Course overview

This MRes in Chemistry is a 12 month research-based masters leading to the award of a Master of Research. Students from countries that are not familiar with the MRes qualification may, alternatively, be awarded an MSc by Research.

  • Are you driven to find clean energy sources?
  • Do you want to help in the fight to develop new medicines?
  • Are you passionate about sustaining a growing population?

This full-time, project-based MRes will help you achieve your goals.

The research project is the focus of the programme. You will be part of the team collaborating and working within a dedicated scientific group. Working in a research environment, our academic experts will guide and mentor you. The twelve-month project allows you to make a valuable contribution to research. You’ll gain report writing skills and produce your own thesis with a maximum of 35,000 words, which will be assessed. 

Research projects available

We conduct pioneering research across the whole spectrum of the chemical sciences. There are a variety of projects you can apply for grouped under four themes:

  • Synthesis and catalysis
  • Biological chemistry
  • Materials
  • Molecular bonding and spectroscopy

See full details of the projects available and supervising academics.


You will have at least 10 documented meetings with your supervisor a year but you can typically expect to see them daily or weekly.

Other school staff are available to support you:

  • Director of Postgraduate Studies
  • Senior Tutor (for pastoral support)
  • Welfare Manager
  • Disability Liaison Officer

The school has a postgraduate forum run by students to discuss anything related to their studies.

We have a student-run society called ChemSoc. They organise academic and social activities.

Exploring sustainable chemistry

Dr Miriam O'Duill brings her passion for research and commitment to sustainable chemistry to the forefront of our MRes programme. Hear about the dynamic interaction with the research group students, hands-on laboratory experiences and collaborative learning options.

Why choose this course?

Supportive environment

Join a research team, work alongside PhD students and post-doctoral staff

Modern facilities

World class research space and instrumentation

including GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory, Biodiscovery Institute, Nanoscale & Microscale Research Centre

World leading research

Join an ‘internationally excellent’ research environment (REF 2021).

Fix global challenges

Work with colleagues using advanced science to solve global problems

Course content

The research project is the focus of the MRes. You will produce your own thesis of up to 35,000 words, which will be assessed.

Research themes, projects and supervisors

Synthesis and catalysis

  • Total Synthesis of the Marine Alkaloid Pinnarine and Related Natural Products.
  • Development of A Photochemically Driven, Modular, Asymmetric Synthesis of Azacycles.
  • Development of photochemical strategies for the functionalisation of alkenes using nitrogen-centred radicals.
  • Development of catalytic methods for the remote functionalisation of alcohols.
  • Total synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Neuro regenerative Natural Products.
  • Rational Design of New Reagents and Catalysts for amine synthesis and applications in pharmaceutical and alkaloid synthesis.
  • Concise synthesis of alkaloid-like molecules from pyridines.
  • Investigating reactivity inspired by terpene biosynthesis.
  • Computational organic reaction modelling and design.
  • Machine learning in organic reaction modelling.
  • Complexes of earth abundant metals for more sustainable catalysis.
  • Low-coordinate transition metal complexes for small molecule activation chemistry.
  • From palladium to iodine - towards sustainable catalysis.
  • Late-stage fluorination of medical imaging probes.
  • Sustainable Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals using New Photo-, Electro- and Thermal Reactors
  • New Approaches to Synthesis of Highly Reactive Organometallic Compounds using Supercritical Fluids and Spectroscopy

Biological chemistry

  • Investigation of peptides and enzymes for polysaccharide degradation.
  • A radical approach to the site-selective modification of peptides and proteins.
  • Algae: Sustainable sources of high value compounds.
  • Development of a targeted drug delivery system for anti-cancer agents.


  • Synthesis, analysis and application of nanomaterials for electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to value products.
  • Nanoparticles for catalysis of hydrogen production.
  • Renewable Monomers and Polymers; helping society make the best use of plastics.
  • Designing new approaches to 3-D printing of polymers.
  • Self-assembled metal-organic cages for catalysis, sensing, and drug delivery.
  • New synthetic strategies towards stimuli-responsive interlocked molecules to underpin the next generation of molecular machines.
  • Synthesis and characterisation of hybrid organic-inorganic clusters for coupled electrocatalysis
  • Computational modelling of heterogeneous catalysis
  • Development of electrolytes and additive for automotive batteries
  • Synthesis of redox molecules for organic batteries

Molecular bonding and spectroscopy

  • Quantum pseudohalides magnets.
  • Computational investigation of nets for spin liquids.
  • When light meets dark: introducing heterogeneous photocatalysts into biocompatible processes
  • New avenues for C-C coupling reactions using heterogeneous photocatalysis
  • Oxidation Mechanisms of Volatile Organic Compounds Emitted by Plants and their Atmospheric Impacts
  • Computational modelling of solvation entropy.
  • Applications of atomic charge densities in quantum chemistry.
  • The study of ionic liquids for thermal transfer
  • The development of supported SILP based systems for decarbonised chemical processing

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

There are no taught modules. You can attend lectures and seminars, taught as part of the School of Chemistry’s standard integrated MSci degree programme.

You are also welcome to select other postgraduate taught modules alongside your research project.

Learn new skills using instrumentation and expanding your scientific knowledge each day, as you progress through your research project.

You will regularly meet with your supervisor both informally and during formal documented meetings. 

How you will be assessed

Your assessment is by a written thesis of up to 35,000 words which is examined by an internal and external examiner. The research project is worth up to 180 credits. 

Contact time and study hours

You will have at least 10 documented meetings with your supervisor a year but you can typically expect to see them daily or weekly.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 in an MSci/MChem or BSc degree
Additional information

Applications are initially assessed and successful applicants are then invited to an interview. 


The application procedure is straight forward and similar to a PhD. You can apply at any time. We recommend you contact potential supervisor(s) to find out more about the research projects available before making your application.

Please get in touch with the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor Professor Ross Denton ( if you have any questions or require more information about the projects available to Master of Research (MRes) students.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply


Qualification MRes (Master of Research)
Home / UK £5,100
International £30,200 or £35,750 depending on the nature of your project

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).


You may be able to get a Postgraduate Masters Loan from the government. Check eligibility and how much you could get.

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

This programme is ideal for students who have already completed a BSc degree and want to gain skills, knowledge and experience in a research environment.

A research degree gives you transferable skills in communication, problem-solving, time management and analysis.

Previous postgraduates have taken up roles including:

  • Research Chemist, Pfizer USA

Others have pursued research careers doing PhDs here at Nottingham in the School of Pharmacy and the School of Chemistry.

Career progression

90% of postgraduates in the School of Chemistry secured work or further study within 15 months of graduating. The average annual salary for these graduates was £30,053*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time, postgraduate, home graduates within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

This content was last updated on Wednesday 06 December 2023. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.