Graduate Diploma Chemical Sciences

Full Time
Graduate Diploma


What happens when you get in the way of irresistible attraction? Energy. UEA Chemists have placed hydrogen atoms between attracted molecules and produced power in the process.

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Key facts

(2014 Research Excellence Framework)

The Graduate Diploma in Chemical Sciences gives you the chance to expand on your Undergraduate degree and broaden your knowledge of Chemistry.

It’s designed for students whose first degree does not fulfil the requirements for direct entry to further graduate study, such as an MSc or PhD programme in Chemistry, but who want to receive additional training in the subject.

Through a mixture of lectures, lab training and individual research you’ll undertake a bespoke programme that’s tailored to your particular Chemistry background to ensure you get the knowledge and skills you need to excel. The School of Chemistry was ranked 4th in the UK for the quality of its research output (REF 2014), so you’ll be taught by some of the best researchers in the country.


Chemical scientists are increasingly in demand in many industries, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, environmental, electronics and aerospace sectors.

Chemistry underpins research and development in areas where the demands of contemporary research are such that training up to and beyond honours degree level is becoming increasingly necessary. The Graduate Diploma in Chemical Sciences is designed for students whose first degree does not fulfil the requirements for direct entry to further graduate study, such as an MSc or PhD programme in Chemistry.

The Graduate diploma course comprises a combination of lecture, laboratory and project modules. The modules available are drawn from the School’s extensive undergraduate teaching programme. The course content is tailored individually for you to build on your previous chemistry background in order to prepare you for further graduate study. You will have the opportunity to study organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, and biological chemistry modules within the School of Chemistry which has a long-standing tradition of training graduate students. The Graduate Diploma will also provide you with a wealth of transferable skills, meaning you will be well equipped to enter directly into a career if further graduate study is not for you. You will acquire excellent skills and training in problem solving, numeracy, communication, creativity, team working, time management and data analysis.

Course Structure: The programme is 45 weeks long. Students take typically five to six tested general and advanced level lecture courses (some with associated practical training) and often join one of the internationally recognised research teams in the School to undertake an original research project.

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Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for credits:

Name Code Credits

Students will select 120 credits from the following modules:

Please ensure that your chosen modules from each Option Range do not have the same Sub-Slot code, as this will generate timetable clashes. Module CHE-5701Y will run for the last time in 2018-19.

Name Code Credits


This module will equip you with an understanding of the principles and techniques used in contemporary biophysical chemistry. You will learn experimental techniques for measuring thermodynamic and kinetic properties of biological molecules. You will gain firm grounding in the physical principles describing those properties and their use to provide quantitative descriptions of those properties. Using predominantly examples from protein biochemistry you will explore three major themes; i) spectroscopic properties of biomolecules, ii) thermodynamic and kinetic properties of proteins and enzymes, and, iii) methods defining biomolecule size and mass. Through weekly seminars you will benefit from putting your knowledge into practice, communicating your ideas and growing your confidence in quantitative data analysis and problem solving. During laboratory based practical work, you will develop your skills in sample preparation together with the collection and interpretation of spectroscopic data. Your participation in this module will give you the knowledge to appreciate how, and why, biophysical chemistry contributes to advances in medicine, sustainable energy solutions and healthy ageing.




You will study topics covering important areas of modern physical chemistry and chemical physics. The material will blend together experimental and theoretical aspects of photonics, condensed phase dynamics in molecular and macromolecular fluids and quantum and classical simulations.




Following on from Forensic Chemistry- Collection and Comparison, where the emphasis was on collection of evidence, this module introduces more in-depth forensic chemistry, looking at the way evidence gathered at a crime scene may be analysed in the laboratory. The module will deepen your knowledge of forensic statistics and will cover: basic detection and recovery techniques for body fluids; DNA analysis; fingerprint development and recovery; advanced microscopy and spectroscopy and their application to fibres including the theory and practical application of infra-red and raman spectroscopy, paint and other particulates; the use of elemental analysis in forensic science including atomic absorption spectroscopy; and questioned document examination including counterfeiting.




In this module, you'll study the structure, bonding and reactivity patterns of inorganic compounds. This module is a prerequisite for the 3rd level inorganic course Inorganic Compounds: Structure and Functions. You'll cover the electronic structure, spectroscopic and magnetic properties of transition metal complexes (ligand field theory), the chemistry of main group clusters, polymers and oligomers, the structures and reactivities of main group and transition metal organometallics, and the application of spectroscopic methods (primarily NMR, MS and IR) to inorganic compounds. You'll have laboratory classes linked to the lecture topics and so you will need to have completed either of the level 4 practical modules, Chemistry Laboratory (A) or Research Skills in Biochemistry.




You will focus on two important themes in contemporary inorganic chemistry: (i) the role of transition metals in homogeneous catalysis (ii) the correlation between the structures of transition metal complexes and their electronic and magnetic properties. Via a series of problem-solving workshops, interspersed with lectures, you'll explore the structure and bonding in these compounds, as well as their applications in synthesis.




The module covers the theory and practical application of some key instrumental techniques for chemical analysis. Molecular spectroscopy, chromatography and electroanalytical techniques are the important instrumental methods included. Laboratory practicals using these techniques will reinforce material covered in the lecture programme.




A supervised literature-based project available only to students registered for the BSc programme in the School of Chemistry.




Specialist materials dominate the modern world, and it is our ability as chemists to control their properties. Understanding and controlling these material properties is the central theme of this module. You will learn about two key classes of material: polymers and inorganic solids. You'll gain a firm grounding in the specialist methods used to characterise these materials. This will enable you to appreciate the unique properties of these materials, and how they can be controlled. In the practical element of the module, you'll gain skills in synthesising and characterising polymers and inorganic solids. In the polymers thread, you'll begin by gaining an appreciation of the role they play in society and why they are unique. You'll then encounter methods we can use to understand the properties of polymers, and how we can control them. You'll also explore the wide range of mechanisms that can be used to make organic polymers. In the thread focussed on inorganic materials, you'll explore the ionic model for inorganic solids, before gaining an appreciation of the synthesis and characterisation methods that allow access to these materials. You'll then explore the variety of properties that solids can exhibit, including semiconduction and magnetism. This lecture-based content is complemented by the practical component of the course, where you'll gain hands-on experience in both synthesis and characterisation.




Medicinal chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary area and this module is designed to introduce a variety of topics in the field of medicinal chemistry. Some of the topics that will be discussed in a series of lectures include: - Molecular and biomolecular interactions - Biomolecules: Proteins and nucleic acids - Basic cell biology from a medicinal chemistry perspective - Basic processes in biology: Replication, - Transcription and Translation - Phases of drug action - Pharmacokinetics - Proteins and receptors as drug targets - DNA as a drug target and development of antitumor agents.




This course builds on Chemistry of Carbon-based Compounds (the first year organic chemistry course). You will cover four main topics. The first 'aromaticity' includes benzenoid and hetero-aromatic systems. The second major topic is the organic chemistry of carbonyl compounds. Spectroscopic characterisation of organic compounds is reviewed and the final major topic is 'stereochemistry and mechanisms'. This covers conformational aspects of acyclic and cyclic compounds. Stereoelectronic effects, Neighbouring Group Participation (NGP), Baldwin's rules, Cram's rule and cycloaddition reactions are then discussed.




You will cover several key topics required to plan the synthesis of organic compounds, and to understand the properties displayed by organic compounds. The first topic is on synthesis planning, strategy and analysis, supported by a study of further important oxidation and reduction reactions. The second topic is on the various types of pericyclic reactions and understanding the stereochemistry displayed by an analysis of frontier orbitals. The third topic is on the use of organometallic compounds in synthesis with a particular emphasis on the use of transition metal based catalysts. The fourth topic is on physical organic chemistry and includes aspects of radical chemistry. The final topic is the synthesis of chiral non-racemic compounds, and describes the use of chiral pool compounds and methods for the amplification of chiral information, including asymmettric reductions and oxidations.




The module covers a number of areas of modern physical chemistry which are essential to a proper understanding of the behaviour of chemical systems. These include the second law of thermodynamics and entropy, quantum mechanics, the thermodynamics of solutions and chemical kinetics of complex reactions. The module includes laboratory work. Due to the laboratory-based content on this module, you must have completed at least one Level 4 module containing laboratory work.




The module covers a selection of advanced topics in Physical Chemistry including statistical thermodynamics, reaction mechanisms and theories of reaction rates, photochemistry, electrochemistry and diffraction techniques.




The structural basis of the function of many proteins has been elucidated and this, together with the ready availability of chemical and biochemical techniques for altering proteins in a controlled way, has led to the application of proteins in a wide variety of biological and chemical systems and processes. These include their use as industrial catalysts and medicines, in organic syntheses and in the development of new materials. This module provides an introduction to the principles underlying this rapidly expanding and commercially-relevant area of the molecular biosciences and gives insights into their applications.




You'll cover the foundation and basics of quantum theory and symmetry, starting with features of the quantum world and including elements of quantum chemistry, group theory, computer-based methods for calculating molecular wavefunctions, quantum information, and the quantum nature of light. The subject matter paves the way for applications to a variety of chemical and physical systems - in particular, processes and properties involving the electronic structure of atoms and molecules.




A supervised research project available only to students registered for the BSc programme.




This module will provide you with an awareness of new bond construction in advanced organic chemistry. It has aspects of natural product chemistry and the associated bioactivity of natural compounds. The module will illustrate how advanced synthetic chemistry can be used to construct compounds that might find applications in the pharmaceutical industry.




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.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject This programme is open to students with a first degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or an appropriate, related joint discipline.

Entry Requirement

This programme is open to students with an honours degree (or equivalent) in a science subject.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact

Fees and Funding

Tuition Fees for 2018/19

Tuition fees for the academic year 2018/19 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,550
  • International Students: £19,000

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit.

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    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