Graduate Studies in Chemistry


Oxford Chemistry is holding a virtual Open Day, for anyone interested in our postgraduate degree courses.

The main event will be on Tuesday, 9th and Wednesday 10th November 2021, and we will have some pre-recorded material available in advance.

Visit us to hear about our courses and funding opportunities, learn about our research interests, and meet supervisors and students.

Please go to for more information and to register. We look forward to seeing you!

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 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 (Centre for Doctoral Training)

DPhil in Chemistry in Cells: New Technologies to Probe Complex Biology and Medicine

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. A Research Proposal is not compulsory.

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

Application Deadlines

Admissions are currently open for the 2022-2023 academic year.


12 noon UK time (midday) on:

  • Friday 12 November 2021 - for SBM CDT
  • Friday 21 January 2022 - for SBM CDT, OrgChem and ChemBiol programmes, and DPhil in Chemistry in Cells
  • Tuesday 1 March 2022 - for SBM CDT, OrgChem and ChemBiol programmes

See further information.

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; applications will be accepted in the normal manner.

Financial information

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

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