Materials chemistry, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Since the dawn of mankind, materials have played an essential role in human development. The Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age are part of our history and today we are heading towards the Nano Age.
Using all the tools in chemistry, such as material synthesis and chemical and physical characterization methods, this broad engineering master's programme aims at deepening the understanding of materials properties in order to design and develop the materials of tomorrow.

Materials chemistry​ master's programme at Chalmers

Society is increasingly relying on chemistry in creating materials that are more environmentally sustainable, more durable, lighter, consume less energy and are cheaper. 
Centred around organic- and inorganic chemistry, polymers and nanotechnology we train you in how to use these tools in tweaking molecules to give materials specific properties. This could range from high-temperature corrosion-resistant materials and materials for catalysts in a chemical process or in cars to nanomaterials that have unique traits and precision-targeted pharmaceuticals.

Watch a recording of the webinar about Materials Chemistry on YouTube >> or YouKu >>

Evolving fields where materials chemistry stands for great opportunities are e.g. biodegradable detergents, solvent-free paints, polymers made of renewable recourses, polymer-based solar panels and diodes, thermoelectric materials that transfer heat to electricity and handling complex emissions from fuel-efficient engines that rely on biofuels instead of fossil fuels.
The master's programme provides you with an engineering education within the materials field where emphasis is on synthesis, chemical characterisation, physical and chemical properties and applications, and top-down chemical nanomanufacturing. There is also a close connection to industrially relevant materials, including both present products and the materials of the future.

As a student, you will develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are necessary to handle the complexity of materials related to problem-solving in products and processes. This includes the design, development of new and existing materials, synthesis and characterization of material’s properties. Several of the compulsory elective courses have a project-based part where teamwork and innovation processes are included. 

Topics covered

The subjects of materials chemistry, polymers and nanomaterials are fundamental areas in the Materials chemistry master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as advanced catalysis and nuclear chemistry. ​

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of Compulsory courses, Compulsory elective courses and Elective courses. ​The first semester of the programme only contains compulsory courses. There are 18 compulsory elective courses out of at least four have to be selected. A master thesis project of 30 or 60 credits is required. If one conducts a 30 credit master thesis up to 30 additional credits can be selected from advanced courses on Chalmers or from the compulsory elective courses. For example Project in Material Chemistry. If a 60 credit master thesis is conducted this only allows for the four compulsory courses and four of the compulsory elective courses​.

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with four compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Materials chemistry. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. 

  • The synthesis, properties, and structure of solid state materials
  • Surface chemistry
  • Polymer chemistry and physics
  • Advanced analytical chemistry

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.

  • ​Master’s thesis ​

Compulsory elective courses

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in one of the profile tracks, or a combination thereof. ​​During year 1 and 2, you need to select at least 4 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate. 

  • Project in materials chemistry
  • Advanced organic chemistry
  • Corrosion
  • Surface engineering
  • Ceramics engineering
  • Solvent extraction
  • Polymer technology
  • Catalysis
  • Applied coordination chemistry
  • Applied optical spectroscopy
  • Advanced organic synthesis
  • Applied organic molecular spectroscopy
  • Green chemistry
  • Design and analysis of experiments
  • Nuclear chemistry 1
  • Tailored mater and commercialization
  • Materials in medicine
  • Nanomaterials chemistry
  • Biological materials
  • Nuclear chemistry 2

Learning objectives of profile tracks


  • Understand some key functions and properties important for pharmaceutical materials
  • Be able to choose and describe characterization methods relevant for pharmaceutical materials
  • Communicate experimental results and literature studies, both written and orally.


  • Understand key functions and properties in organic and inorganic materials
  • Describe chemical reactions and behavior in surface chemistry
  • Use, describe and explain common experimental techniques used in material chemistry.


  • Describe the definition of synthetic polymers and understand what distinguish a polymeric material from other materials
  • Describe how different kinds of polymers can be synthesized and manufactured
  • Suggested suitable analysing methods to solve characterization problems.


  • Describe the fundamental concepts of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis
  • Exemplify important reactions where catalysis is used
  • Communicate experimental results and literature studies, both written and orally.

Advanced materials

  • Describe important concepts of solid state materials, surfaces and nanomaterials
  • Use, describe and explain common experimental techniques used to characterize solid materials
  • Communicate experimental results and literature studies, both written and orally.

Programme plan, syllabus, course description and learning outcomes

Other master's programmes that might interest you



Scientists, in industry or academia, and engineers in materials science are active in fields ranging from fundamental materials development to application of materials technology in products and processes. Sweden has cutting edge research in characterisation, design and development of new materials. There is thus a continuous need for materials engineers with a sound chemistry background within Swedish industry, such as automotive, rolling bearings, bioimplants, polymers, surface treatment, paint, packaging materials, hygiene and healthcare products and pharmaceuticals. In addition, sustainable engineering opens up more opportunities such as catalysis, recycling, biodegradable materials, tailored nanomaterials and corrosion resistant alloys.
Besides moving on as PhD-students, previous student have found positions at e.g. Komet, ST1, Emerson, Borealis, SP, Domsjö fabriker, Eka Chemicals, Mölnlycke Healthcare, Elasto Sweden AB, YKI, Tetra Pack, Intellego Technologies, Akzo Nobel, Oxeon, Vinci Technologies, Kronans droghandel, Iggesund paperboard, Volvo Cars, Alström Power, Forbo Forshaga.

Research within Materials chemistry

Connections to research are strong within all areas in the master's programme. The teachers are researchers and/or PhD-students who all take an active part in the research activities at the department, this guarantees research relevance and novelty in the courses. The connection is strengthened through the Research School in Materials Science and the Area of Advance in Materials Science. In many of the courses the students work in small research projects, which are directly related to the research performed at the division.

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Page manager Published: Wed 08 Sep 2021.