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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry


Studying Chemistry at Cambridge

We are a world-class teaching and research centre, consistently ranked as the top chemistry department in the United Kingdom and in the top five worldwide. We have an exceptional record in discovery, innovation and excellence.

We offer chemistry courses here as part of the Natural Sciences Tripos taken by undergraduate students. And we offer postgraduate (Masters and PhD) degree programmes. Please read on to find out more.

Studying as an undergraduate

  • There are 970 undergraduates here, i.e. students studying for their first degree. At Cambridge, rather than pursuing a single-discipline degree in Chemistry, undergraduates take the broader Natural Sciences Tripos. Chemistry is an option in all years of the Tripos and in the third and fourth years, students can choose to specialist completely in Chemistry if they wish. Undergraduates can expect to receive their BA degree in three years, or four if they opt to stay on and do a research project. In this case, they graduate with an MSci as well as a BA.
  • See the the Introduction to Undergraduate Chemistry Courses at Cambridge page and the Frequently Asked Questions page in our Chemistry Teaching section. And then follow this link to the Undergraduate Admissions page for more details about applying to the University of Cambridge.

Studying as a postgraduate

  • We offer advanced training and research programmes to postgraduates - students who wish to continue their studies after obtaining their first degree.
  • We admit around 20 students per year to our intensive one-year MPhil programme, which prepares them for a career in the chemical sciences.
  • We have 350 students on our PhD programme, spending up to four years conducting full-time research. The research opportunities here are vast and career development is second-to-none.
  • Find out more about studying on our Master's (MPhil) or PhD programmes on our Postgraduate Admissions pages.
  • You may also be interested in applying for admission to a Centre for Doctoral Studies such as SynTech.


  • We have over 50 members of academic staff. Our lecturers and professors are all top-rate scientists who are keen to pass on to you their own fascination with the subject. We also have two members of staff — called Teaching Fellows — whose primary role is teaching and who take particular responsibility for the practical classes. We take our teaching very seriously and aim to give our the students the very best experience that we can. 


  • In our research we progress fundamental science in three key areas - the Chemistry of HealthInnovative Molecular & Materials Design; and Sustainable Energy, Environment & Climate.
  • Our research community is extensive: as well as our academics and PhD students, we have more than 200 postdoctoral researchers.
  • Our research community is inclusive: working in a department right at the centre of Cambridge brings many opportunities to engage with one of the world's greatest intellectual communities and its creative and scientific activities.
  • Our research excellence has been recognised at many levels, including at the highest. Twenty-six affiliates of the department have received the Nobel Prize.


  • The Complete University Guide 2018 ranks the University of Cambridge Department of Chemistry first overall in its Chemistry League Table. Cambridge has taken the top place for chemistry every year since the Complete University Guide began in 2008.