Postgraduate Chemistry students

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2017
LocationSouth KensingtonWhite City
ECTS: 90 credits
This course is now open to applications for 2017 entry.

Catalysis underpins a huge range of modern chemical transformations. On this course you will gain a solid knowledge base in the area, and be challenged to develop your own ideas on how to focus academic and industrial research to meet the pressing challenges in catalysis.

About the course


Catalysis underpins a huge range of modern chemical transformations. From the megaton scale production of acetic acid to the polymers we use for plastics, and from automotive catalytic converters to key steps in pharmaceutical synthesis, the impact of catalysis upon our everyday life is enormous.

It has been estimated that around 90% of all chemical products produced on a commercial scale involve catalysis, and that catalytic processes lead to approximately £550 billion of products.

It is embraced as a ‘green technology’ as it can limit waste and improve selectivity as well as provide re-use of the catalytic agent itself.

Since the landmark achievements of Nobel laureate Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson in catalysis, Imperial has been known internationally as a centre for catalysis research, and this tradition continues today with over 30 members of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments active in the area.

Companies such as BP, INEOS, Sasol, Johnson Matthey, Pfizer and AstraZeneca all have research and development facilities in the UK. Researchers from many of these companies will deliver taught elements of this course, and therefore you will have the opportunity to learn from and network with future employers first hand.

The training offered by this course will open a variety of international career options to our students, either within the framework of a PhD programme or within industry.

Catalysis has traditionally been divided into homogenous (solution-based), heterogeneous (solid-liquid, solid-gas interface) and (reaction) engineering disciplines. However this distinction is becoming increasingly blurred, so this MRes course aims to provide you with a coherent overview of all these areas.

Students will graduate from the programme with a solid knowledge base in the area, and they will also be challenged to develop their own ideas on how to focus academic and industrial research to meet the pressing challenges in catalysis.

While the course will be run through the Chemistry Department, close ties will be maintained with Chemical Engineering as well as ensuring contact with industry through lectures on the course and invited seminars.

At its conclusion, students will be ideally placed to undertake PhD studies in collaborative research along the chemistry-engineering spectrum or to apply their knowledge in industry.

Focus your study of the universe and its origins on mathematics and its application, with less emphasis on experimental work.


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

Course structure

  • Research proposal
  • 9-month multidisciplinary research project with two supervisors
  • Taught modules in the major areas of catalysis (both chemistry and engineering perspectives)
  • Journal Clubs to explore cutting edge articles in the area
  • Research seminars and group discussion sessions
  • Research dissertation
  • Oral presentation at the MRes conference
  • Lectures and workshops in transferable skills (MasterClass programme)

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

2.1 Honours degree in chemistry, engineering or a related subject. A modest level of background chemistry or engineering knowledge is assumed.

International qualifications

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

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

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 requirements

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.

Fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:


Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:


Government funding

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

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,000 from the UK government for programmes beginning in October 2016. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs. 

Funding from Imperial


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. 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 our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

All applicants must apply onlineFor full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most of our postgraduate courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full. We therefore recommend applying early to avoid disappointment, especially students who will also be applying for funding or applying for a visa.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

ATAS Certificate
An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course. 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 team website.