Postgraduate study
Explore the latest developments in sustainable chemistry on our interdisciplinary programme.
MSc Green and Sustainable Chemistry
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



Writing on a glass board in a lab
Key facts

  • Explore the latest developments in sustainable chemistry
  • Benefit from world class facilities and our strong links with industry
  • Learn from the experts on our interdisciplinary programme

Explore green and sustainable chemistry

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.

Be part of a new generation of scientists being trained 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.

Discover many aspects of modern sustainable chemistry including:

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

Learn from the experts in this interdisciplinary programme which capitalises on strong established links between the School of Chemistry, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Nottingham Business School. 

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

Unlock your potential

You will develop an excellent knowledge of contemporary methods of synthesis, analysis and process design optimised for both energy and reaction mass efficiency.

Equip yourself 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.

Learn to make effective use of electronic databases in the searching and retrieval of information, and 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.

Undertake original research

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

Many of our masters students undertake research in the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory which opened at the University in 2017.

Designed to offset the carbon emissions from construction, the award-winning building demonstrates our commitment to sustainable chemistry as well as providing excellent facilities for our students and researchers.

The building houses around 100 researchers with dedicated instrument rooms.

GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral 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.
Sustainability Research Project

This module provides the opportunity to undertake a research project in chemistry. A wide range of projects will be available and you will be offered a selection of research areas.

All projects will require a review of relevant published work and the planning and execution of a research topic under the guidance of a supervisor and an assessor.

You will present your findings orally and in a written report.


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 above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

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

Additional costs

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

Masters student loans of up to £10,906 are available for taught and research masters courses. Applicants must ordinarily live in the UK or EU.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international and EU 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 you apply for your course with enough 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

  • It is thought that by 2040, an average Chinese household will consume nearly twice as much electricity as today (World Energy Outlook 2017)
  • Market growth in the chemicals industry continues. In India it is projected to reach $304 bn by 2025 (Invest India)
  • An increasing world population could lead to a $12 trillion market opportunity in food and agriculture; cities; energy and materials; and health and wellbeing (UK Chemistry Growth)

What these statistics from reports tell us is that chemistry is going to be at the centre of solving some of the world's biggest challenges. It is an exciting time to join the industry where you can make a difference.

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.

Explore it - Virtual Nottingham
Get in touch

+44 (0)115 951 3481

Make an enquiry


Mrs Wendy Kirkup

Postgraduate Manager

School of Chemistry,

University of Nottingham,

University Park,



United Kingdom  
Science videos

Science videos


Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry