A woman in a lab coat holds a piece of equipment up to the light.

Discover and contribute to a new era of digital molecular design

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Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Duration: 6 months full-time
ECTS: 30


Duration: 1 year full-time
ECTS: 90

Key information

Start dateOctober 2021
Location: Online

Subject to College approval

This course and the information on this page are subject to College approval.

Please check back soon for the latest information.


The practice of chemistry in academia and industry is being revolutionised by advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and big data. 

This Master's programme will equip you to navigate and contribute to emerging fields within chemistry and train the next generation of scientists that are greatly needed and currently in short supply.

This one-year programme comprises modules that cover the theory and application of data science, machine learning and automation in a diverse range of areas within the chemical sciences.

From computational modelling allowing predictive insights into the behaviour of complex molecules and systems, to artificial intelligence and machine learning revolutionising our ability to predict reaction outcomes, you will explore recent developments across the field and gain sought-after skills.

These modules will be delivered online except for a single term research project module, which you can undertake either remotely or on campus. 


Our career-focused degrees ensure graduates are well-placed to gain employment in a growing industry. 

There are many areas of employment open to you as a graduate of this course. Previous graduates of the Department have gone on to pursue careers in:

  • Healthcare
  • Medical device industry
  • Research
  • Medicine
  • Start-ups
  • Teaching
  • Consultancy
  • Finance
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • Data-driven industries

Applying for this course

We expect this course to be fully approved by the College soon. Until then, this course and the information on this page are still subject to College approval.

Applications for this course will open shortly after it's approved.

Please check back for more information about this course.


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

There are limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses. See what changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Find out more about potential changes


Taught modules

Core modules

You will take all of the following:

  • Data Analytics in Chemistry
  • “Hacking” for Chemists
  • Automation in Chemistry, Drug Discovery and Materials
  • Ethics in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
  • Journal Club
  • Artificial Intelligence in Chemistry: Materials
  • Artificial Intelligence in Chemistry: Drug Discovery
  • Design of Experiments (DoE)
  • Chemical Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Innovation in Chemistry

Depending on your academic and/or professional background, you will also take one of the following modules:

  • Key Concepts in Chemistry
  • Programming in Python


Research project

You will conduct an independent and original research project in the area of digital chemistry. You will be able to choose from a selection of projects suggested by academics in the Department of Chemistry and their collaborators and perform original research from March to August with the aim of producing publishable results.

You will write a dissertation, defend your work with an oral examination and present in a student symposium. This research project can be completed either online or on-site and will provide an opportunity for you to work on cutting-edge research with two academic groups within the Department and/or in an affiliated laboratory within the College or a selected partner organisation (for example, an SME or industrial partner).

The two research supervisors will contribute complementary technical expertise e.g. one in medicinal chemistry, one in machine learning.

Teaching and assessment


The Digital Chemistry programme will be delivered online, apart from the research project module, where you will have the option to either carry it out remotely or on campus.

Teaching and learning on the programme will be delivered by the departmental faculty through a range of methods including:

  • recorded lectures
  • online engagement points
  • guided reading
  • scheduled live tutorials
  • coding exercises
  • 'lab-in-a-box' remote experiments

You will also learn as part of a cohort through and through interactions with your peers on discussion boards (which can be used as assessment through graded discussion prompts), group projects and peer-assessed exercises.

Although you will be working remotely, staff will be available to support you in your learning and help you to work most effectively.


There will be short assessments for each module, but most modules are assessed primarily through coursework. The final project assessment involves both a written report and oral examination. 

Excluding the final research project that counts for 45% of the degree, the assessment in the remaining modules is roughly 10% exams, 60% coursework and 30% practical work.

Overall workload

The expected total study time is 2,250 hours per year.

Your overall workload consists of online sessions and independent learning. The following gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities.

At Imperial, each ECTS credit you take equates to an expected total study time of 25 hours. The research project will amount to 1,000 hours, and around 20% of the time you spend on the remaining modules (250 hours) will be spent in various structured activities (lectures, workshops and practical sessions) and 80% (1000 hours) in independent study.

Entry requirements

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


Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum entry requirement is normally a 2.1 degree in chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering.

Applicants with a 2:1 degree in a data science related area, such as computing, applied mathematics and statistics, will be considered on a case by case basis.

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 higher 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

Application deadlines

The application deadline will be confirmed once this course gains College approval.

Please check back here for more information.

Making an application

Apply online

All applicants must apply online.

Visit our Admissions website for details on the application process.

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

Application fee

For 2021–22 entry, we are introducing a pilot application fee for our Master's courses. This helps cover some of the administrative and staffing costs associated with processing the large volume of applications we receive.

This fee will be £80 per application and not per course. 

We will waive the fee for any applicant – Home or Overseas – who demonstrates that they are experiencing financial hardship.

There is no application fee for Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas or PhDs. The fee for MBA applications to the Imperial College Business School is £135. 

Find out more about the application fee and waiver

Selection process

Online interviews will be offered to shortlisted candidates.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, Visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

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.

Find out more about fees and funding opportunities.

Fees for this course

We expect this course to be fully approved by the College soon. Until then, the fees for this course and information on this page are still subject to College approval.

Fees information will be updated as soon as this course is approved. Please check back here for more information.

Tuition fees

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you're a UK national, or EU national with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government, if you meet certain criteria.

For 2020-21 entry, the maximum amount was of £11,222. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.

Further information


Got a question?

Dr Mike Ray and Dr Dipa Gurung
T: +44 (0)20 7594 2678 and +44 (0)20 7594 1241
E: chemres@imperial.ac.uk

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