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Materials Chemistry MChem Hons

University of St Andrews
5 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
St Andrews

About this program

Materials Chemistry MChem Hons

The MChem (Hons) in Materials Chemistry seeks to understand the interrelationships between the composition, structure, microstructure and properties of matter in order to design and develop new materials. Examples may include: semiconductor processing and fabrication; materials for energy and IT; biomaterials; catalyst materials; ‘smart coatings’; and nanotechnology.

The MChem allows you to study the subject at great depth with a significant emphasis on research, combined in a single five-year programme, graduating with a Masters degree. The course is designed to give you the best possible training for a career in chemistry and is tailored for those intending to enter the professional chemical sector or to carry out postgraduate study.

Find out more about Materials Chemistry MChem Hons by filling in your details and the school will contact you.

Admission requirements

These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

  • SQA Highers
  • GCE A-Levels
  • IB points

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

First Year

Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules:

  • Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  • Inorganic and Physical Chemistry 1
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry 1

Second Year

Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules:

  • Inorganic Chemistry 2
  • Organic Chemistry 2
  • Physical Chemistry 2

Third Year

If you decide to take materials chemistry in your third year, you choose from a wide variety of advanced options, including modules ranging from physical inorganic chemistry to quantum theory of atoms, molecules and solids.

Here is a sample of Honours modules that have been offered in previous years:

  • Chemistry of Materials
  • Introduction to Analysis of Materials
  • Quantum Theory of Atoms, Molecules and Solids
  • Statistical Mechanics and Computational Chemistry.

Fourth Year

During fourth year, you will have the opportunity to work on a placement outside St Andrews for up to 12 montyhs. This is a great chance to gain experience in industry and to add value to your CV at the same time.

Typically, you may join a research and development group within a leading research laboratory and receive a salary for the duration of your placement. It is also possible for the placement to be carried out in an overseas academic institution.

The School has links with many large and small companies and will assist students in CV preparation, interview technique and making placement applications. Some of the companies that students from St Andrews have completed placements with recently include:

  • Agfa (Mortsel, Belgium)
  • AkzoNobel (Sassenheim, The Netherlands)
  • AstraZeneca (UK)
  • BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany)
  • BP (UK)
  • DSM (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (UK)
  • Johnson Matthey (UK)
  • Roche (Basel, Switzerland)
  • Rolls Royce (UK)
  • SINTEF (Norway).

Alternatively, you have the choice to complete the MChem without doing an external placement, and will take lectures and practical modules during your fourth year Honours program at St Andrews instead.

Fifth Year

During fifth year, you will take advanced research-led modules in your chosen specialist area. Advanced modules offered in the past include:

  • Chemical Applications of Electronic Structure Calculations
  • Energy Conversion and Storage
  • Nanostructured Materials
  • Processing of Materials
  • Surface Chemistry and Heterogeneous Catalysis.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Program delivery

When not attending lectures, tutorials and labs, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in a laboratory
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.


For more information about tuition fees, please visit our website.

Career paths

St Andrews chemistry graduates have an employment rate of over 95% and are in demand by large multinational and grassroots companies alike. Chemistry degrees provide a range of highly desirable skills that are prized by employersacross numerous sectors, including:

  • problem-solving
  • numeracy
  • data handling
  • teamwork
  • oral and written communication.

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About this institute

University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first University. As a 600 year-old institution, we are known across the globe for our world leading quality and depth of research. For six centuries some of the world’s brightest and most promising...

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Why study at University of St Andrews

Studying in St Andrews is a unique and rewarding experience that will take your skills and knowledge to the next level.

Students at St Andrews have access to some of the world’s best professors and lecturers and a degree from the University of St Andrews is sought after by employers around the world.

In addition to award-winning teaching and research, the University of St Andrews has an array of facilities which result in high levels of student satisfaction and a world class reputation.

Contact info

University of St Andrews

St Katharine's West
KY16 9AX St Andrews

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