The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences is a vibrant centre of research in chemistry. We have an international reputation in a wide range of fields from catalysis to anticancer drug design and molecular photonics to nanotechnology.
Research in the School of Chemistry is organised into the following groups:
Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Our strength in medicinal chemistry is evident through our track record of successful research. This has included the discovery of drugs that have progressed to clinic. We have core capacity in:
- anti-cancer drug discovery
- biomolecular imaging
- computational chemistry
- chemical biology
Read more about our medicinal chemistry and chemical biology research.
Nanoscience and Materials
Our research develops new methods to synthesise, characterise and improve our understanding of materials. We focus on materials with useful nanoscale properties. Read more about our nanoscience and materials research.
Photonic materials refer to systems that respond to stimulation by light. These can range from single molecules to intricate architectures and molecular devices. Many systems focus on:
- converting sunlight into chemical potential
- the concentration of excitonic energy.
We focus on understanding fundamental principles by using spectroscopic examination. Read more about our photonic materials research.
Structure and Dynamics
Structure underpins the majority of research in chemistry, biology and materials science. The trouble is, the world is dynamic and not static. This means that understanding how structures evolve during a chemical reaction is critical. Our research relates to fundamental and applied research fields over broad time ranges. Read more about our structure and dynamics research.
Synthesis, Reactivity and Catalysis
This research group combines the expertise of organic and inorganic chemists. Our research aims to advance fundamental knowledge and capabilities in synthesis and reactivity. We focus on the elements s, p, d and f blocks across the periodic table. Through this study we can develop new and improved materials and catalytic processes. Read more about our synthesis, reactivity and catalysis research.
You will work closely with an internationally recognised supervisor and receive a high level of training in your specialised subject area. At the start of your research, your supervisor will direct the project and discuss your training requirements. As you gain confidence and expertise you will be given increasing responsibility for the day-to-day running of the project and to explore your own ideas.
Thriving collaborations exist with colleagues in Biology, Medicine, Chemical Engineering and Materials, Cell and Molecular Biology, Electrical and Civil Engineering. The School is also associated with the Northern Institute for Cancer Research and the Institute for Sustainability.
You will have access to a wide range of instrumentation, modern laboratories and research active staff. Modern spectroscopic techniques are available for studying slow to ultrafast reactions. Excellent facilities exist to carry out the synthesis and characterisation of novel materials. We have extensive computational resources for performing molecular modelling. Our NMR facilities include 300-700 MHz spectrometers. Glass-blowing, mechanical and electrical/electronic workshops are also available.
In the news
Newcastle moves up 20 places into the top 150 in the QS World University Rankings 2019.
published on: 15 June 2018
Want to know more about postgraduate study? Come along to one of our PG Café Drop-in Sessions at our city campus.
published on: 6 December 2018
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published on: 30 November 2018
Training & Skills
As a research student you will receive a tailored package of academic and support elements to ensure you maximise your research and future career. The academic information is in the programme profile and you will be supported by our Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme, doctoral training centres and Research Student Support Team.
Researcher development programme
Our Science, Agriculture and Engineering Postgraduate Researcher Development Programme aims to help you develop the skills and experience that the UK Research Councils expect you to have, or to develop, during your research degree.
Our programme will help you to:
- complete a training needs analysis, so that you know what your current skills are and where you need help and development
- use your training needs analysis to create your personal development plan
- identify appropriate workshops or other events that will help you most and best address your development needs
- gain the personal and professional key skills development for the successful completion of your research degree
Postgraduate research student support
Our award winning Research Student Support Team is dedicated to providing you with information, support and advice throughout your research degree studies. The team can help and advise you on a variety of issues from registration to producing your transcripts.
IAPETUS Natural Environment Research Council doctoral training
IAPETUS is a partnership that joins the leading research universities of Newcastle, Durham, Glasgow, St Andrews and Stirling together with the British Geological Survey and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, in a united approach to doctoral research and training the next generation of leaders in the science of the natural environment.
IAPETUS is a multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), funded and accredited by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), offering PhD students a world-class environment in which to study. This includes:
- fully-funded PhD studentships
- supervision and support from academics and researchers who are world-leaders in their field
- tailored training and development programmes
- placements and internship opportunities
- high-quality laboratories, facilities and resources
IAPETUS doctoral research projects available to study at Newcastle.
Fees & Funding
If your studies last longer than one year your fee may be subject to an annual inflationary increase.
The fees displayed here are per year.
Part time: £2,175 - £6,075*
Full time: £4,350 - £12,150*
Part time: £2,175 - £6,075*
*For 2019-2020 entry, we will be aligning our standard UK/EU research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The fees given above are indicative only. The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2019 by UKRI. (Updated November 2018).
Full time: £22,710 - £30,510
Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.
EU students starting at Newcastle in 2018 and 2019 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.
Our fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique and as such will have unique resource requirements. Resources could include specialist equipment, such as laboratory/workshop access, or technical staff.
If your research involves accessing specialist resources then you're likely to pay a higher fee. You'll discuss the exact nature of your research project with your supervisor(s). You'll find out the fee in your offer letter.
A 2:2 BSc honours degree, or international equivalent, in a related subject.
A 2:1 MChem, or international equivalent, in chemistry or a related subject.
We will also consider applicants on an individual basis with BSc qualifications if they have additional relevant experience.
Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.
Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: email@example.com for further information.
English Language Requirements
Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Pre-sessional English Course RequirementsPre-sessional English Course Requirements
- 6 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills)
- 10 week Pre-sessional entry: IELTS 5.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-skills)
You can study our Pre-sessional English course at the INTO Newcastle Centre.
You may need an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance certificate. You'll need to get this before you can get your visa or study on this programme. We'll let you know about the ATAS requirement in your offer letter.
How to Apply
You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.
Before you apply you should find and contact a research supervisor from the Science, Agriculture and Engineering Graduate School. They can discuss possible projects with you. You can contact staff directly via email, which are provided in our staff profiles.
There are usually three possible start dates, although in some circumstances an alternative start date can be arranged:
There is no application closing date for this course, but specific deadlines for funding may apply.
We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
If you live outside the UK/EU you must:
- pay a deposit of £1,500
- or submit an official letter of sponsorship
The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.