Chemistry MRes

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Why Surrey?

As a student on this programme, you will have access to our main Chemistry Research Laboratory which has undergone a £2m refurbishment, in addition to our suite of state-of-the-art instruments including ICP-MS, NMR spectrometers, Raman microscopes, powder XRD, LC-MS and GC-MS instruments.

Programme overview

With an increase in the number of undergraduate degrees offering the MChem qualification, our Chemistry MRes allows BSc graduates to become equally competitive by studying for an enhanced qualification that will set them apart throughout their career.

Our MRes qualification is also a convenient entry point into the UK academic system for overseas students, and many of our MRes graduates go on to successfully complete a PhD.

Our academics are at the forefront of their field, having recently discovered a method for the rapid detection of drugs from a fingerprint; and a naturally sourced, environmentally safe chemical for the treatment of an important agricultural pathogen.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year. It consists of three taught modules and a research project, which contributes 75 per cent of the final credits to the degree and includes the laboratory based research, library work, COSHH, record keeping and writing the dissertation.

We would normally expect the laboratory based part of the project to be, on average, two to three full days per week during the teaching semesters and five days per week during non-teaching times (for example, over the Christmas, Easter and summer breaks).

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

  • The aim of the MRes is training in the more laboratory-based aspects of chemical research
  • The objectives and learning outcomes/skills are that the student will be able to: assess, plan, carry out, analyse, interpret and disseminate (all with appropriate training and supervision) a significant piece of chemistry research to an extent that results in a satisfactory assessment of a dissertation and viva
  • In addition, competence in related (non-laboratory based) aspects of research training will be assessed via examination (formal exam and/or coursework) of lecture/workshop-based modules
  • A knowledge of discipline-related aspects of professional training including data analysis, literature searching and reporting and presentation techniques

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Knowledge and understanding of the scientific method
  • Knowledge and understanding of research ethos and strategy
  • Knowledge and understanding of advanced communication skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of reporting of technical concepts
  • Knowledge and understanding of critical analysis
  • Knowledge and understanding of advanced aspects of chemistry including subjects at the frontiers of the discipline
  • Knowledge and understanding of advanced principles in a research led area of chemistry
  • Knowledge and understanding of Health and Safety legislation
  • Knowledge and understanding of statistics for data analysis
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles of experimental design

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • The ability to plan and carry out an advance research project
  • The ability to analyse and solve problems of technical nature under consideration of various constraints
  • The ability to make effective and efficient decisions in an environment of conflicting interests
  • The ability to think strategically
  • The ability to synthesise and critically evaluate the work of others
  • The ability to apply fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies
  • The ability to self-reflect to improve behaviour

Professional practical skills

  • Assessment of the research literature
  • Risk assess experiments / procedures
  • Design and set up experiments using the most appropriate methods
  • Carry out laboratory work safely
  • Deal safely with unexpected events / results
  • Apply prior knowledge to new situations

Key / transferable skills

  • Planning
  • Organisation
  • Independent working
  • Apply prior knowledge to unfamiliar problem
  • Using initiative
  • Time-management
  • Personal development planning
  • Use of word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, graphical software packages
  • Management of data
  • Effective literature / patent searching


The Chemistry programme is run within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the cross-faculty Surrey Materials Institute (SMI). Staff in the Department of Chemistry have expertise which includes all aspects of chemistry:

  • Inorganic
  • Medicinal
  • Physical
  • Physical organic
  • Materials
  • Polymers
  • Nanotechnology
  • Analytical

You will receive a thorough education in advanced aspects of chemistry, but also undertake independent research via a project, guided by a dedicated and experienced supervisor.

Projects are available across a range of topics in chemistry, and may extend into areas of biology, forensics or materials science. Past MRes students have continued to further (PhD) education and to posts in research in industry.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Daniel Whelligan

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months

Start date:

Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2.2 honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related discipline. Selection is based upon a candidate’s application, references and may include an informal interview if required.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2017 £9,500 £19,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


The Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence

For all (with the exception of MBA) postgraduate taught courses starting in September 2017 within the Surrey Business School and the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management we are offering all applicants who hold a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent the opportunity to be awarded between £2,000 and £4,000 through the Surrey International Scholarship for Excellence Scheme. Download a flyer or read more for eligibility and to apply.

For more details

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

Find out more


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.