MSc in Chemistry

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Program Description

MSc in Chemistry

Faculty of Science at University of Copenhagen

Master of Science (MSc) in Chemistry

The world is facing challenges. From global climate to personal health. From providing energy and food for a growing population to keeping air, soil and water clean. When you come to University of Copenhagen to study for your master’s degree in chemistry we will teach you to provide solutions.

The programme is offered in English.

The two-year MSc programme in Chemistry combines formal coursework with independent research guided by an experienced researcher. An MSc degree in Chemistry equips you with the necessary skills for participating in research groups or for the independent leadership and management of complex work and development situations within the field.

As a graduate student in chemistry, you can choose to tailor your degree from the full range of courses at the University of Copenhagen. From the arts, law and humanities to all the sciences. Not least a comprehensive range of chemistry including inorganic, physical and computational chemistry.

Profile and Career

Your MSc Chemistry programme at University of Copenhagen is a two-year study package. As much as half can be spent on your thesis. So you get up to one full year in the lab to concentrate on your subject of choice.
Competence Description

Chemistry graduates acquire the skills to:

  • Work independently, both individually and in teams
  • Formulate, structure and execute a research project involving the development and use of chemical methods
  • Manage complex research and development situations
  • Investigate and synthesize available knowledge in a field of chemistry
  • Evaluate chemical methods, their capabilities and limitations
  • Discuss chemical methods, theory and results in general as well as at a scientific level
  • Discuss the application of chemical results in an industrial, societal and ethical context from a professional basis
  • Assume responsibility for one’s own professional development and specialisation.

Additionally, a master’s level graduate in chemistry with an organic synthesis profile can:

  • Assess security risks of a given synthesis and take necessary precautions
  • Situate organic chemistry within the field’s wider perspective
  • Explain likely reaction mechanisms

Aditionally a Masters level graduate with a Green and Sustainable profile can:

  • Evaluate the sustainability of a chemical process
  • Explain how the sustainability of a chemical process might be improved
  • Situate green and sustainable chemistry within the fields wider perspective


A chemistry master's graduate acquires the following skills:

  • Process and analyse data
  • Read and understand literature in the field of chemistry
  • Utilize chemistry databases
  • Account for work orally and in writing

Additionally, chemistry master's graduates with an organic synthesis profile shall be able to:

  • Perform advanced organic preparative work, including work with reactive, toxic and air-sensitive reagents
  • Organize, describe, execute and optimize multistep syntheses on large and small scales
  • Communicate detailed instructions in writing with such detail that they can be followed by persons without specialized knowledge or can be published in international journals.
  • Make use of synthetic chemistry literature, databases, reference works in conjunction with the knowledge of chemical reactions' detailed processes to develop and improve preparative methods

Additionally, chemistry master's graduates with a green and sustainable profile shall be able to:

  • Describe the chemistry and physics at boundary surfaces
  • Describe and optimize the sustainability of a chemical proces


Chemistry master's graduates will:

  • Through course and project work, acquire knowledge and methodology in selected research areas
  • Through independent research under supervisor guidance, acquire in-depth knowledge of a specialised field at an internationally competitive level

Additionally, chemistry master's graduates with an organic synthesis profile possess knowledge of:

  • Methods of producing the main functional groups
  • Reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry
  • Conformational, steric and stereoelectronic effects

Additionally, chemistry master's graduates with an green and sustainable profile shall posses knowledge of:

  • Methods to describe boundary chemistry
  • Detailed understanding of homogenous and heterogenous catalysis
  • Methods to describe complex cinetics

Career Opportunities

Chemists are in demand all over the world. In research and analytical laboratories in the private as well as the public sector. They work as advisors in both private firms and public institutions, teach at university level or work for media. Or they use the insights from studying chemistry to start their own business.

Programme Structure

Graduate studies in chemistry take two years to complete. The first year consists of a series of compulsory and elective courses. In the second year, you will concentrate on your Master’s thesis. Your thesis work occurs within a research group setting at the Department of Chemistry under the guidance of a researcher. You will shape a program of study and description of your thesis work together with your supervisor. You may begin with your thesis work once you have completed 15 ECTS in your graduate studies. Oftentimes, thesis work occurs over a two year period. This means that thesis work and courses with relevance to it are concurrent during a significant duration of your graduate program. You can also complete your thesis work in a private firm or public institution in Denmark or abroad. You will then be assigned an internal supervisor from the Department of Chemistry as well as an external supervisor from wherever you are performing your thesis work. Your graduate education is completed with an oral defence of your thesis conducted by an external examiner.

During the course of your studies you must:

  • Complete the course, “Scientific Writing, Planning and Presentation”
  • Take at least one Major Course (15 ECTS) in either physical chemistry, organic chemistry, computational chemistry or inorganic chemistry
  • Select at least one 7.5 ECTS course from a series of graduate courses in chemistry
  • Complete an additional 30 ECTS of elective coursework. Most students choose chemistry coursework or other courses from the natural sciences. Should you wish to pursue a specialized interest, it is possible to select courses from throughout the University of Copenhagen provided you get advance approval for your plans.


you can choose one of our two chemistry packages:

  • Organic synthesis skills profile. Sought after by the pharmaceutical industry
  • Green and sustainable chemistry skills profile. In demand in the cleantech industry

Master's thesis

Your degree is capped off with the thesis. Below is an eclectic list of previous thesis topics to help acquaint you with an idea of what’s possible:

  • Synthesis of the electric guitar sound based on sound analysis and physics
  • Private users’ problems with computers at home
  • Robot navigation
  • Developing distributed computing solutions combining grid computing and Internet computing

 When and how to apply

The application procedure for EU/EEA and Swiss Citizens

  • Make sure to check the admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Service if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist) - Language tests and certified diplomas can be forwarded through the online application portal up until study start.
  • From 1 February to 1 April you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 1 April (Fall Semester).
  • After 1 April application deadline, your application will be evaluated by an academic admissions committee.
  • You will receive a response no later than 15 June.
  • Study start 1 September 2014.

Application Procedure Non-EU/EEA Citizens

  • Make sure to check the programme admission requirements.
  • Contact SCIENCE Student Services if you have questions.
  • Prepare your relevant documentations (see checklist). Incomplete applications will not be processed.
  • From 15 November to 15 January you can send your application through THE ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
  • We must receive your application no later than 15 January (Fall Semester).
  • Your application is evaluated by an academic admission committee between 15 January and 15 March: All applicants offered admission will receive an invoice for tuition fees which must be paid by 15 April
  • If admitted, you will receive your letter of admission after we have received your tuition fee payment.
  • 1 May is the deadline for applying for your residence permit.

Checklist for Documentation

In order to make sure we have all the information needed to evaluate your past achievements and future potential, you are required to submit the following items:

  • An original or certified copy* of your academic transcript from your Bachelor degree. If the transcript is in a language other than English or a Scandinavian language, please include an official English translation.
  • A certified copy* of your Bachelor diploma. If you are yet to receive your diploma, please provide a letter from your university stating the date when the diploma will be issued.
  • Course descriptions of courses undertaken in your Bachelor degree relevant to the programme you are applying for. These can be in the form of photocopies from your university's academic handbook/course lists or print-outs from the university's website. They should describe what was required of you to complete the courses, what was studied and hours of study. These course descriptions allow us to understand exactly what you have studied in your prior degree, and help us to determine whether you meet the requirements and are eligible for the MSc degree at the Faculty of Science.
  • An updated version of your C.V. (curriculum vitae)/résumé A photo is not necessary.
  • A photocopy of your passport. Should you have more than one passport (citizenship) please copy the passport with which you will use to travel to Denmark. NB: You must use your EU/EEA passport should you wish to be given a tuition fee waiver.
  • Proof of English language proficiency (not applicable to native English speakers) 1) Acceptable TOEFL/IELTS exam results (these test results should be sent to us separately from the test centre upon your request) OR 2) Proof that English was the language of instruction in your prior education. See more information on the language requirements.

* An official certified copy is a copy of an original document that has been certified as a true and correct copy by a person who is authorised to witness a statutory declaration. Official certified copies are usually a photocopy of the original document stamped, signed and verified by an official in your country. Each country varies in whom is qualified to certify documents, however generally speaking your university, lawyers and embassies can certify documents for you, so that we can verify that what we have is a true replica of the original (and therefore determine if you are eligible for the MSc with us).

Please note that when you apply for admission through the digital application system, you are responsible for including and uploading all relevant documents listed in the application package as described above. If you do not have the necessary documentation at time of application you must instead upload an explanation. You can not continue the application process, if you fail to upload information when the application system requires it.

Please note that if you are admitted to an MSc programme at SCIENCE, you may be requested to present your original diploma and transcript at your arrival in Denmark. This will allow us to verify the documents.

If you have already applied digitally, you can always log on to the system and check up on the status of where in the application process your application currently is. Once your application is processed, you will also receive messages regarding your application through the online application system.

Application deadlines

  • EU/ EEA/Swiss applicants:   

1 April 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

  • Non EU/ EEA applicants:   

15 January 2014 for admission 1 September 2014

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
2 years
Full time
Start date Sept. 2017
Denmark Copenhagen
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 2 years
Price - No tuition fee - EU/EEA