Department of Chemistry   University of Oxford

Postgraduate Study in Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry is the largest in the western world. Each year some 170 chemists graduate after a four-year course which includes a year of research and about 80 graduates receive doctorates.

Oxford is one of the leading chemistry research departments in the world with around 80 academic staff carrying out international-level research, and an annual research income of around £15 million. The latest (2008) Research Assessment Exercise confirmed that Oxford Chemistry has the highest “power rating” (breadth and depth of science) in the UK. The Department is currently engaged in a number of innovative areas of work including chemistry for measurement, drug discovery, energy, catalysis, nanochemistry, synthesis, atmospheric chemistry, synthetic biology and femtochemistry.

The Department of Chemistry at Oxford has contributed over £80 million to the University as a result of its spin-out activities. Actual realized gains from the departmental spin-outs come to more than £40 million, with about £20 million of unrealized gains in quoted companies, and a further batch of holdings in private companies.

Areas of Chemistry

Each section has slightly different admissions procedures. Please select the area of research you are interested in:

Inorganic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology OPEN DAY was held on Monday, 11 Novemeber 2013. Copy of Dr Adlington's presentation can be downloaded here .


New CDT in Synthesis for Biology & Medicine (SBM)

Course code: 004007

The new SBM CDT is a 4-year DPhil programme led by academics from Oxford’s Department of Chemistry, Prof Darren Dixon and Dr Martin Smith, that aims to train 100 next-generation doctoral scientists in the practice of chemical synthesis coupled with an in-depth appreciation of its application to biology and medicine.  Our aim is to train graduates capable of addressing major challenges across the entire remit of organic chemistry with a focus on skills relevant to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. This programme was designed in collaboration with 13 international pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies and a government agency who have offered specific expertise to enhance our training and research. To ensure free exchange of information and expertise between all academic and industrial partners we will adopt an intellectual property-free model consistent with our focus on basic science. The first intake of graduate students will being in Oct 2014.  Please visit our new website for more information on the programme and how to apply.


Physical & Theoretical Chemistry


*NEW Centre for Doctoral Training: Theory and Modelling in Chemical Sciences*

Course code: 004006

EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) has announced funding for the Centre for Doctoral Training in /Theory and Modelling in Chemical Sciences/ (TMCS).

TMCS is a tripartite CDT formed as a consortium of leading research groups from the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Southampton, and providing training across the field of theoretical and computational chemistry. Up to 16 funded places in each cohort will be available to UK or EU students.

Further information, including details of how to apply, can be found on the TMCS website:


Applicants should contact the Graduate Studies Administrator (Aga Borkowska ) with any queries regarding the application process.

General Information

Applications may be received at any time during the year. Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before submitting an application.

Important note for overseas students: you will need to secure funding for your study as most research grants are for UK or other EU* nationals only. For University scholarships for overseas students the absolute deadline is Friday, 24 January 2014, further information on sources of funding can be found on the University's website

Please also see:

Self-funded students or those who have awards from institutions outside Oxford University may apply at any time.

* Austria; Belgium; Bulgaira; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden

Please note however, that if you apply after 14 March 2014 (3rd University Deadline), we will need to secure a College place for you before we make a formal offer.

A large number of graduate courses are organised within the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division.

Financial information

Fees (shows the costs of graduate study at Oxford)

Fees, funding & scholarship Search (contains information about scholarships and awards)

Admissions criteria

Admissions criteria for graduate studies at the Department of Chemistry can be found here .

About this Site, Privacy and Accessibility. © Copyright 1995 - 2014 University of Oxford