Taught course

Plant Chemical Biology; Multidisciplinary Research for next Generation Agri-Sciences

Imperial College London · Department of Chemistry

Entry requirements

Academic requirement: 2:1 degree or higher in any subject with more than 50% physical science content (e.g. Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Bioengineering), from a UK institutions or an equivalent overseas qualification. English requirement: IELTS 6.5 (writing and speaking 6). TOEFL Internet 100 (writing 24) TOEFL Paper: 610 (writing 50)

Months of entry


Course content

  • Are you interested in developing new technologies that will lead to sustainable population growth?
  • If so, see how our research and training is helping to shape our future...
  • Industrial Internships are available on a competitive basis.
  • Scholarships for Full or Part contribution towards fees and bursary are available for students who wish to consider either full or part-time option of the course.

Why Plant Chemical Biology?

In the last half-century there have been remarkable advances in our knowledge of the chemistry of biological systems. However, a quantitative understanding of the molecular mechanisms taking place is still in its infancy. Without such knowledge, we cannot be said to truly understand how these systems operate and interact with their surroundings.

The food, fibre and fuel requirements of our ever-increasing population are some of the major challenges facing current society. There is therefore a clear need for innovation and technology to increase crop productivity in a sustainable way. Key targets include increasing photosynthetic efficiency, reducing losses caused by pests and diseases, enhancing food safety and quality for better nutrition, minimising waste throughout the food supply chain, and improving the processing of biomass materials for fuels and other plant derived chemicals and materials.

Chemical Biology through physical science innovation (in e.g. chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering) is able to develop novel tools and technologies to tackle biological problems on a molecular level. It is a discipline that is perfectly poised to address the next great challenges in the agri-sciences, in the postgenomic area and to understand how chemical and biological space are interacting and influencing each other.

Course Overview

A one year (full-time) or two year (part time) multidisciplinary Masters in Research (MRes) course that equips students with the language, knowledge and skills to enable them to tackle problems lying at the plant-physical science interface. Training is provided by world renowned academic and industrial scientists in the plant and chemical biology fields. The course consists of an 8 month multidisciplinary research project, specialist lectures, transferable skills courses, interactive workshops, tutorials, journal clubs and seminars. Successful graduates from this course will be ideally placed to undertake PhD studies or apply directly to the agri-science industrial sector.

Industrial Internships

Syngenta are the key industrial partner on this course. Joint Syngenta/Imperial research projects (internships) are available on a competitive basis. Students will either be based at Syngenta or at Imperial.

More information

For more information (including a copy of the course flyer and booklet) on the MRes in Plant Chemical Biology; Multidisciplinary Research for next Generation Agri-Sciences and details on how to apply, please see our website.

Visit the MRes in Plant Chemical Biology; Multidisciplinary Research for next Generation Agri-Sciences (Full or Part-time course) page on the Imperial College London web site for more details!

Fees and funding

Information on tuition fees 2014 entry.

There are opportunities to gain scholarships in a competitive fashion. These will provide funding towards tuition fees and/or living expenses and will be granted on the basis of academic merit and excellence of the applicant. All students who wish to be considered for this scholarship should apply by submitting a copy of their CV by email to Dr Laura Barter (l.barter@imperial.ac.uk) in addition to submitting a College Postgraduate Application Form.

There are Santander Master’s Scholarships available for 2014-15.

The Basil Furneaux Memorial Fund is intended to provide support for past or present students of the College in need, particularly in relation to the advancement of education in agriculture

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr Laura Barter