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University of Cambridge

England , England ,United Kingdom

PhD in Chemistry

The PhD is offered by the Department of Chemistry as a full or part-time period of research and introduces students to research skills and specialist knowledge. 

Please note: part-time study may not always be viable and will be considered on a case-by-case basis, so please discuss this option with your proposed supervisor before making an application for this mode of study. There are attendance requirements and part-time students will need to live close enough to Cambridge to fulfil these.

Students are integrated into the research culture of the Department by joining a research group, supervised by one of our academic staff,  in one of the following areas of chemistry:

Biological Chemistry
Life is the chemistry that goes on inside every one of us. We seek to understand this chemistry, both the physical processes occurring at the molecular level and the chemical reactions, and we also seek to control the chemistry as a way to treat diseases. Biological Chemistry at Cambridge comprises several research groups with additional contributions from many more. The major themes are biological polymers, proteins and nucleic acids - how they interact with each other and with small molecules. How do proteins fold to a defined structure and why do they sometimes not fold properly but aggregate causing neurodegenerative diseases? How do proteins catalyse the reactions that they do and can we make small molecules that inhibit these processes? What structures can nucleic acids adopt? How can we detect and what is the role of modifications of individual nucleotides? How can we target medicinally active compounds to where they are needed in the body? By addressing these questions, we seek to improve human health and the treatment of diseases.

Materials Chemistry
The technological devices that we depend on, from aeroplanes to mobile phones, rely upon ever-increasing structural complexity for their function. Designing complex materials for these devices through the art of chemical synthesis brings challenges and opportunities. Members of the Materials Research Interest Group invent new materials to explore and develop fundamental concepts in view of potential applications. Our studies thus include surfaces, interfaces, polymers, nanoparticles and nanoporous materials, self-assembly, and biomaterials. We investigate applications relevant to carbon dioxide capture and reduction, catalysis, photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, crystallisation and pharmaceutical formulation, energy, molecular encapsulation, and sensors.

Physical and Atmospheric Chemistry
Physical Chemistry at Cambridge has two broad but overlapping aims. One is to understand the properties of molecular systems in terms of physical principles. This work underpins many developing technological applications that affect us all, such as nanotechnology, sensors and molecular medicine. The other is atmospheric chemistry where the interactions between chemical composition, climate and health are studied using a range of computer modelling and experiment-based approaches. Together these two areas form a richly interdisciplinary subject spanning the full range of scientific methodologies: experimental, theoretical and computational. It is the research area with something for everyone.

Synthetic Chemistry
Synthetic research at the University of Cambridge is focussed on the development of innovative new methods to make and use molecules of function. Ranging from the innovative catalytic strategies to make small molecules, to supramolecular assemblies or the total synthesis of biologically important compounds, our research is diverse, pioneering and internationally leading. The dynamic environment created by the research groups working at the cutting edge of the field makes postgraduate research at Cambridge the best place for outstanding and motivated students.

Theoretical Chemistry
Research in Theoretical Chemistry covers a wide range of length and timescales, including active development of new theoretical and computational tools. The applications include high-resolution spectroscopy, atomic and molecular clusters, biophysics, surface science, and condensed matter, complementing experimental research in the Department. We develop new tools for quantum and classical simulations, informatics, and investigate molecules using descriptions that range from atomic detail to coarse-grained models of mesoscopic matter. This work often begins with analytical theory, which is developed into new computer programs, applied to molecules and materials of contemporary interest, and ultimately compared with experiment.

Intakes

  • Oct

Application Processing Time in Days: 20

Minimum English Language Requirements

English Level Description IELTS (1.0 -9.0) TOEFL IBT (0-120) TOEFL CBT (0-300) PTE (10-90)
Expert 9 120 297-300 86-90
Very Good 8.5 115-119 280-293 83-86
Very Good 8 110-114 270-280 79-83
Good 7.5 102-109 253-267 73-79
Good 7 94-101 240-253 65-73
Competent 6.5 79-93 213-233 58-65
Competent 6 60-78 170-210 50-58
Modest 5.5 46-59 133-210 43-50
Modest 5 35-45 107-133 36-43
Limited 4 32-34 97-103 30-36
Extremely Limited < 4 < 31 < 93 < 30

Job Opportunity Potential

Whether you’re sure of the career you want to pursue when you graduate or you’re looking to explore your options, we’ll help you to prepare for your future.

  • 89% of our students who responded to the Graduate Outcomes Survey were in work or further study within 15 months of graduating¹
  • Top 10 in the UK for graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2021)

Transferable skills
The majority of graduate employers recruit students with any degree discipline. It’s the flexibility of your degree, as well as the range of transferable skills that you develop, that are of interest to employers.

Cambridge students are typically ambitious, intelligent, motivated, hard-working, passionate, committed, curious, intellectually creative, independent thinkers, and able to manage their time effectively. Employers know this and look for the same attributes in potential new employees, which is why our graduates are so sought after.   

Dedicated support and guidance
Once you’re at Cambridge, you can work with our dedicated Careers Service from day one to explore your career options. The team of experienced and impartial careers advisers can help you connect with employers and navigate the complex job market, saving you time and maximising your employability prospects. The Careers Service run a range of workshops on topics including choosing a career, cover letters, applications and getting ready for interviews. They also organise more than 200 careers events and briefing and skills sessions, and typically around 15 major careers fairs each year.

Internships and work experience
Our industry connections provide a range of opportunities for you to undertake work experience, enhancing your CV ready for graduation. Thousands of opportunities are publicised across all sectors on the Careers Service’s Handshake site, with bursaries offered to support unpaid opportunities with charities.

Networking opportunities
The Careers Service’s alumni database, GradLink, will give you access to contact details for over 1,200 Cambridge alumni working in a huge range of industries who can offer first-hand advice. The Service also runs more than 50 employment-related skills training sessions and can offer information on occupations, further study courses and funding.

Graduate employment destinations
Our graduates go on to work in a wide range of industries, from social work and education, to legal activities and finance. The list below shows the top ten occupations of respondents to the Graduate Outcomes Survey (15 months after graduation).¹

Medical practitioner

  1. Programmer/software development professional
  2. Management consultants and business analysts
  3. Finance and investment analysts and advisers
  4. Marketing associate professionals
  5. Business and related associate professionals
  6. Secondary education teaching professionals
  7. Primary and nursery teaching professionals
  8. University researchers
  9. Higher education teaching professionals

PSW Opportunity

UK announces 2-year post-study work visa for international Students

Admission Requirement / Eligibility Criteria

Postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge is intense and very intellectually demanding, so the University has high academic entry requirements. You are normally expected to hold or to have achieved by the start of your course:

minimum of an upper second class (good 2:1) honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent standard from an overseas university; and
completion of, or release from, any current training or education course

University Minimum Requirement
Professional Bachelor's (at least 4 years) in professional subjects such as Agriculture, Architecture, Business Administration, Business Management, Business Studies, Computer Applications, Engineering, Fine Arts, Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Technology or Bachelor of Arts / Science / Commerce (3-4 years) from well ranked institutions with an overall grade of 70% or CGPA 7.3+.

If the academic requirement of the course is a first:

Professional Bachelor's (at least 4 years) in professional subjects such as Agriculture, Architecture, Business Administration, Business Management, Business Studies, Computer Applications, Engineering, Fine Arts, Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Technology or Bachelor of Arts / Science / Commerce (3-4 years) from well ranked institutions with an overall grade of 75% or CGPA 8.0+.

IELTS Academic1 – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element
TOEFL Internet Based Test (IBT) – normally a minimum overall score of 110, with 25 or above in each element
EU students – a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving exam (eg the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc) may be acceptable
Cambridge English: C2 Proficiency – accepted with a minimum overall score of 200, with no element lower than 185.
Cambridge English: C1 Advanced – accepted with a minimum overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185, plus an assessment by the Language Centre. Following assessment the University Language Centre may advise further action from the applicant (eg enrolment at one of the Language Centre courses, or completion of an IELTS test).
Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) – may be considered an acceptable English language qualification

  • Course Type: Full Time
  • Course Level: Doctoral Degree/PhD
  • Duration: 03 Year  
  • Total Tuition Fee: 97056 GBP
    Annual Cost of Living: 12006 GBP
    Application Fee: 70 GBP
This Institution is not directly represented by us and applications / visa support (to them) attract a nominal charge