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Graduate Taught Programmes

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Graduate Taught Programmes

The UCD School of Chemistry is located in the state-of-the-art UCD O’Brien Centre for Science with world-class facilities in technologies such as X-ray crystallography, nanoparticle characterisation, microanalysis, NMR spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry. 
We offer two graduate taught programmes in the School (level 9 nfq, credits 90) spanning a large number of topics from the mathematical, materials and physical to the biological.

The UCD School of Chemistry has vibrant research in areas such as catalysis and new transformations, bioNano interface, advanced spectroscopy, new materials for magnetic, medicinal, and electronic applications, and carbohydrate chemistry.

Our MSc in Chemistry by negotiated learning is a flexible programme, offering a diverse array of modules and is suitable for students that wish to sample different sides of the discipline. Initial academic advice in collaboration with the student ensures that module choices match career aspirations or areas of interest. For example, students wishing to broaden their understanding of chemistry could choose a range of modules, while those who are intent on progressing to a PhD programme, or specific industries, might choose to concentrate on a specific area, e.g., chemical biology, nanochemistry, medicinal, sustainable or materials chemistry.

Career Opportunities

The MSc in Chemistry through negotiated learning provides a basis for graduates to enter the chemical, pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical and materials industries. Analytical services, environmental protection and primary and secondary school teaching present other possible opportunities. Furthermore, through judicious choice of modules within one particular sub-discipline of chemistry, the programme is an attractive route for some students into a PhD programme.

Click here for further information and to download the course brochure.

If you have any queries please contact Declan Gilheany, the Coordinator by email: declan.gilheany@ucd.ie 

Ireland is home to nine of the top 10 world pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, with seven of the 10 top blockbuster pharmaceuticals made in Ireland. This MSc in Synthetic Chemistry is designed for Chemistry graduates who are interested in deepening their knowledge of synthetic chemistry with a view to pursuing a career in either the fine chemicals or pharmaceutical industry.

The UCD School of Chemistry has vibrant research in areas such as catalysis, the synthesis of biologically active compounds and the development of new materials for magnetic and electronic applications, and it has strong links with pharmaceutical and fine chemical companies in Ireland and around the world.

The course draws on the expertise from researchers in the UCD School of Chemistry who specialise in the following areas:

• Catalysis and new transformations research is directed towards design and discovery of new methodologies for metal-mediated and organic bond making and breaking processes to provide new techniques for building up molecular complexity (cascade processes) and to facilitate challenging reactions under mild conditions. Areas of application are multifaceted, including for example natural product synthesis, energy storage (hydrogen fuel economy, greenhouse gas fixation, water splitting), and greener processes.

• Carbohydrate chemistry research focuses on developing new synthetic methodologies towards carbohydrates, C- and S-glycosides, and towards oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, and also includes the evaluation of the biological activity, specifically as antibiotics, vaccines, and antitumour agents.

• New materials for magnetic, medicinal and electronic applications research encompass the fabrication and application of complexes and assemblies for spin crossover (magnetic switches) and as electrochemical sensors. Substantial work is also directed towards the synthesis and application of metal-based drugs for anticancer and antimicrobial application.

Career Opportunities

The MSc in Synthetic Chemistry provides a basis for graduates to enter the chemical, pharmaceutical, bio-pharmaceutical and materials industries. Analytical services, environmental protection, and primary and secondary school teaching present other possible opportunities. This course is also a route for some students into a PhD programme.

Click here for further information and to download the course brochure.

If you have any queries please contact Paul Evans, the Coordinator by email: paul.evans@ucd.ie

Grad Student   

 Chukwudi Ugwu, MSc Synthetic Chemistry & Fine Chemicals Pharmaceutical Industry. 2021/2022

"As a scientist who is highly motivated by the potential impact that a hypothesis driven research could have in the society, I chose synthetic chemistry for my master’s at UCD School of Chemistry because it allowed me to dive deeper into my interests in drug discovery and development. I made the decision to study at UCD because of its reputation as the most culturally diverse college in Ireland. This helped me to connect with a wide variety of individuals from different backgrounds and learn from their experiences. Particularly, Chemistry MSc program at UCD is a very unique one as the curriculum allows students to choose between research or internship for their thesis projects. I chose research project which enabled me to apply the knowledge and skills I gained in the course work in solving a real-world biomedical problem. Moreover, as a GOI-IES scholar, I assisted students from diverse backgrounds in their academic journey to Ireland which allowed me to contribute to my community in a meaningful way. I am currently working as a graduate research fellow in Rubini's group at the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology, UCD. I ultimately hope to become a professor of Chemical Biology in the future."

Grad Student   

Cillian O Beirne, Taught MSc Chemistry (Negotiated Learning) 2014/2015

"I chose to undertake the MSc Chemistry (Negotiated Learning) course as pathway to both refreshing and improving my chemistry knowledge with hopes it would lead to further career and postgraduate opportunities. In my time at UCD chemistry, I was challenged by a broad range of topics in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, whilst interacting with lecturers and professors and gaining insight to the requirements of further postgraduate study in a PhD. The climate in UCD chemistry was welcoming and supportive, with the ChemSoc society providing a way to meet peers and colleagues that are still in my life to this day. The final lab project, that remains an important aspect of the course, helped to reintegrate me into a research environment and eventually led to undertaking a PhD in UCD Chemistry. This has helped me in my career by allowing me to travel to France and Germany in a research capacity and find an exciting role as a Process Development Scientist here in Ireland."

Grad Student   

Ana Valero Garcia, MSc Synthetic Chemistry & Fine Chemicals Pharmaceutical Industry. 2021/2022

"I wanted to take the MSc in Synthetic Chemistry due to the excellent reputation of UCD, which also holds a special place in my heart due to my previous visits and the captivating cultural experiences I had. This personal connection and UCD's reputation played a significant role in my decision to pursue further education here.

Moreover, the positive feedback I received from esteemed alumni and professionals reinforced my belief in UCD's commitment to academic excellence. Once I joined UCD, I was thrilled to discover that the lectures were captivating and intellectually stimulating. The topics covered were both thought-provoking and relevant, and the lecturers consistently displayed a remarkable level of support and understanding. They were readily available to address our questions and concerns, fostering a conducive learning environment.

Another remarkable aspect of MSc Synthetic Chemistry program is the opportunity to pursue internships. While securing a placement allows for practical industry experience, the research projects available within the program are equally fascinating. Engaging in these projects provided me with a unique chance to contribute to cutting-edge advancements in synthetic chemistry, further cultivating my passion for scientific exploration. After successfully graduating from the MSc, I've started working as a Process Technician at Pfizer. This practical experience in the industry further solidified my decision to pursue an MSc in Synthetic Chemistry at UCD. I believe that this advanced degree will enhance the skill set of anyone taking this course, and open up new avenues for career growth within the pharmaceutical field.

Contact UCD School of Chemistry

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: chemistry@ucd.ie