The School of Chemistry is an internationally recognised centre for teaching and research, ranking #1 in the UK for Chemistry research (THE analysis of REF 2021). We offer a world-class environment for your PhD or MSc research degree, with state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, as well as support and guidance from internationally leading Academic Supervisors. There are currently over 250 postgraduate and post-doctoral researchers, from many different countries, working with more than 50 academic staff on a wide range of research themes. Extensive collaborations with science-based industries and leading international academic centres ensure that research in Bristol remains at the frontiers of science.

The School of Chemistry is housed in spacious, modern laboratories, which are well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. There is a comprehensive graduate support programme to ensure you have the opportunity to build a wide range of skills, both in chemistry and other transferable skills which will be useful to you in your future career.

The School of Chemistry hosts and participates in a number of Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) and Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). Training opportunities in these national flagship centres are available in the following disciplines:

Hosted in the School of Chemistry:

  • technology enhanced chemical synthesis
  • aerosol science

External partnerships:

  • synthetic biology
  • biosciences
  • earth and environmental sciences
  • composites science, engineering and manufacturing

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class MSci/MChem honours degree in chemistry, or a relevant related discipline, or a postgraduate MSc or international equivalent. We may consider applicants with a lower second-class MSci/MChem honours degree, or a first or upper second-class BSc honours degree who can demonstrate good potential for research.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level F.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£4,758 per year
UK: part-time
£2,379 per year
Overseas: full-time
£26,000 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Bench fees

For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (such as training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will be made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

The School of Chemistry offers financial support for PhD students from a range of sources, including UK research councils, industry and other scholarship schemes. There is no separate application form for these, unless otherwise stated on the School's website.

A limited number of School of Chemistry bursaries are available to cover bench fees, which may otherwise be charged.

If you wish to be considered for NERC GW4+ DTP funding for this programme please refer to the NERC GW4+ DTP prospectus page for guidance in making a PhD application.

Prospective candidates are welcome to contact the School of Chemistry's admissions team with any funding queries.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Your skills will be in high demand from the chemical and allied industries, as well as the public sector. A PhD in Chemistry is valued in many areas of employment, including pharmaceutical sciences, green energy, polymers, coatings, agrochemicals, instrumentation manufacturers and management consultancies. Many of our PhD graduates are successful in securing post-doctoral positions at universities in the UK and overseas.

Meet our supervisors

The following list shows potential supervisors for this programme. Visit their profiles for details of their research and expertise.


Research groups

The School of Chemistry is managed under three sections: Inorganic and Materials; Organic and Biological; and Physical and Theoretical. However, the School's research profile is defined according to research themes, each with a critical mass of researchers: further information can be found at Explore Bristol Research.

Internationally leading research

We are now ranked the UK's number 1 chemistry department for research (THE analysis of REF 2021) with 100% of our research outputs recognised as being world leading or internationally excellent. Additionally, we are internationally recognised for the breadth, creativity and high quality of our research.

Outstanding individuals and world-class teams

The talent of our researchers, from students to Professors, is our greatest asset. These scientists are brought together under our five research themes, which highlight our broad range of interests.

Across the chemical sciences and beyond

Our research themes connect activities spanning traditional boundaries of chemistry and also build bridges to other disciplines such as engineering and medicine.

Our research themes are:

  • Catalysis and Synthesis
  • Chemical and Synthetic Biology
  • Computational Chemistry, Theory and Dynamics
  • Environment and Energy
  • Functional Molecules and Materials.

Researchers in the School of Chemistry are engaged in a number of collaborative centres and research institutes, including the Cabot Institute and BrisSynBio, with broader engagement from researchers across the Faculty of Science, the wider University and beyond.

Contact us

Chemistry Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0) 117 928 9180