Students who excel in their undergraduate studies and enjoy their experience of research during their undergraduate training may want to continue their education by pursuing a PhD degree. Doctoral research allows students to probe a scientific problem at a very deep level and make an original contribution to advancing knowledge in a particular field. During the doctorate, which typically takes three to four years, students will be exposed to and use a wide range of scientific techniques that they learned about during their undergraduate studies, get practice in analysing their data, and gain the valuable experience of writing a PhD thesis and publishing their results in the scientific literature. It is also the time when young scientists learn to work independently, develop their skills in setting up and carrying out experiments, and hone their scientific intuition.
As the highest academic qualification, a PhD provides the holder with a superior qualification, not only for chemistry, but in a diverse range of technical, academic, and managerial careers. The doctorate is essential for an academic career and is even suitable for teaching at a high school level. In fact, while doctoral studies postpone regular employment, the significantly higher starting salary and superior possibilities for progression in most careers mean that PhD holders typically make up and surpass holders of bachelors or masters degree in just a few years, as the American Chemical Society finds in its annual career analysis.
Take advantage of the Department of Chemistry’s reputation, international collaborations, and research strengths when considering where to pursue your doctorate. Interested students with a first or upper second in chemistry or a closely related discipline should contact a potential advisor to discuss suitable research projects before applying for the PhD programme. Please also see information about funding for doctoral studies in the postgraduate degree menu.