Chemistry lab

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

Your course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. Your teaching will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote (online) learning and research opportunities. We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery.  Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of the next academic year, the balance in the ‘multi-mode’ offering may be subject to change. We will do our best to provide you with increased on-campus teaching and research activities as we progress throughout the year.

We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of the academic year, you should immediately contact the Department using the details in the ‘Further information’ section below.

For more information about multi-mode delivery and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
ECTS: 90 credits

Applications are now closed


Our MRes in Advanced Molecular Synthesis focuses on the challenge of designing molecules and synthesising them in an efficient manner on a meaningful timescale. The ability to do this has the potential to unlock new opportunities to address societal challenges.

At present, the efficiency and speed of synthesis remain a bottleneck in the development of many compounds for use in fields as diverse as healthcare, agrochemicals, molecular optics and smart materials.

This multidisciplinary programme will combine a nine-month project of original research with courses and training in the latest approaches designed to automate, analyse and understand synthetic processes.

You will gain a strong understanding of the rational design and efficient synthesis of organic and inorganic compounds alongside the knowledge needed to bridge the current technological gap between academic and industrial research laboratories.

You will have access to the facilities at the recently established 'Dial-a-Molecule' Grand Challenge institute Centre for Rapid Online Analysis of Reactions (ROAR) at our new Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH) at White City.

Study programme

In contrast to MSc programmes, the ethos of the MRes course is to focus on learning through research, regular research meetings, as well as interactive workshops and group work based on independent research and critical evaluation. Workshops may cover topics such as software carpentry and data analytics.

The material will be delivered by academics and industry partners, who are experts in the design and application of synthesis in a modern context.

You will also have access to non-assessed elements. These may cover topics such as advanced stereochemistry, synthesis and biosynthesis, kinetics, design of experiments and data science.

Taught modules

In the first term, lecture courses and workshops will provide small-group training.

Lecture courses will provide core knowledge on the topics of Fundamental Reactive Intermediates, and Advanced Process Design. Optional courses include Advanced Catalysis; Advanced Stereochemistry, Synthesis and Biosynthesis; and Sustainable Chemistry.

A series of workshops on Data Analytics will introduce the concepts for the increasingly data-driven discipline.

Journal clubs will encourage you to critically analyse developments from the recent literature. Further optional training courses will be available through the year, including reaction kinetics and design-of-experiments (DOE).

Research project

You will be able to choose your own, unique research project from a wide selection of project descriptions, circulated before the start of the course.

Each project will last nine months and be jointly supervised by academics/industry partners with different but complementary expertise. This will ensure a strongly multidisciplinary flavour to the projects.


Graduates can expect to receive training in all of the necessary skills and experience required to apply cutting-edge synthetic approaches in commercial and academic laboratories.

The extensive research project is a strong foundation for further study to PhD level.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.


Taught modules


You take all of the following:

  • Two assessed lecture courses (Fundamental Reactive Intermediates and Advanced Process Design)
  • Journal Clubs
  • Examined workshops (For example, these may cover Software Carpentry and Data Analytics)
  • Research Project


You also have access to non-assessed elements, such as those listed below.

This list is indicative of the options you can expect.

  • Advanced Catalysis lectures
  • Advanced Stereochemistry, Synthesis and Biosynthesis lectures
  • Plastic Electronics lectures
  • From Molecules to Medicines lectures
  • Kinetics workshop
  • Design of Experiments workshop
  • Additional Data Science workshops

Research project

You undertake a nine-month research project, which includes the following elements:

  • Research proposal
  • Dissertation
  • Oral exam
  • Oral presentation

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Research project
  • Journal clubs
  • Workshop
  • Core lectures
  • Optional lectures
  • Seminars
  • Weekly meetings

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Oral examination
  • Presentations
  • Written examinations
  • Written reports

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a 2.1 degree in chemistry or chemical engineering.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

ATAS certificate (overseas candidates)

An ATAS certificate is required for all Non-EEA/Swiss nationals who require a visa to study in the UK.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptor
CAH07-02-01 chemistry

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.
For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

ATAS course description

The description of the MRes course that you should use in your ATAS application is the below:

  • Title of the research: Advanced Molecular Synthesis
  • Description: The MRes course in Advanced Molecular synthesis at Imperial College London is designed to improve the students understanding and experience in all areas of synthesis with an emphasis on modern approaches and techniques, as well as the hardware and software tools. The research will be based in a multidisciplinary area, supervised by academics who are experts in this field. The student will be exploring rational design and efficient synthesis of both organic and inorganic compounds. To achieve this, academics who work closely with industrial partners will guide the students through journal clubs and workshops to critically analyse the benefits and drawbacks of a range of approaches to synthesis. This training will be accompanied by hands-on use of the state-of-the-art, world-leading facilities available within Imperial College London.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry

£11,700 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

£32,800 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Find out more about our scholarships to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information


Got a question?

Dr Mike Ray and Dr Dipa Gurung
T: +44 (0)20 7594 2678 and +44 (0)20 7594 1241

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