PhD Institute of Chemical Sciences

The course

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The Institute of Chemical Sciences (ICS) performs research across a broad range of chemistry, including both fundamental studies, and applied and interdisciplinary work with impact on current societal challenges.



Our diverse research includes the chemical synthesis of organic and biologically-active compounds, inorganic and organometallic compounds and supramolecular species, as well as the preparation of novel polymeric, inorganic, composite and hybrid materials for technological applications.  We study behaviour at interfaces relevant to catalysis and environmental science and develop novel spectroscopic techniques to study these phenomena.  

Computational modeling underpins much of our experimental research through the rationalisation and prediction of the properties and behaviour of molecules and extended systems.  Expertise in ICS therefore links strongly to the biomolecular and material sciences and the energy and life science sectors.


Dynamics and Structure

Research covers both experiment and theory, focussing on fundamental chemical and physical processes that underlie molecular interactions of practical importance. State-of-the-art experimental and theoretical methods are used to study topics including energy transfer, reaction dynamics, processes at surfaces and molecular photophysics. These are relevant to diverse areas ranging from photodynamic therapy, through atmospheric and combustion chemistry, to the formation of prebiotic molecules in interstellar space.

Materials Chemistry

Research seeks to understand the relationship between composition, structure and property in a broad spectrum of materials, in order to proceed to the rational design of new materials with controllable functionality. Our research, combining aspects of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, encompasses photovoltaic and thermoelectric materials, high-performance polymers, porous solids, catalysts and magnetic materials. Much of this lies at the interface with other disciplines, including engineering, and has impact in areas including renewable and sustainable energy, and healthcare.

Molecular Chemistry

The molecular chemistry group explores the synthesis, structure and chemistry of molecules and their supramolecular assemblies. This includes the development of new synthetic methods in organic and inorganic chemistry (both main group and transition metal) and at the organometallic interface, with theoretical support from computational chemistry to elucidate reaction mechanisms. Our work has wide ranging applications from the development of molecular magnets, through the development of homogeneous catalysts, to design and synthesis of molecules for probing protein.

Research opportunities

Please see our Institute of Chemical Sciences webpages to view research opportunities.

Entry requirements

Please contact Institute to discuss.


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time
Overseas £ 24496


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional fees information


Funding for research programmes is on a case by case basis. Please contact the institute for more information.

Additional scholarship information

View our full range of research scholarships.