The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences is a vibrant centre of research in chemistry. Join us for your MPhil or PhD in Chemistry.
Research in 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Find out about the different qualification options for this course.
An MPhil is available in all subject areas. You receive research training and undertake original research leading to the completion of a 40,000 - 50,000 word thesis.
A PhD is a doctorate or doctoral award. It involves original research that should make a significant contribution to the knowledge of a specific subject. To complete the PhD you will produce a substantial piece of work (80,000 – 100,000 words) in the form of a supervised thesis. A PhD usually takes three years full time.
How you'll learn
You'll 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:
- Chemical Engineering and Materials
- Cell and Molecular Biology
- Electrical and Civil Engineering
The School is also associated with the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Institute for Sustainability.
Depending on your modules, you'll be assessed through a combination of:
We offer a wide range of projects for the thesis. These will be provided by our academics. You can also propose your own topic.
Our mission is to help you:
- stay healthy, positive and feeling well
- overcome any challenges you may face during your degree – academic or personal
- get the most out of your postgraduate research experience
- carry out admin and activities essential to progressing through your degree
- understand postgraduate research processes, standards and rules
We can offer you tailored wellbeing support, courses and activities.
You can also access a broad range of workshops covering:
- research and professional skills
- careers support
- health and safety
- public engagement
- academic development
Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering (SAgE) researcher development programme
Each faculty offers a researcher development programme for its postgraduate research students. We have designed your programme to help you:
- perform better as a researcher
- boost your career prospects
- broaden your impact
Through workshops and activities, it will build your transferable skills and increase your confidence.
- techniques for effective research
- methods for better collaborative working
- essential professional standards and requirements
Your programme is flexible. You can adapt it to meet your changing needs as you progress through your doctorate.
Doctoral training and partnerships
There are opportunities to undertake your PhD at Newcastle within a:
- Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)
- Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
Being part of a CDT or DTP has many benefits:
- they combine research expertise and training of a number of leading universities, academic schools and academics.
- you’ll study alongside a cohort of other PhD students
- they’re often interdisciplinary
- your PhD will normally be funded
If there are currently opportunities available in your subject area you’ll find them when you search for funding in the fees and funding section on this course.
The following centres/partnerships below may have PhD opportunities available in your subject area in the future:
- EPSRC Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment
- IAPETUS2 Doctoral Training Partnership
- Discovery Medicine North - MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership
- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine (MoSMed)
- ONE Planet Doctoral Training Partnership
- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
The School of Natural and Environmental Sciences has an outstanding range of facilities to support research and teaching, including:
- modern research laboratories
- synthesis and characterisation of novel materials lab
- computational resources for performing molecular modelling
- NMR facilities include 300-700 MHz spectrometers
- glass-blowing, mechanical and electrical/electronic workshops
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2022 entry (per year)
We are unable to give an exact fee, this is why the fee is shown as a range. This fee range takes into account your research topic and resource requirements.
Your research topic is unique so it 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.
For 2022-23 entry, we will be aligning our standard Home research fees with those set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The standard fee will be confirmed in Spring 2022 by UKRI.
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.
EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.
If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.
We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our searchable postgraduate funding page for more information.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Open days and events
You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:
- campus tours
- on-campus open days
- virtual open days
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
Postgraduate Research Administrator
School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6900
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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