A student working in a lab holding a beaker and test tube
Working in the Chemistry Research Laboratory
(Image Credit: Yunli Song / Graduate Photography Competition)
Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division


Oxford is one of the leading chemistry research departments in the world, with around 80 academic staff carrying out international level research and an annual research income of around £15 million. In the most recent national assessment of research (REF 2021) 66% of our research output was judged world-leading, and 32% was judged internationally excellent.

The department has a number of research themes, including:

  • catalysis
  • synthesis
  • chemistry at the interface with biology and medicine
  • sustainable energy chemistry
  • kinetics, dynamics and mechanism
  • advanced functional materials and interfaces
  • innovative measurement and photon science
  • theory and modelling of complex systems.

The facilities at Oxford for research and teaching are among the best available in the UK, with a wide range of the latest instrumentation and a huge computational resource networked throughout the University and beyond to national computing centres. Among the facilities available are the latest in automated X-ray diffractometers, electron microscopes, scanning tunnelling microscopes, mass spectrometers, high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers and specialised instruments for the study of solids.

Graduate courses are offered in four areas of chemistry: physical and theoretical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and chemical biology. Courses are also offered in the form of several four-year Doctoral Training Programmes, offering a range of specialised training and collaboration opportunities. Two of these programmes are hosted by the department: the Inorganic Chemistry for Future Manufacturing EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training, and the Synthesis for Biology and Medicine Centre for Doctoral Training. 


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