Theoretical Chemistry - Master Programme in Chemistry 2019/2020

Photo for Theoretical Chemistry - Master Programme in Chemistry 2019/2020

The specialisation provides a firm basis in theoretical and computational chemistry and a cutting-edge expertise in the field of electronic structure calculations for molecules and materials, molecular dynamics simulations, reaction dynamics and spectroscopy-related research areas. A central theme is to provide foundations that will allow you to embark on advanced studies in a range of modern research fields in academia or in industry.

Why this programme?

This specialisation in Theoretical Chemistry will give you in-depth knowledge of advanced topics of theoretical and computational chemistry and is developed in cooperation with world leading research groups in this field at the university. You will have lecturers who are experts in, e.g., chemical bonding and electronic structure theory, molecular dynamics simulations, and reaction dynamics and you will have the opportunity to do your degree project in a ​dynamic and world-class resarch environment using state-of-the art computational methods and equipment.

One central theme of this programme is to provide a foundation that will allow you to embark on advanced studies in a range of modern research fields in academia or in industry. Some important examples of such areas are sustainable energy and fuel solutions, heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis and photocatalysis, new materials and their properties, and molecular spectroscopies of various flavours. Thus in your thesis in theoretical chemistry you will have access to a range of chemistry areas to specialise in, and you will be well-equipped for a further career in academia or industry.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • get a personal mentor who helps you prepare for your future career
  • build a foundation that will allow you to embark on advanced studies in a range of modern research fields in academia or in industry
  • be a part of a university with two Nobel prizes in chemistry
A degree from Uppsala University will give you close connection to excellent and world leading research and you will have the opportunity to develop a personal contact network. You will have a personal mentor who will invite you to seminars, group-meetings and other events in order to prepare you for your future career and you will meet PhD-students and post-docs who have come to Uppsala to be part of an excellent research environment to do cutting-edge research. Our research groups have a well-developed cooperation with other institutions and research agencies which is beneficial for you when choosing a project for the master thesis, and to make contacts for your future career.

Student profile
You are probably coming directly from your Bachelor's degree or have had a relevant job to strengthen relevant skills. You have not, anyway, forgotten too much of your broad chemistry base. You have a firm basis in physical and theoretical chemistry, and possibly some experience in computational chemistry. Your university was also well equipped with experimental facilities so you have good practical training, can select relevant methods and stay safe while doing experiments.

You have an analytical mind and are able and willing to express your thoughts in both writing and speaking. You are extremely motivated and willing to take the responsibility needed to successfully complete your studies.

A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming into contact with current research and prominent researchers in the respective international field.


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Chemistry as the main field of study.

All specialisations of this programme


Semester 1
You will study chemistry courses which provide you with the theoretical and experimental skills needed for the subsequent semesters. Some of these courses are common to other specialisations in the Master Programme in Chemistry. In the very first course, you will also meet many of the professors in the different fields of chemistry giving seminars about the current trends in their respective research fields. The semester ends with a profile course in theoretical chemistry.

Semester 2, 3 and 4
During the second semester, you will take courses in different areas of physical, theoretical and computational chemistry, You will learn about energy related materials and catalysis as well as photochemistry together with students taking the specialisation of Chemistry for Renewable Energy and Physical Chemistry. These are areas related to research in theoretical chemistry. You will also take a course in advanced methods in computational chemistry of molecules and solids. Here, the courses on materials and catalysis, and photochemistry will provide you with a thorough understanding of energy relevant applications, e.g., solar cells and various forms of chemical conversion through catalytic processes.

During the third semester there will be further advanced courses, including topics such as femtosecond laser spectroscopy, reaction dynamics, statistical thermodynamics, and computer simulation methods. The programme ends with a degree project of 30 credits or 45 credits.

Some examples of recent Master's thesis titles

  • M. Ugandi: Conical intersection optimization with approximate nonadiabatic coupling
  • D. Larsson: Single-atom Ru on TiO2: A CO2-reduction catalyst?

Courses within the programme

See outline for courses within the specialisation.

Learning experience

Theory and practical work are always intervowen into the courses, and instruction takes place in the form of lectures, laboratory and computer work, problem solving, seminars, and projects.

The lecturers are active researchers, and we emphasize coaching you to adopt a scientific approach in your work where you will develop the necessary skills to solve problems, to think critically and analytically, to plan and formulate research problems, and to independently carry out the necessary experiments and to analyse and interpret the results.

The versatility of the field is also evident from where you can do your Master's thesis projects, which can be in the research group where you have your mentor or in another group doing research in related fields, depending on your research interests.

You will also receive systematic training in both oral and written presentations as an integrated part of the courses. The ability to communicate well will be very important in your future career.

The language of instruction is English.


Surveys have shown that the labour market for chemists with a degree from Uppsala University is excellent, with 97 per cent of those who obtained their degree during the last ten years being either employed or undertaking doctoral studies.

Our graduates in theoretical chemistry find positions in many different areas. Many become PhD students at Uppsala University, but also at other universities throughout the world. Most recent examples include, e.g., University of Karlsruhe and Lund University.

Chemical issues are found in most sectors, and having a specialisation in theoretical chemistry makes it possible for you to hold key positions in addressing many future challenges related to areas of both fundamental chemical questions, as well as more applied areas. These could include the development of new materials and more environmentally friendly production processes, as well as contributing to a deeper understanding of fundamental chemical processes, thus contributing. e.g., to the development of new catalysts and reactions facilitating the development of new solar fuels as well as new pharmaceuticals.

Possible career paths can vary. You may work with research and development, production processes, analysis of materials, management of safety and legal issues, patenting of inventions, marketing and sales, or environmental and sustainability issues.

A Master of Science in Chemistry from Uppsala University will provide you with plenty of opportunities to build an exciting future career in academia, in industry, the public sector, or in entrepreneurship. Not only will you gain the knowledge and ability to perform special and advanced tasks related to both applied and more fundamental aspect of chemistry, you will also be qualified for positions in many other areas where problem-solving, abstract thinking and analytical ability are required.

Career support
When you are about to finish your studies and want to start planning for your next step in life, you are welcome to UU Careers for support and guidance. You are also welcome to a variety of career activities and events all through your stay at Uppsala University. Of course, the services are free of charge. Learn more about UU career support.


Theoretical Chemistry

120 credits

Autumn 2019 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2019-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1374 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is 90 credits in chemistry and physics, of which at least 60 credits must be in chemistry.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000