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Current Postgraduate Students


First years in the Chemistry Department should aim to attend as many sessions that look interesting and relevant to you (guided by your supervisor where appropriate).

Note: it is highly recommended that all compulsory courses have been completed ahead of your first year report submission and you will be required to declare this on your declaration form during submission. This may then provide a talking point in your end of year oral examination.

Postgraduate Courses in the Department of Chemistry

Postgraduate Education in the Department of Chemistry is based on core topics running annually and other specialist topics running on an ad hoc basis, providing each student with at least one opportunity to attend each of the courses during their time here. To keep up to date on courses available please visit the the University Training Booking System (UTBS). You will also receive reminders through weekly PG Digest emails, so please keep a look out! If you have any suggestions or ideas on course provisions that you would like, please contact the Postgraduate Team.

Our training programme has evolved over the last few years and will continue to do so based upon feedback/ consultation:

  • Student feedback
  • Recommendations from the Postgraduate Education Committee
  • Consultation with each RIG followed by discussion

Some courses are categorised based on course type. Below are the abbreviations for these categories:

  • Information Systems (IS)
  • Foundation Skills (FS)
  • Careers Programme (CP)
  • Characterisation Techniques (CT)

If you have problems accessing the courses, please e-mail the Postgraduate Education Team. If you have any content questions or cannot find the materials for a course you have attended, please e-mail the person who delivered the course to request that they upload it, copying in Postgraduate Education.

We strongly recommend that you take advice at a very early stage from your Supervisor on the selection of courses and training, that will be best suited to you. Making the right, informed, decisions early on will help you plan your time effectively and enrich your overall postgraduate experience here.

Here's what is on offer:

  • Compulsory Courses

The following courses in the table are compulsory for first year PhD students. Those that are bolded are compulsory for MPhil students. Please find all details on how to access the course on the University Booking Training System

You will be required to declare that you have attended all compulsory courses at the time of your First Year Report submission, so please do ensure that you complete this compulsory element of your first year probationary period if you are a PhD student. Some of these courses are self-study and can be completed in your own time.

- Chemistry Library Orientation 

- Getting the Most out of Your Departmental Characterisation Facilities

- Research Information Skills for Postgraduates

- Research Data Management

Successful Completion of a Research Degree

- Research Ethics and Integrity

- Unconscious Bias

- Equality & Diversity in the University

Science Communication and Public Engagement

  • Optional Courses

Although not compulsory, there are a number of highly recommended courses available, which can support your professional growth and development. These include courses such as " Scientific Writing", "Intercultural Awareness", "Leadership" and many more. Some of these courses are not run ever year but at least triennially, allowing you to attend at some point during your studies. You will also be reminded of any new courses as part of the PG Weekly Digest email so be sure to check these emails for any updates. Details of courses run in each academic year can be found on the University Training Booking System (UTBS), usually published at the start of Michaelmas Term of each academic year.

Undergraduate Lectures in the Department of Chemistry

All undergraduate lectures are available to you should you need to attend to revise and improve your chemistry background knowledge and theory. This will help you to complete you postgraduate studies more efficiently. Details of courses which are available can be found in the undergraduate course guides. If you are unsure which courses are relevant to your area of research, please consult your Principal Investigator (PI) or day-to-day lab supervisor for further advice. A full schedule of courses can be found on Timetable.

What's on offer across the university?

RDP offers you a wide variety of workshops, courses and events that help you in becoming a professional researcher. In order to provide you with some guidance on what to engage with, the RDP have developed the  Cambridge Researcher Development Framework (CamRDF). Personal Development Planning is the formal process of reflecting upon your learning, performance and achievements, as well as planning your personal, educational and career development: in short, considering the career path you would like to pursue and the skills and actions you need to achieve it. To assist you in this aim, as part of the compulsory elements carried out by all students during their first year, you should complete the Researcher Development "Getting Started" Module, which has been designed as a starting point for your researcher development.

An impartial, knowledgeable and dedicated service that helps students maximise their employability during their studies - whether in academia, industry or beyond, helping you make the most of study experience at Cambridge.

The Centre supports the teaching and learning of languages throughout the University. More specifically, The Language Centre CULP programme provides a range of courses in 18 languages for students and staff of the University. 

The Chemistry Department relies upon the excellent selection of computing courses provided by the central University Information Service.  These can also be booked through UTBS however, you need to be really quick to sign up as places are limited and are taken up very quickly. There are also a selection of self-taught courses where you can either download the course material or access via Moodle depending on the course. Check UTBS for more information. Course materials can be downloaded here. Basic computational courses recommended by the Chemistry Department are:



Python (Offered within Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Studies: See Course Guides Part II )


High Performance Computing

LaTeX (Offered within Department of Chemistry)