Graduate Studies in Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

How to apply

The normal route to graduate study in Chemistry at Oxford is to apply for admission as a Probationer Research Student (PRS) with the intention of completing research over (usually) a 3-4 year period leading to the degree of DPhil; occasionally a shorter period of study may be appropriate and students may then submit for the degree of MSc by research.

Applicants should apply online, it is recommended that you read the Application Guide before applying, as found here

Applicants are strongly recommended first to make contact with potential research supervisor(s) before submitting a formal application. As well as describing possible research projects, the potential supervisor will be able to offer advice on completing the application form and may help with identifying possible sources of grants or scholarships. 

More information about courses can be found at:

DPhil in Organic Chemistry: 
MSc (by Research) in Organic Chemistry:
DPhil in Chemical Biology:
MSc (by Research) in Chemical Biology:
Synthesis for Biology and Medicine CDT:

Candidates should submit a Personal Statement (1000 words / one page document) as part of their application - indicating why you would like study at Oxford Chemistry and what your research interests are. Research Proposal is not compulsory.

Applicants should contact the Graduate Studies Team ( ) with any queries regarding the application process. 

Application Deadlines

Addmissions for 2018-19 entry are now closed.

If places are still available, course(s) may reopen to applications on Tuesday, 1st May 2018.

See further information.


Applicants for Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology should note that all interviews will be held on ten fixed days across the year.  Please note that applicants from outside the UK will normally be interviewed by Skype.

Interviews dates will be:

29th November 2017
10th January 2018
24th January 2018
7th February 2018
21st February 2018
7th March 2018
21st March 2018
25th April 2018

Applicants should note that due to the way the applications are circulated, they may be interviewed by a supervisor that they did not name on their application.

Areas of current research

Organic Chemistry

  • New synthetic methodology
  • Total synthesis of natural products 
  • Asymmetric synthesis methodologies, both catalytic and stoichiometric 
  • Carbohydrate-based organic synthesis 
  • Free radical chemistry 
  • Oxidation and reduction in organic synthesis 
  • Computational Organic Chemistry 
  • Organic synthesis of new materials, including materials with new optical and conducting properties 
  • Medicinal chemistry 
  • Combinatorial chemistry 
  • Mechanistic and structural studies on enzyme mechanisms 
  • Biocatalysis 
  • Bio-organic chemistry and biosynthesis of natural products 
  • Protein engineering and functionalisation 

Chemical Biology

  • Fundamental studies of protein function
  • Protein structure and dynamics
  • Protein engineering
  • Chemistry of genetics and epigenetics
  • Nucleic acid chemistry
  • Single molecule approaches
  • Biotechnology
  • Applications in medicine
  • Use of small molecules as functional probes
  • New biophysical methods for analysing molecules in cells
  • Biocatalylsis
  • Bioenergy
  • Carbohydrate chemistry
  • Membrane proteins
  • Synthetic biology

Individual projects may also be separately advertised with their own cut-off dates; again, applications will be accepted in the normal manner.

Financial information

Fees, funding & scholarship Search (contains information about scholarships and awards)