Research course

Organic and Biological Chemistry

University of Nottingham · School of Chemistry

Entry requirements

2:1 (or international equivalent) in an MSci/MChem for PhD/MPhil; 2:2 (or international equivalent) in a BSc for MRes.

Months of entry


Course content

Organic and Biological Chemistry research at Nottingham is very broadly based, and spans the whole spectrum of activity from medicinal chemistry, target organic synthesis, catalysis and development of new synthetic methodology through to mechanistic enzymology, chemical genetics, protein biochemistry, protein engineering and structural biology. Organic chemistry is especially strong in the areas of target synthesis, natural product chemistry, and asymmetric synthesis. Complex natural products and their analogues continue to present a fascinating challenge to the synthetic chemist. Research groups at Nottingham are probing new strategies and developing new methodologies for the synthesis of such molecules, with emphasis on compounds with significant biological activity. In particular, we are interested in novel compounds with antibacterial, anticancer and antimalarial properties. In Biological Chemistry, we address problems at the interface of Chemistry and Biology, to define the molecular interactions that determine the specificity and control of biological processes. The Department is well supported through UK Research Council and EU funding, and has strong links to the Pharmaceutical Industry. Key themes include:

Synthesis and Natural Products

The design and application of novel synthetic methodologies for the synthesis of naturally occurring target molecules, including antibiotics, alkaloids, terpenes and marine natural products.

Asymmetric Synthesis and Catalysis

The design of new reagents and catalysts to effect diastereo- and enantio-selective reactions, involving alkylations, C-H oxidation, reduction, and rearrangement processes.

Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

Studies of the fundamental properties of biomolecules, for example the folding of proteins and the binding of antibiotics to DNA; synthesis of enzyme inhibitors, antisense DNA, and hapten design for generation of catalytic antibodies. Novel compounds with antibiotic, anticancer and antimalarial properties.

For a more extensive overview, please visit the course page on the University of Nottingham's online prospectus.

Information for international students

English language requirements: IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element).

Fees and funding

The Graduate School at The University of Nottingham provides information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding.

There is also funding information on the School of Chemistry web pages.

For information on funding opportunities for international students, please see the International Office website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months


full time
24 months


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Enquiries
+44 (0)115 951 3481