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Department of Chemistry

Research degrees

The Chemistry Department offers two research degrees:

  • Ph.D.
  • M.Sc.

Both research degrees may be completed on a part-time basis.

Please note, we do not offer taught postgraduate courses.

Ph.D.  A large majority of those beginning postgraduate study in Durham (typically around 30 - 35 per year) intend to work for a Ph.D. degree, which normally requires between 36 and 48 months of full-time study depending on the programme.  The degree is awarded on the basis of the presentation and oral examination of a thesis.  Quarterly and annual monitoring of progress combined with a Staff-Student on-line blog system for regular meeting recording ensures satisfactory performance prior to progression to the next year of study.

M.Sc. This research programme usually takes 12 months to complete.  The degree is awarded on the basis of the preparation and examination of a thesis and an oral examination (where necessary), together with successful completion of the Department's postgraduate training programme.

Postgraduates make a vital contribution to the Department's research while also developing a variety of skills in chemistry and transferable skills in other areas such as oral and poster presentations (both in Durham and at conferences), report and paper writing, research methodology, team working, public engagement in science, and health and safety, for example.  Many of these skills are obtained through the Department's extensive postgraduate training programme, which is tailored to an individual student's needs.

Our world-leading research in the Chemistry Department at Durham encompasses all of the traditional areas of chemistry and many less traditional topics, and includes both fundamental and applied work. Very many of our projects are multidisciplinary in nature, with researchers collaborating with a broad spectrum of academics and industrialists world-wide. 

The Department's research is divided into the following broad areas:

A description of some of the current postgraduate research topics within the Department may be found here.

Our work leads to research papers published in internationally-leading scientific journals, research monographs and to patents.  Recognition of our science is reflected by the fact that our research workers are in great demand for giving research seminars at other universities and research institutes, and at research conferences throughout the world.  The Department is proud of its publication record with more than 180 research papers being published every year.