Apply for a self-funded MSc by Research project

If you want to carry out a self-funded MSc project, you will need to find a Research Supervisor from one of our Research Groups.

To begin the process, think about which areas of chemistry you are interested in and view our list of Research Groups to try to identify potential supervisors in each area. You then need to contact potential supervisors directly by email - or contact Postgraduate Admissions at and we can assist you in finding a supervisor. When making contact, please include an outline of your research interests as well as a copy of your CV.

1. Find a Research Supervisor in a relevant Research Group

  • Chemical Synthesis

    Synthesis underlies all aspects of chemistry; the design, creation and study of molecules and materials are at the heart of research activity across all areas of chemistry.

  • Chemical Theory and Computation

    The interrelated fields of Chemical Theory and Chemical Computation form the basis of the CTC research theme in Chemistry at Lancaster.

  • Physical and Analytical Chemistry

    Characterisation and measurement of the properties of atoms, molecules, solids, materials and biological systems are at the heart of our physical and analytical chemistry (PAC) research here at Lancaster.

2. Develop your proposal with your Research Supervisor

As part of the application process, we will require a research proposal for the work you will undertake during your MSc. Your Research Supervisor will help you to develop your research proposal.

It is recommended that a research proposal includes the following:

  • a section that defines and characterises your selected research area
  • a section that briefly surveys and sums up the state of the research in this area
  • a section that identifies deficiencies in the research area which you would like to address in your Master's by Research degree
  • a section that outlines some possible research directions that you might pursue
  • a section detailing the methods you envisage using in your studies
  • who within the Department appears best qualified to supervise you
  • a list of references that you cite in the above sections

Our website offers additional information on writing a research proposal. Please note that your proposal is open to negotiation with your supervisor(s) and, like any research project, the exact direction of your research may change before and even during your degree.

3. Submitting your application

Please visit our Applying for postgraduate study webpage for details on how to apply.

Start dates

You can apply at any time of the year for study, but you will need to select one of the predefined start dates:

  • October
  • January
  • April

If you are applying for funding, are applying from overseas or require on-campus accommodation, we recommend that you apply as early as possible.

4. What happens next

After you submit the application it comes into the Admissions Office where it is assessed. It is then sent through to the Department for consideration. This can take up to three weeks. Please make sure you submit all the essential documents otherwise this will delay your application.

Once we receive your application in the Department we send it to potential supervisors. That is unless you have already identified a supervisor for your research.

We then make a decision on your application. The Admissions Office communicate this decision via your application portal and via email.

Fees and Funding

Information on the funding available, tuition fees and living costs in Lancaster are at Postgraduate Fees and Funding.