Chemistry Postgraduate Research - PhDs and Studentships

Full Time/ Part Time
PhD by Research, MSc (Res), MPhil (Res)

Since its inception over 50 years ago the School of Chemistry has maintained its position as one of the leading research centres in the UK, while maintaining a friendly, open, relaxed and highly interdisciplinary environment.

We are ranked among the top 10 in Chemistry in the country for overall research, according to the Times Higher Education Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) analysis, with 98% of our research judged as world-leading or internationally excellent. Our research output was ranked in the top five in Chemistry.


Our current research is supported by multi-million pound grant holdings, won competitively from sources such as UKRI Research Councils, the Royal Society, charitable trusts (including Wellcome and Leverhulme Trusts and the Wolfson Foundation), industrial companies and the European Union. Key research in the School includes biological, synthetic, materials, nanoscience and analytical chemistry. 

Our research represents each of the three core branches of chemistry, but is highly cooperative across them, resulting in three principal research themes. 

Chemistry of Materials and Catalysis research encompasses synthesis, analysis and development of novel molecules/materials, including organometallics, organics, coordination complexes, liquid crystals, supramolecular assemblies and nanomaterials.  These new molecules/materials have potential in a broad range of applications relating to energy materials (e.g. new types of batteries), security (authentication), medicine (drugs and drug delivery) and chemical sensing, to name a few. 

Research in Chemistry of Light and Energy encompasses experimental and theoretical studies involving light and energy transfer.  These include photodynamics of light activated proteins and light harvesting/electronic energy transfer, theoretical method development, and discovery of new materials with applications in energy capture/conversion from the sun and next generation LEDs. 

Chemistry of Life Processes research applies state of the art biophysical, theoretical and protein engineering technologies and approaches to provide novel insight into a wide range of biological processes, with particular strengths in the roles of metallo-protein systems, protein-protein interactions and unnatural amino acids. Synthetic biology approaches are also used to develop novel applications of biological systems in energy capture/conversion and biocatalysis. 

We pride ourselves on our collaborative spirit. This has led to strong interactions not only across the three principal themes, but also with the School of Pharmacy, the other Science Schools, and the research institutes on the Norwich Research Park. Many groups maintain international collaborations and exchanges visits are a feature of the school. 

For more information on our research and current research opportunities visit: 

Take a look at our current PhD and studentship opportunities

Course Modules 2019/0

As a postgraduate research student, your research degree will not contain modules.   


Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirement

To be accepted onto a doctoral degree, the standard minimum academic entry requirement is either at least a 2:1 from a UK undergraduate degree, a Master’s degree, or equivalent. Some research programmes might have higher requirements and the possibility of more specific requirements. Please take a look at our current PhD opportunities or our Faculty Graduate School and School pages to find out more.  

How to Apply

Please take a look at our information on how to apply.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515