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Catalysis (MSc)

1 year (full-time) / 3 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

Catalysis lies at the heart of many chemical processes, from the academic research lab through living systems to the industrial large-scale reactor. By understanding and careful use of catalysis many processes can be made faster, cleaner and more sustainable.

Who is this Programme for?

This course will provide training in the state-of-the-art of catalysis theory, application, preparation and analysis and is recommended for graduates in chemistry or chemical engineering wishing to pursue a career in academia or industry.

Student using catalysis machines

A student using autoclaves to test a catalyst for the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide. These reactors are commonly used by students during their research project for carrying out high pressure reactions.

Special Features

Course Description

The course will develop students’ understanding of the science behind a range of problems arising in catalysis and for students to engage with a range of modern catalytic equipment and techniques. This course will train students in
three delineated branches of catalysis (heterogeneous, homogeneous and biological), as well as providing the opportunity to undertake a more theoretical or computational approach to the subject. In the later part of the taught part of the programmes students can focus in the specialist area that excites them the most and then undertake a research project with one of our world leading research groups. Many of our current PhD students are graduates of the MSc in catalysis.

Student using computer

A student studying a catalysts using scanning electron microscopy. This is one of the techniques covered in the module on preparation and evaluation of heterogeneous catalysts, and students get hands on experience using in the practical catalytic chemistry module."

Available Modules

Skills Acquired

Students will develop key skills including learning skills, information handling and presentational skills, all which can be easily applied to industrial and academic working environments.

Career Prospects

The course will allow students to enter the employment sphere of catalytic research or industry having gained an in depth education and training programme in homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalytic chemical processes and applications. Previous employers have included Johnson Matthew, Jaguar-Land Rover, Diamond Synchrotron Source but the majority of graduates from this programme have undertaken research towards a PhD in this field within the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI).

Student Views

Picture of Nakarin

'Cardiff University was the best choice because of the School of Chemistry’s research reputation.'

Nakarin Subjalearndee, MSc Catalysis

Read Nakarin's full testimonial

'After I graduated with a degree from the Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Thailand, I wanted to undertake new experiences in both my academic and personal life. I felt that one way of combining both would be to study for a Master’s degree abroad. I decided to search for universities that matched my lifestyle and interests in chemistry.

'Cardiff University was the best choice because of the School of Chemistry’s research reputation. The MSc in Catalysis scheme has furthered my knowledge of chemistry, and also the environment around the university really suits my lifestyle as it’s very quiet and peaceful.

'After I arrived at Cardiff, everything was even better than I had imagined! All of the staff in the university and people in the city are very generous to foreign students and I can guarantee that they never hesitate to help if I had any problems, no matter how big or small.

'The course really encourages and supports my development and allows my special interests in sustainable chemistry and real industrial processes to be investigated in more depth. In the future, if I have a chance to work in a chemical company in the United Kingdom, I definitely won’t hesitate to take that opportunity.'

Nakarin, MSc Catalysis student

Picture of Nakarin

'Cardiff is a beautiful city, and the tutors are very experienced.'

Ziyu Wang, MSc Catalysis

Read Ziyu's full testimonial

'Cardiff is really a beautiful city and is the capital of Wales. Another attractive feature of the city is that the cost of living is not high for students. The academic quality is high within Cardiff University and this is one of the main reasons why I chose to come to Cardiff. I chose to study this Catalysis course as I think this will give me a promising future.

'In addition, the tutors are very experienced and they all teach in lectures and the laboratory, and encourage us to explore the subject by doing more reading after class by ourselves, which is very important. I am very interested in the reactions which promoted by catalysts and the latest methods of solving the world’s problems. By using the most advanced technology offered by the University, we have the opportunities to know how the catalysts work and what we should do to improve the chemical process.

'Within the School of Chemistry, the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) is located. The CCI is an internationally leading research group and is in the top 5 of such teams worldwide. Through studying here, I can obtain more than I could previously imagine. After completing the course, I hope that I can work in the chemicals industry in the UK in areas where I can use my Catalysis MSc knowledge. Alternatively I will apply for a PhD in UK, obviously I will choose catalysis as the main focus of my research!

Ziyu, MSc Catalysis student

Picture of Yan

'Cardiff is a peaceful and picturesque city, which has a great deal of art, history and rich Welsh culture.'

Yan Ma, MSc Catalysis

Read Yan's full testimonial

'I have loved chemistry since I was a little girl as the chemical world is magical to me. I previously studied in University of Science and Technology Beijing and graduated with a degree in Applied Chemistry. When I decided to go abroad for further study, I found that there was an MSc in Catalysis course in Cardiff University and it is the major reason that I choose the study here.

'Catalysis widely exists in the natural world, and it is an important branch in chemical research. I am very happy studying here at Cardiff University. The professors are very erudite and patient, and the classmates are nice and friendly. The most exciting thing is that there are several libraries in the campus and I believe I can learn a great deal in this year.

'Cardiff is a peaceful and picturesque city, which has a great deal of art, history and rich Welsh culture. After I finish the course in I plan to go back to China, find a job in the chemistry industry and maybe I will pursue a PhD degree afterward. However, I will never forget the valuable experience in Cardiff.'

Name, course, year of study/graduation, any other relevant information

Entry Requirements

The course is suitable for graduates with a 1st or 2nd class UK Honours degree, or equivalent in chemistry or a related discipline e.g. chemical engineering, physics, pharmacy, pharmacology and biochemistry. Applicants with a degree in a subject other than chemistry will be required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key chemical topics prior to an offer being made.

Entry to courses in chemistry will be subject to the University requirements for English language.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Additional Information

Please include in your personal statement why you are applying for this course, with specific details such as what your future aspirations are, how your educational or professional background makes you a suitable applicant and what interests you about the course. Generic statements will not be accepted.

Application Deadline: 5 September 2016

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £7,750 £18,250
Part-time £3,875 £9,125
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Dr Thomas Tatchell  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 0759 



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