Organic Chemistry - Master's Programme in Chemistry

Academic year 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in Chemistry, specialising in Organic Chemistry, provides you with cutting-edge expertise in the field of organic chemistry. Your studies combine theoretical knowledge and practical skills covering various important topics of organic chemistry. These include modern synthesis methodology, training in synthesis design, experimental verification and optimisation in the laboratory, and practical application of spectroscopic techniques.

Why this programme?

In the specialisation Organic Chemistry, within the Master's Programme in Chemistry you have lecturers who are experts in, e.g., organic synthesis, organometallic chemistry, natural product chemistry, development of new analytical methodology, supramolecular chemistry, drug development for complex diseases, and chemistry of carbon allotropes.

The specialisation has been developed in cooperation with world leading research groups in this field at the university and you have the opportunity to do your degree project in a ​dynamic and world-class research environment. This will leave you well-equipped for either future research within academia or research and development in industry.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • get a personal mentor who helps you prepare for your future career
  • includes modern synthesis methodology, training in synthesis design, experimental verification and optimisation
  • 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.

To give you even further experience in working in a research group, you can also choose the course Research training which will further develop your theoretical knowledge and experimental skills.

Student profile
You are probably coming directly from your Bachelor's degree or have had a relevant job to strengthen especially your experimental skills. In any case you have not forgotten too much of your broad chemistry base. Your university was well equipped with experimental facilities so you have good practical training working in a lab, and 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

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Read the interview
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Name: Sofie Ye
From: Luleå, Sweden
Studied: Master’s Programme in Chemistry – Organic Chemistry

Why did you choose to study chemistry?
– I studied at the natural science program in high school but after that I actually went on to study music. Although it was really fun to spend all my days making music, I eventually started to miss science and sort of felt like I wanted to really understand how things “work in the world”. I started to think about what I could study to satisfy that feeling and ended up going for chemistry.

How come you chose to study at Uppsala University?
– I had heard a lot of good things about Uppsala, especially about the chemistry education. I had also seen a lot of videos from Uppsala on the television as a kid – from Valborg (Walpurgis eve) when the student choirs were singing and stuff like that. I thought that it would be a nice city to study in, partly because of the good reputation of the chemistry programme and partly because of all the student traditions.

What did you like most about studying in Uppsala?
– The student life! I took part in the welcoming reception for all new students at the very beginning and it was a great start. We played a lot of silly games together, which I think took down the “severity” of going to university a notch and made it easier to relax and get to know each other.

I also enjoyed the activities going on at the Nations. For me, who loves music, joining some of their choirs, orchestras and bands was a great way to have fun together with fellow students. It is really cool that we have these activities that are organised by students for students.

When it comes to the education, I appreciated that the professors were so available. I could come knock at their doors at (almost) any hour. It was truly inspiring to me to see how eager they were to help as long as you had the curiosity and willingness to learn.

Did you have any internships during your studies?
– Not really, but I got scholarships from the university to carry out short projects in different research groups during most of my summers in Uppsala. I thought it was really cool as it gave me more experience in research as well as knowledge in different fields of chemistry. The summer projects have been really helpful for me when it comes to choosing what I would like to work with in the future.

What have you done after you finished your studies?
– As soon as I graduated from the Master’s programme, I got the opportunity to work as a consultant within Life Science for six months at a consultant company. During those six months, I worked as a research engineer at the research and development department of a company in Uppsala. The project I worked in was related to optimising the production capacity of a new factory that was being built on site. I carried out experiments in the lab to better understand the parameters governing the properties of the product to make sure we would get the product we wanted.

What is the plan now?
– Now, I am just about to go back to academia for PhD studies. I will work with organic synthesis to, hopefully, develop molecular tools to visualise biological processes in the body. One of my first projects will be about making a molecule that may be used to give earlier diagnosis of diabetes.

Three quick questions
Favorite place in Uppsala?
– I like the view from the hill where the Castle stands!

Best student tradition in Uppsala?
– The welcoming reception in the beginning of the term, when the older students welcome the new ones.

Dream job?
– Actually, the other day when I had moment to just sit down and think, I thought to myself that “Wow, I’m living my dream”. I have been wanting to do a PhD for a long time and I’m also working part-time as a gym instructor, which is another dream of mine. I know that it sounds really cheesy but yeah, I think I’m living my dream right now.

Register your interest


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 also common to other specialisations in the Master's Programme in Chemistry. In the very first course, you will also meet many of the chair professors in the different fields of chemistry giving seminars about the current trends in their respective research fields. The semester ends with the first course in NMR spectroscopy.

Semester 2, 3 and 4
During the second and third semesters, you will take courses in organic chemistry, including, e.g., physical-organic chemistry and also more advanced methods in organic synthesis. The lab training is individual, and an important goal is for you to become independent both in the planning of your work and in the lab.

The programme ends with a degree project of 30 credits or 45 credits.

Some examples of recent Master's thesis titles:

  • S. Sigtryggsson: Design and synthesis of inhibitors of the Leap1-Nrf2 complex
  • P. Jia: Phosphaalkenes as suitable intermediates in one pot carbonyl-carbonyl coupling
  • F.C.O. Gaboardi: Synthesis, characterisation, and evaluation of the electrochemical performance of arylidene dipropiolates for application in chemical energy storage

Courses within the programme

See outline for courses within the specialisation.

Learning experience

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

The lecturers are active researchers, and we coach 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.

On a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates regarding a course book or work you have conducted; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills which will be required in your future professional development. All students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

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 also 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% of those who obtained their degree during the last ten years being either employed or undertaking doctoral studies.

A Master of Science in Chemistry from Uppsala University will provide you with many 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 in chemistry, you will also be qualified for positions in many other areas where problem-solving, abstract thinking and analytical ability are required.

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, developing new and improved methods for quality control.

Salary in Sweden can vary greatly depending on education level, work task, previous experience, location, sector, etc. According to one of the largest Swedish work union SACO's statistics of salary in Sweden in 2019, newly graduated students in chemistry earned between SEK 25 000 and SEK 35 000 per month before tax.

Our previous graduates today work at, for example, Cytiva (previously GE Healthcare), AstraZeneca, Cambrex, and Biotage, as Development Engineers, Principal or Research and Development Scientists, and Chemical Analysis Specialists, etc.

Meet some of our students and researchers in organic chemistry, and find out more about our research in chemistry.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Read more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose.

Organic Chemistry

120 credits

Autumn 2021, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 15 January 2021

Application code: UU-M1376 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.

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 72,500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact the study counsellor.

+46 18 471 37 92

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Chemistry - BMC

Husargatan 3, Uppsala

Box 576, SE-751 23 Uppsala

Student portal

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