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Graduate Admissions

Interested in a PhD or MPhil in the Department of Chemistry?

The Chemistry Department at Cambridge is one of the highest profile research environments in the world for chemical sciences and we offer our graduate students many exciting opportunities to explore their passions in these fields to the highest levels. 


Graduate Admissions Open Day 2016

Our Open Day this year for prospective graduate applicants will be held on Friday 21 October. It will be a day of inspiring research talks, tours of the labs and facilities, poster sessions and refreshments. Coming along is a great way to see what the Department has to offer its MPhil and PhD students. Although the full day is free to attend, you will need to make your own arrangements to get here and cover your own costs. You can download a PDF of the accompanying brochure here. Please note, there is no parking on site.

Register to attend the Graduate Admissions Open Day here

The schedule will be as follows:

10:00-10:30 Welcome Talks

10:30-12:15 Synthesis Chemistry – Prof Matthew Gaunt, Prof David Spring, Dr Robert Phipps, Prof Jonathan Goodman, Dr Nick Bampos

10:45-12:15 Materials Chemistry  Prof Jonathan Nitschke, Dr Erwin Reisner, Dr Andrew Wheatley, Prof Clare Grey, Prof Dominic Wright

12:15-2:00 Tours, buffet lunch & poster session

2:00-4:00 Physical Chemistry  Prof Tuomas Knowles, Dr Silvia Vignolini, Prof David Klenerman, Dr Steven Lee, Dr Stuart Clarke, Dr Alex Archibald, Dr Stephens Jenkins

2:00-3:30 Theoretical Chemistry  Prof David Wales, Dr Lucy Colwell, Prof Michiel Sprik, Prof Robert Glen, Prof Stuart Althorpe

2:00-3:45 Biological Chemistry  Dr Gonçalo Bernardes, Dr Sophie Jackson, Prof Shankar Balasubramanian, Prof Christopher Dobson, Dr Paul Barker, Dr Finian Leeper


Applying to study for an MPhil or PhD in Chemistry

Prospective graduate students seeking funding from the Department or University must  create their application in the new Applicant Portal on or after 5th September 2016 accessed through the University’s Graduate Admissions website. This will include the Department Application Form, which can be accessed through the portal or downloaded here

The deadline for applications is November 15th 2016.

Applications will be received by the Chemistry Department when all Supporting Documentation has been uploaded e.g. Department application form, two references (uploaded by your referees), and transcripts etc. Once received, your application will be circulated to any named potential supervisors. It will also be reviewed by the Research Interest Group (RIG) panel selected on your Department application form. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed. We intend to begin making conditional offers early in January 2017. Competition for funding is strong and places are limited.

Doctoral Training Programmes that the Chemistry Department is involved with may have earlier (or later) deadlines. Please check the appropriate course details.

Applicants who do not wish to apply for Departmental funding or University scholarships may apply at any time. However, competition for places is severe. Early applications are advised and are likely to receive priority. 

Please direct any questions or requests for further guidance to our Graduate Student Advisor.


MPhil & Doctoral Training Programmes

In addition to the direct routes into research study, the Chemistry Department is also engaged with a number of MPhil and PhD training programmes. Many of these offer full funding for eligible and successful applicants. MPhils in Micro & Nanotechnology Enterprise and Scientific Computing, as well as PhDs in Nano Science & Technology, Materials, Graphene and Sensor Technologies are offered. PhDs are also available with Cambridge Earth System Science programme. For applicants looking for biological based research opportunities, the Chemistry Department is involved with a number of interdisciplinary programmes including those funded by the BBSRC, the Cambridge Cancer Centre. > Find out more


Financial Support

The Chemistry Department is able to support a limited number of eligible graduates with tuition fees and maintenance costs that are associated with their research studies. The wider University also offers many additional funding opportunities for both domestic and international students. > Find out more 

43% of graduate students admitted [to the University] in 2014/15 received a scholarship or bursary from funds administered by the collegiate University, 41% of these students received a full award that covered both fees and living costs."  


International students

The Chemistry Department has a large international population of researchers. All prospective graduate applicants are advised to check current criteria set out by the University regarding English language requirements, international qualifications and visas before applying.