The Ultimate Guide to Applying for a Masters Degree in Chemistry

Pursuing a Masters degree in chemistry is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. If successful, graduates unlock critical benefits that put them one step ahead in a highly competitive modern job market. Potential benefits may range from new knowledge, work placements and practical laboratory experience in the field to important connections with people in the industry through additional networking. Don’t forget, a master’s graduate may also apply to pursue further postgraduate education, such as PhD studies.

A master’s degree is a degree awarded to students after oneor two years of additional university studies following a bachelor’s degree. The purpose of a master’s degree in chemistry is to allow students to gain advanced knowledge in a highly specific field of chemical science (for instance, advanced organic chemistry, excellence in analytical chemistry, forensic chemistry, nanoscience, or spectroscopy) to deepen their understanding of the study area and develop new practical skills to apply on the future workplace.

Should I Pursue a Masters Degree in Chemistry (MSc)?

Before looking through lists of master’s programs that various universities offer, it is important to consider all the pros/cons and decide if the program is worth the extra effort. Master’s degree programs are usually chosen by individuals who have a personal interest in the field and wish to use this graduate qualification as a stepping stone towards a higher-level qualifications, better career opportunities, or meeting the requirements of a specific job.

However, a master’s degree in Chemistry is not for everyone.

An extra one or two years of additional studies is a considerable commitment that requires dedication and motivation to complete. Also, if everyone or a considerable section of your group decided to pursue a master’s degree it may not be an indication that you also should. Everyone has their own path in life and doing something due to social pressure may not be the best choice. Finally, think about additional financial costs! With growing competition, it is becoming very hard to secure a scholarship for several years. Consequently, education and living expenses need to be covered by other sources.

What are the requirements for a Master’s in Chemistry?

Specific requirements may vary depending on the country of study and the chosen university. However, in the majority of cases they are similar and presume having a degree in Chemistry from a recognised institution and an excellent command of the English language.

For instance, at the University of Edinburgh to qualify for a master’s degree program an Upper Second (2:1) undergraduate degree (or the international equivalent) in Chemistry is necessary. All candidates must demonstrate a solid background in analytical/laboratory, physical, inorganic, and organic chemistry. During the application process, the admission committee will assess the presented academic records, the applicant’s CV, the institution from which the application was made, and academic references that support the applicant.

Which Master’s Degree Science Course is Right for Me?

Before making your application it is important to consider whether you prefer lab-based projects (Research Masters) or would opt-out to work with data and literature (Taught Masters). Modern universities are highly versatile and offer master’s degree courses that will suit the needs and interests of most applicants. Both programs take the same time to complete and usually assume similar levels of research. Nevertheless, there are several specific differences that every master’s degree applicant should consider.

First of all, Taught Master’s degrees are similar to undergraduate studies in terms of structure. However, they assume more independent learning. Also, Taught Masters are formed by modules that are delivered through lectures, workshops, and seminars. At the end of the program, students will be required to prepare a literature-based project. Such as a systematic review of a taught Chemistry topic or a project focused on statistical analysis of published data.

In contrast, Research Masters presume one or several laboratory-based independent research projects with no predetermined hours. Students are usually given the submission date for the work and are free to design their specific Ghantt charts to complete the task. At the end, Research Masters students will be required to submit a report showing the results of their research endeavours.

Research Masters programs in Chemistry are usually carried out within research groups. In other words, a master’s student will support the existing research in progress at the university. If positive results are obtained, they will be published as a group effort, giving the future graduate an extra boost in the job application.

When Should You Apply for a Masters in Science?

Regardless of the chosen university and the program, it is important to start the application process in advance. As with the applicant’s requirements, specific admission procedures will be different from one institution to another. For instance, there are universities that take applications on a “first come first serve basis” meaning that it is possible to apply until a predetermined number of applicants is reached.

However, there are other universities with a specific application deadline, students are welcome to apply before the deadline. Nevertheless, regardless of the university and application procedures, there are specific deadlines that should be met. For instance, since master’s degree programs start in September, all applications should be submitted by June. The bottom line is that ideally, the application process should start one year in advance. This way it will be possible to thoroughly research a substantial number of universities for specific Masters in Chemistry programs and make an application without any problems. Rememeber, you can always seek application help and Masters dissertation writing help if you are struggling.

What Else Do You Need to Consider?

Applying for a Master’s in Chemistry program requires dedication with a strong background in the field. However, in addition to academic achievements and a desire to study other important points should also be considered as part of the application process. For instance, if the student is from a different city or country, arrangements should be made with accommodation services. These services may range from renting a flat near the university to organising a place in a student hostel. The chosen option will depend on your budget and needs.

Another important point to consider is visa application. If a student visa is required, this application should be made once a confirmation of the acceptance is received by the student. It will take up to a month for the embassy to verify the documents and make a decision regarding the student visa. At this stage, the visa may be refused and the application process at the embassy should be started again. For the reasons above, it is highly recommended that you don’t leave everything for the last minute.


This guide summarises some of the main points any student should take into account while considering master’s degree courses or making an application. The program is not for everyone, it’s mentally challenging and requires a considerable degree of engagement from the student part. However, a Masters in Chemistry is a highly important stepping stone towards a better job opportunity or an excellent career in academia. With hundreds of job applications on every single opening solid education may be the edge required to be invited for an interview. The modern world is quickly changing, however, regardless of advancements in modern computer technologies and AI, it is not expected that such infrastructure will replace solid education from an established university and hands-on practical experience.