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Durham University

Department of Chemistry

Entrance requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Ph.D. (by research): We welcome applications from motivated and enthusiastic students who have demonstrated excellent research potential.
    The normal requirement for entry is an upper Second Class Honours Master's Degree (e.g. M.Chem. or M.Sci.).
  • M.Sc. (by research): Upper Second Class or better Master's or Bachelor's Degree.

Applicants with other qualifications may be considered on an individual basis.

Comparisons of academic entrance requirements and academic qualifications for non-UK applicants may be found here.

Language Requirements

Applicants whose native language is not English will be asked to supply evidence of their competence in the English language such as a certificate from one of the following tests:

  • IELTS: an overall score of 6.5 with no individual component under 6.0, or
  • Cambridge Proficiency (CPE): Grade C (for tests taken before January 2015)
  • Cambridge Advanced (CAE): Grade A (for tests taken before January 2015)
  • Cambridge IGCSE First Language English at Grade C or above
  • Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language at Grade B or above
  • GCSE English Language at grade C or above
  • Pearson Test of English (overall score 62 (with no score less than 56 in each component)
  • TOEFL iBT (non-Tier 4 visa applicants only): scores of at least 92 (with no component under 23)

Normally we require tests to have been taken within the last two years prior to application.

If your language skills fall just below the standards given above, an offer may still be made, but it will be conditional upon you successfully completing an intensive English language course before you start your research (pre-sessional) and/or a course that continues through your first year of study. Since pre-sessional courses must be completed before the start of your academic programme, it is important that you allow sufficient time to be able to fulfil such requirements (they start normally in July). Please note that these courses do incur additional costs. Information about English language courses offered at Durham is available from Durham University English Language Centre at

If you have not taken one of the above tests, you should arrange to do so without delay. Our preferred test is the British Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS), which can be taken in most countries.