with areas of strength including: • synthetic organic chemistry • physical organic chemistry • carbohydrates, proteins and enzyme chemistry • organometallic and supramolecular chemistry • heterogeneous catalysis and adsorption • thermal methods of analysis and synthesis • materials chemistry

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts’ which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You will need to complete a research proposal outlining your areas of interest and when this is submitted along with your research degree application form we will look for the academics within the University who have the expertise and knowledge to supervise you and guide you through your research degree.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Researcher Environment

The University of Huddersfield has a thriving research community made up of over 1,350 postgraduate research students. We have students studying on a part-time and full-time basis from all over the world with around 43% from overseas and 57% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through undertaking research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills which are current and relevant to your specialist area.

Find out more about our research staff and centres

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

When you are offered a place on a research degree, your offer will include confirmation of your supervisory team, and the topic you will be researching and will be governed by our terms & Conditions, student handbook and relevant policies. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Whilst the University will use reasonable efforts to ensure your supervisory team remains the same, sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your team for reasons outside the University’s control, for example if your supervisor leaves the University, or suffers from long term illness. Where this is the case, we will discuss these difficulties with you and seek to either put in place a new supervisory team, or help you to transfer to another research facility, in accordance with our Student Protection Plan.

Changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, for example the University being unable to access it’s buildings due to fire, flood or pandemic, or the University no longer being able to provide specialist equipment. Where this is the case, we will discuss these issues with you and agree any necessary changes.

Your research project is likely to evolve as you work on it and these minor changes are a natural and expected part of your study. However, we may need to make more significant changes to your topic of research during the course of your studies, either because your area of interest has changed, or because we can no longer support your research for reasons outside the University’s control. If this is the case, we will discuss any changes in topic with you and agree these in writing. If you are an international student, changing topics may affect your visa or ATAS clearance and if this is the case we will discuss this with you before any changes are made.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.