Postgraduate study

  • Chemistry doctorate presentation

    Chemistry postgraduate student Will Kerr with supervisor Chris Fitchett before his PhD oral presentation.

Graduate training at UC aims to develop a student's ability in creative scientific research. The student's own research topic is the most important facet of the postgraduate programme.

Opportunities for research are plentiful and all staff dedicate significant time to research, ensuring the department maintains its good reputation in the international scientific community.

We have excellent facilities and technology that meets international standards including nuclear magnetic resonance, mass spectrometry, x-ray diffraction and laser and computer facilities. Staff and students are engaged in research of international importance such as inorganic, physical, theoretical and organic chemistry.  In addition there are research programmes in applied topics. 

Postgraduate qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science with Honours is a one-year postgraduate degree which provides rapid entry into the PhD or other research programmes.
  • Master of Science. Students can take an MSc degree (without Honours) by undertaking only the one-year research project and thesis (Part II) after completing a BSc(Hons) degree or PGDipSc. MSc by thesis can be awarded with a Merit of Distinction.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Science requires the approval of the Director of Studies. It mirrors year one of the MSc.
  • Doctor of Philosophy is an opportunity to undertake a significant research project. A minimum of two years is required but more typically the degree will take three to four years to complete. PhD scholarships are available to students with excellent First Class Honours degrees.


  • Talk to the department about your proposed research and obtain approval to enrol.
  • International students will need to apply for Admission Ad Eundem.
  • Students enrolling in a thesis for the first time in the Master’s awards listed above must enrol by phoning the University’s Contact Centre 0800 827 748. You will need to advise the Contact Centre your thesis start date. Typical start dates are the first day of semester one or semester two or, alternatively, the first Monday in any month. You will also need to advise the Contact Centre if you are studying part-time (78 points). Please note your thesis course enrolment cannot be approved until there is confirmation you have passed MSc Part I courses.
  • Once you are fully enrolled, your first task will be to complete your thesis proposal. The next step is for you to complete a Masters Research Proposal Application. This application must be completed with your supervisor and be approved by the college. Registration of a research proposal is due two months after the commencement date of the thesis if enrolled full-time and four months after the commencement date if enrolled part-time.
  • Progress reports are required every six months.
  • All guidelines can be found on the University's postgraduate pages and forms are available on the College of Science postgraduate page.

For all enquiries about postgraduate study please contact:

Sarah Masters

Senior Lecturer
Director of Postgraduate Studies
Rutherford 736
Internal Phone: 94229

Hear what our postgraduates have to say

Rosanna's hooked on Chemistry

Chris on life as a PhD student

All that glitters - the chemistry of gold

Chemistry and the environment

Controlled synthesis of titanium dioxide

Battling tuberculosis with new drugs