Master of Chemistry
Master of Science
EducationThe overall aim of this programme is to train students to conduct research in an academic or industrial setting. Hence, it does not provide preparation for a teaching career. On completion of the programme, students should be able to explore specific and advanced chemistry topics, to formulate research questions, to report on their findings and to collaborate with fellow students. In writing the Master's thesis, students are able to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired: they identify a research question, situate it in its proper chemical and social context and design a study that addresses this research question. Graduates pursuing a career in the chemical industry should be able to apply their knowledge in a global, economically and technologically driven environment, while graduates embarking on a research career should have acquired sufficient knowledge of a specialised subfield of chemistry, including modern chemical instrumentation, and be up-to-date with recent findings in order to function effectively in a challenging research environment, either within or outside the university.
The Master of Chemistry is an initial Master's programme. You can follow this programme on a full-time or part-time basis.
ProfileThe general exit qualifications of an academic Bachelor's degree are taken as the prerequisites of the Master of Chemistry programme. Apart from this, the student should have acquired insights in the fundamental processes of chemistry and the way in which it contributes to other scientific domains, for example biology and nanotechnology. The student should be fluent in English.
At the end of the Bachelor's programme, the student should:
On a cognitive level:
- have a general knowledge of basic sciences, such as mathematics, physics, bio- and geo-sciences and their relationship to the domain of chemistry;
- have a more specific knowledge of the sub-areas of chemistry (organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, supramolecular, polymer and biochemistry) and on the chemistry-supporting sciences (crystallography, spectroscopy and computational techniques);
- have insight in the domain-specific strategies for collecting and analysing knowledge;
- have a thorough knowledge of and insight in molecular structures and processes and their chemical diversity and access to interdisciplinary aspects;
On a practical level:
- have the necessary skills to plan and conduct chemical experiments;
- have experience with the collection, quantitative analysis, interpretation and evaluation of information and data;
- possess a professional attitude toward environmental and safety issues and possible ethical implications, not only in the context of research, but also with regards to teaching and industry;
On a communicative level:
- have the necessary capabilities to communicate and present a topic related to chemistry which he/she has investigated in an independent way;
- have the necessary social skils to operate in a team;
- be fluent in English, in a research environment.
Alternatively, the following prerequisites are defined on the basis of the content of the following textbooks in English, or the equivalent thereof:
For the basic sciences, and for chemistry at the introductory level:
- Chemical Principles; Atkins and Jones
- World of Chemistry Essentials; Joesten, Netterville and Wood
- Mathematical Techniques: an introduction for the engineering, physical, and mathematical sciences; D.W. Jordan and P. Smith,
- Physics for Scientists and Engineers; Douglas C. Giancoli
- Biology; Neil A. Campbell, Jane B. Reece
- Understanding Earth; Press and Siever
For the more advanced level in the different disciplines within chemistry:
- Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry; David L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox
- Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry; Skoog and West
- Inorganic Chemistry; Catherine E. Housecroft, Alan G. Sharpe
- Organic Chemistry Structure and Function; K. Peter C. Vollhardt, Neil E. Schore
- Physical Chemistry; Atkins,
- Introduction to Crystallography (Dover Classics of Science and Mathematics); Donald E. Sands
- Textbook of Polymer Science; Fred W. Billmeyer
- Supramolecular Chemistry; Jean-Marie Lehn
- Computational Chemistry (Oxford Chemistry Primers); Guy H. Grant, W. Graham Richards
- Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy; Banwell and McCash
As this alternative formulation of the prerequisites is exclusively in English, it is understood that the students have either completed an earlier degree for which the teaching language was English, or have completed courses such as "scientific English". Such courses are not offered in this particular programme.
For specific admission requirements, click on the desired programme in the 'Choose your courses of study' section.
ObjectivesThe Master of Chemistry ...
Knowledge and understanding
- has extensive knowledge and understanding of a number of chemical fields of expertise and at least one advanced or specialized chemical topic;
- can acquire autonomously chemical insights and methods;
- has advanced theoretical and practical knowledge of methods of specialized chemical synthesis and characterization.
- knows to organize and carry out original chemical research;
- can delineate a research topic, postulate a research question and revise this question in the course of the research;
- can select and apply autonomously proper experimental and theoretical methods;
- can find, use and interpret with intent specialized literature.
Acquire, use and form an opinion about information:
- has insight in the strategies of acquiring and using knowledge that are central to the domain of the exact sciences;
- can acquire, adapt, interpret and evaluate quantitatively information and data;
- can adapt and interpret research results in a multidisciplinary context, position it in the international context and report about this;
- can apply his knowledge, understanding and problem solving capacities in a broader context;
- can critically evaluate complex problems in the field of chemistry and formulate scientifically sound solutions.
Communication and social skills:
- can express verbally and in written form the results of research for a group of people of experts and laymen;
- can take a scientific viewpoint and defend it for a public of fellow students, lecturers and specialist;
- can function in a heterogeneous environments and teams;
- has English communication skills;
- can be in the lead and run a team;
- can work autonomously.
Motivation and attitudes:
- is open to complementary input from other disciplines;
- can take responsibility for and give direction to his personal professional development;
- has professional behavior;
- can autonomously function and contribute to research.
- has competency that gives access to the PhD study and to employment in chemical and various other fields.
After graduationAs the Master of Chemistry programme offers a wide range of specialisations, many career options are available to new graduates. More than half of our alumni work in industry, while others work in education, training, or government. Within industry, graduates can opt for a technical, commercial, or research-oriented career. Since the chemical industry is also a major industrial sector throughout Europe and the rest of the world, employment opportunities are enhanced by obtaining a PhD. A few examples of professional domains where chemists are needed include education (secondary school as well as at university), industry (chemistry, petrochemistry, medical sector, pharmaceutical industry, agrochemistry, food industry, etc.), government or public administration and research institutes.
Information sessionsKU Leuven organises a Verderstudeerbeurs each spring. In addition, faculties also organise information sessions for many of their bridging and graduate programmes.
All information sessions for (future) Master's students
SpotlightThe Department of Chemistry consists of four divisions, all of which conduct high-quality research and are embedded in well-established collaborations with other universities, research institutes and companies across the world. The department's academic staff is committed to excellence in teaching and research. Although the department's primary goal is to obtain insight into the composition, structure and properties of chemical compounds and the design, synthesis and development of new (bio)molecular materials, the knowledge thus gained often leads to applications with significant economic or societal benefits.
The department aims to develop and maintain leading, internationally renowned research programmes on fundamental and applied problems in the fields of:
- The design, synthesis and characterisation of new compounds (organic-inorganic, polymers)
- The simulation of the properties and reactivity of (bio)molecules and clusters by quantum chemical and molecular modelling methods
- The determination of the chemical and physical properties of (bio)molecules by spectroscopy, microscopy, and other characterization tools as related to their structure
ContactFaculty of Science
Programme director (ad interim)
Prof. Eric Nies
Tel. +32 16 32 74 81 of +32 16 32 74 18
Kasteelpark Arenberg 11 bus 2100
tel. + 32 16 32 14 01
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
To contact us please complete the contact form on our website.