Postgraduate study

Green and Sustainable Chemistry MSc

This course covers all aspects of modern green and sustainable chemistry including feedstocks, energy, sustainable synthesis (including biocatalysis) and industrial process design.
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:1 with significant chemical content
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£7,785 - Terms apply
International fees
£22,815 - Terms apply
University Park Campus



Green sus Chem

  • Learn about the latest developments in sustainable chemistry
  • Benefit from world class facilities and our strong links with industry
  • Study an interdisciplinary programme

Chemistry plays a key role in our search for better medicines to improve healthcare in an ageing population, for safer agrochemicals to aid food production for a growing population, and for advanced materials for new technologies. Our objective is to ensure that chemistry is sustainable.

This course trains a new generation of scientists to find innovative sustainable resource and energy-efficient solutions that have low environmental impact, demonstrate social responsibility and make a positive contribution to economic growth. You’ll cover many aspects of modern sustainable chemistry including:

  • feedstocks
  • energy
  • sustainable synthesis (including biocatalysis)
  • industrial process design

This programme is interdisciplinary. It capitalises on strong established links between the School of Chemistry, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Nottingham Business School to ensure you’re learning from the experts. 

Yiu LU MSc Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Yiu Lu
MSc Green and Sustainable Chemistry
"I am originally from Xi’an in China, and chose the masters course here because of the diversity of the lectures. The best part of studying here is the opportunity to do experiments in the lab. I’ve learned new techniques and broadened my view towards chemistry, and at the same time, developed lots of new ideas."

Full course details

You will develop an excellent knowledge of contemporary methods of synthesis, analysis and process design optimised for both energy and reaction mass efficiency. The course will also equip you with the tools to critically evaluate comparable reaction pathways and make decisions in the design of efficient chemical processes key to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and other chemical-using industries.

You will also learn to make effective use of electronic databases in the searching and retrieval of information, and will develop key skills to analyse complex problems.

Course structure

This degree is a one-year, full-time programme, consisting of lectures, workshops, seminars and an experimental research project. Assessments will take place through coursework throughout the year and in examinations, which usually take place in January and May or June of each year.

You will study 180 credits in total over the year, of which 100 credits are made up of core modules (for details, please see modules tab below).

You will also select 20 credits of optional modules.

A highlight of the course is a two-month, 60-credit summer research project in original experimental work. You will be supervised by one or more academic staff members and will join an active research group. Projects are typically selected in March, and after background literature searching and planning through the closely linked 20-credit module Research Planning and Management, experimental work on the project starts in June.

World-class facilities


We are home to the £15.8m GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory which opened in 2017. The award winning building has been designed to offset the carbon emissions from construction. It houses around 100 researchers with dedicated instrument rooms. This is an example of our commitment to sustainable chemistry as well as providing excellent facilities for our students and researchers. Many of our masters students undertake research in the laboratory.





 There are state-of-the-art facilities in the University for modern teaching and research in clean energy studies, including experts in different areas. I am most grateful to both academic and non-academic staff of the School of Chemistry; they are always willing to help any time I am faced with a challenge.

After I have completed my MSc course, I wish to progress to a PhD in this area of chemistry, and my ultimate ambition is to establish an ethanol production plant in Nigeria.


Arinze Ezugwu, MSc Green and Sustainable Chemistry student



Core modules include:

Introduction to Sustainability (10 credits)
This module provides an introduction to the philosophical framework of sustainability and green chemistry, using concepts such as green chemistry metrics and life cycle analysis.
Energy and Feedstocks (10 credits)
This module outlines the importance of materials in energy generation, storage and transport, and the challenges of identifying feedstock materials.
Sustainable Synthesis: Chemical Approaches (10 credits) 
This module describes how sustainable synthesis can be achieved using modern (catalytic) chemical synthetic methods.
Sustainable Synthesis: Biological Approaches  (10 credits)
This module outlines how sustainable synthesis can be achieved by enzymes and whole cells, both on their own and in combination with other synthetic methods.
Innovation and Technology Transfer (10 credits)
This module identifies the issues involved in taking forward cutting edge research into a business, considering factors such as innovation, intellectual property and management.
From Bench to the Bank (10 credits)
This module shows how entrepreneurship and sustainable chemistry may be applied in a commercial context.
Chemistry in-silico (10 credits)

This module introduces computer-aided molecular design with emphasis on the modelling methods used and their underlying theory.

Research Planning and Management (20 credits)
In this module, students will write a literature review and research plan in preparation for the Summer Research Project. 
Sustainability in Action (10 credits)
In this module, invited lectures from industrial speakers will teach real examples of greener processes in the chemical industry.

Possible optional modules include:

  • Advanced Structural Analysis (10 credits)
  • Power Generation and Carbon Capture (10 credits)
  • Renewable Energy Technologies (10 credits)
  • Energy Efficiency for Sustainability (10 credits)
  • Managing Projects (10 credits)
  • Creative Problem Solving (10 credits)

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies which you would need to factor into your budget. Essential safety equipment is provided.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.



Careers and professional development

Graduates from our masters courses can expect to move into a range of scientific careers, including further study at doctoral level and employment with companies across the chemicals, materials, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Strong industrial links, including industrial participation in the delivery of material and opportunities to carry out industrially supported research projects, will further enhance your employability.


Other graduates choose to progress to PhD study in a related subject area at the University of Nottingham or at other universities.


Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 97.4% of postgraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £29,301 with the highest being £37,000.* 

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK. 

Career prospects and employability

The achievement of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice about how you can use your new skills. 

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops. 


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Mrs Wendy Kirkup

Postgraduate Manager

School of Chemistry,

University of Nottingham,

University Park,



United Kingdom  
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