Research course

Organic Synthesis

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of Chemistry

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to have a BSc 2.2 or above, or equivalent, in Chemistry or in a related subject.

Months of entry

January, April, July, October

Course content

The research carried out within the Organic Synthesis group is largely focused on the development of novel synthetic methods and applications of these in target synthesis, most often either natural products or biologically active compounds of pharmaceutical or agrochemical significance. In many cases, the inspiration for developing the new methodology arises from a consideration of the structural features of such targets.

Particular areas of current interest are in heterocyclic synthesis, both saturated and heteroaromatic. Driven by the demands of industry and environmental considerations, much of this effort is aimed at defining new methods for the highly efficient and catalytic generation of such compounds. This can involve new heterogeneous catalysts, reactions in flow systems and the application of novel rearrangement reactions or radical chemistry.

A particularly strong theme is the formation of such compounds by the electrophile-driven addition of nucleophiles to unsaturated carbon-carbon bonds. A long standing interest in pericyclic reactions continues in the areas of Diels-Alder chemistry, various sigmatropic rearrangements and electrocyclic reactions. Organocatalysis, an increasingly important area in view of the toxicity of many transition metals, is well represented within the group. Current target types include complex polycyclic peptides, alkaloids, steroids, terpene alkaloids and plant-derived oxygen heterocycles.

Department specialisms

Catalysis in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute The School of Chemistry has particular strengths in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Homogeneous Catalysis and Surface Science, including the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) dedicated to this exciting area of study. Chemical Biology The School of Chemistry has a strong research group in Chemical Biology, including developing our research in medicinal chemistry with links to the Medicines Discovery Institute. Inorganic Chemistry The School of Chemistry has a highly experienced research group in Inorganic Chemistry, with research areas including the design of new ligands. Materials and Energy The School of Chemistry has a broad research base in advanced materials, with a focus on understanding the fundamental properties of both soft and solid materials. Organic Synthesis The School of Chemistry has a dedicated research team in Organic Synthesis, with a particular focus on the development of novel synthetic methods. Physical Organic Chemistry The School of Chemistry has a wide-ranging scientific research team in Physical Organic Chemistry, with a variety of research techniques and topics being studied. Theoretical and Computational Chemistry The School of Chemistry has an expanding and groundbreaking research team in Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, with research into theory and computation.

Information for international students

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Admissions
+44(0)29 2087 0302