Master's of Research (MRes) in Molecular Science and Engineering


Are you a scientist wanting to focus on the practical application of your research?

Are you an engineer wanting to better understand the fundamentals of molecular sciences?

Are you excited by the possibilities at the interface of molecular science and engineering? 

Do you want to gain practical experience in industry?


IMSE MRes students 1718
IMSE MRes students 2017-18

IMSE launched a unique Master's of Research (MRes) in Molecular Science and Engineering to train students in interdisciplinary collaborative research, equipping them with an unparalleled perspective and set of fundamental and applied skills to embark on their career. The programme started in October 2017 with students from a diverse range of chemistry, chemical engineering and biomedical engineering backgrounds.

Further information

Course overview

Why have we developed this MRes?

New solutions require expertise across disciplines.

An exciting opportunity

Rapid progress in our understanding of molecular science now allows us to make, measure and model materials with unprecedented accuracy. This presents a great opportunity to engineer better materials and molecular systems in response to the grand challenges faced by society.

Specialists in broad aspects of molecular science and engineering are increasingly in demand. Our ongoing discussions with industry on the subject of postgraduate training consistently highlight that novel solutions require expertise across the perceived silos between science and engineering. Companies are keen to employ skilled scientists and engineers to work effectively and seamlessly together in order to tackle the challenges they face. A work-force who can operate at the interface between the two disciplines with a common understanding is invaluable. Meeting this need for research leaders capable of transcending the barriers between engineering and science is a central remit of IMSE.

Imperial is ideally placed to lead this programme

Imperial is at the forefront of research in science and engineering, has a strong culture of collaboration, a well-established close association with industry, and a proven track record in technology transfer.

This one-year full-time course provides students with a systematic understanding of Molecular Science and Engineering and a critical awareness of the current challenges and research in this emerging area.

Who should apply?

The MRes is aimed at a broad intake of exceptional graduates from science and engineering backgrounds who are excited to pursue collaborative, trans-disciplinary research of an applied nature. It will equip students with fundamental and applied skills for a PhD or career in industry.


The MRes will provide you with advanced integration skills, as well as an understanding of multiple scales, from molecular interactions to whole manufacturing systems.

Modules shown are indicative, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Term One

Introductory modules

Bespoke introductory modules will help you get to know your cohort and provide firm grounding at the interface of science and engineering:

  • Underpinning Molecular Science (Science Principles for Engineers)
  • Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering (Engineering Principles for Scientists)
Core modules

Once a common basis has been achieved, you will engage in advanced modules cutting across engineering and natural sciences, such as:

  • Designing Molecular Systems for Sustainability - to tackle complex design problems, including optimisation, machine learning, and the relation between experiments, models and design. Computer-aided approaches.
  • Manufacturing Processes - including principles of operation, performance, conceptual design, scale-up/scale-out and the role of a molecular level description.
  • Multiscale Modelling – Understanding, Visualising, and Predicting - from the atomic/molecular scale through to the plant process scale retaining a molecular-level link (including quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo, mesoscale simulation, molecular-based sequations of state, computational fluid dynamics, and process simulation).
  • Measuring – Analysis and Characterisation - for a specific application at the appropriate length and time scale, including extracting important parameters underpinning the behaviour of the material characterisation.
  • Making – Synthesis for Device Manufacture - in specific areas of modern synthetic chemistry relevant to device design (including polymer chemistry, metal-organic frameworks, nanomaterials, zeolites, and bio-inspired synthesis for device design).

Concept of molecular science and engineering - intersecting triangles

In the first term you will be allocated a targeted collaborative research project with an industrial partner, to start in the spring term.

Term Two

You begin term two by finishing the core modules and complete assessments on what you have learned across these modules.

You then write a short research proposal and start your research project. The first part of the research project - a placement in industry - allows you to experience first-hand the real issues and challenges faced in different sectors and companies. You will then work with researchers from different departments back at Imperial to produce high-quality, practical research.

Term Three

In term three, you will continue to work on your research project, to be written up in the form of a research article. You will also present your research in front of industry and academics at the IMSE MRes Symposium Day.

Entry requirements

Academic requirement: UK bachelor’s degree with honours at 2.1 or equivalent in an engineering or physical sciences discipline which includes some mathematics. A level Mathematics at grade A or equivalent.

The focus of this programme is on the interaction of the subjects of molecular science and engineering, and as such, most students are expected to have experience and ability in chemistry, molecular science and engineering. However, we are keen to include exceptional students who are not equally experienced in all three disciplines but who can clearly show they are capable of appropriately engaging at this interface. While we expect most students to have the appropriate background in chemistry and molecular science, those who are less proficient in one area but who are likely to be able to successfully engage with this course will be supported will be admitted and supported through blended learning and pre-reading.

English language requirement: IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each element or equivalent.

How to apply

** The admissions system for 2018 entry is now open **

Please apply by completing and submitting the online Imperial College Postgraduate application form. The program you should select when completing the online application is under 'Department of Chemical Engineering’ and the course name is 'H803 – Molecular Science and Engineering (MRes 1YFT)'.

All Postgraduate applications must be submitted online, please click here to apply.

Further guidance:

More detailed information will be provided shortly on interviews for the MRes in Molecular Science and Engineering.

Funding opportunities and scholarships

There are opportunities to gain scholarships in a competitive fashion. These will provide funding towards tuition fees and/or living expenses and will be granted on the basis of academic merit and excellence of the applicant.

Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

For more information on the Postgraduate Master's Loan scheme and other funding opportunities that are available, please visit the Fees and Funding website. 

Our teaching staff

The MRes in Molecular Science and Engineering is taught by world-class Imperial academics from across a number of different faculties and departments. Meet a few key staff:

George JacksonProfessor George Jackson is the MRes Programme Director. George has been a Professor of Chemical Physics in the Department of Chemical Engineering  at Imperial College London since 2001. He has a DPhil from Oxford University and held a postdoctoral position at Cornell University in the USA. 

Claire AdjimanProfessor Claire Adjiman is Professor of Chemical Engineering , the Co-Director of the Institute for Molecular Science and Engineering, and Director of the Centre for Process Systems Engineering. She received her MEng from Imperial College London and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. Claire teaches on the Designing Molecular Systems for Sustainability module.

Niall Mac DowellDr Niall Mac Dowell is Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Environmental Policy and leads the Clean Fossil and Bioenergy Research Group. Niall teaches on the Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering module and Multiscale Modelling module. 



Jason HalletDr Jason P. Hallett  is Reader in Sustainable Chemical Technology in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Dr Jason Hallett received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined Imperial College, first with a Marshall-Sherfield Postdoctoral Fellowship in Sustainable Chemistry and in 2014 was appointed a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Jason will be teaching the Underpinning Molecular Science module.


In 2017-18, the students were taught by 26 academics from 7 departments across Imperial College:

Teaching staff
ModuleLecturerLecturer's home department
 Underpinning Molecular Science  Dr Jason Hallett  Chemical Engineering
 Underpinning Molecular Science  Professor George Jackson  Chemical Engineering
 Underpinning Molecular Science  Dr Andrew Haslam  Chemical Engineering
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Dr Niall Mac Dowell  Centre for Environmental Policy
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Dr Di Zhang  Centre for Environmental Policy
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Dr Mai Bui  Centre for Environmental Policy
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Dr Adam Hawkes  Chemical Engineering
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Professor Peter Childs  Dyson School of Design Engineering
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Dr Gonzalo Guillen  Chemical Engineering
 Fundamentals of Molecular Engineering  Dr Jason Hallett  Chemical Engineering
 Designing Molecular Systems for Sustainability  Professor Claire Adjiman  Chemical Engineering
 Designing Molecular Systems for Sustainability  Dr Gonzalo Guillen  Chemical Engineering
 Manufacturing Processes  Dr Jerry Heng  Chemical Engineering
 Manufacturing Processes  Dr Koon-Yang Lee  Aeronautics
 Manufacturing Processes  Dr Peter Petrov  Materials
 Manufacturing Processes  Dr Joao Cabral  Chemical Engineering
 Manufacturing Processes  Dr Roberto Rinaldi  Chemical Engineering
 Multiscale Modelling  Dr Patricia Hunt  Chemistry
 Multiscale Modelling  Professor Fernando Bresme  Chemistry
 Multiscale Modelling  Professor George Jackson  Chemical Engineering
 Multiscale Modelling  Dr Edward Smith  Civil and Environmental Engineering
 Multiscale Modelling  Dr Niall Mac Dowell  Centre for Environmental Policy
 Measuring - Analysis and Characterisation  Professor Jason Riley  Materials
 Measuring - Analysis and Characterisation  Professor Mimi Hii  Chemistry
 Measuring - Analysis and Characterisation  Professor Paul Luckham  Chemical Engineering
 Measuring - Analysis and Characterisation  Professor Sergei Kazarian  Chemical Engineering
 Measuring - Analysis and Characterisation  Dr Samuel Cooper  Dyson School of Design Engineering
 Making - Synthesis for Device Manufacture  Professor Martin Heeney  Chemistry
 Making - Synthesis for Device Manufacture  Dr Charles Romain  Chemistry
 Making - Synthesis for Device Manufacture  Professor George Britovsek  Chemistry
 Making - Synthesis for Device Manufacture  Dr Jason Hallett  Chemical Engineering
 Making - Synthesis for Device Manufacture  Dr Joao Cabral  Chemical Engineering
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