Computational Chemistry and Modelling – Distance Learning (PG Cert) 2016 entry

The Postgraduate Certificate in Computational Chemistry and Modelling is a flexible online distance-learning programme which provides students a broad knowledge and understanding of modern computational chemistry alongside practical software training.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

Course duration

One year full time; two years part time

Entry requirements

A good 2.1 undergraduate Honours degree in chemistry, physics or other cognate discipline. Students must also have completed a first year university mathematics course or have A-Level mathematics (grade B minimum) or equivalent.

If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

Tuition fees

One year full time: £5,270
Two years part time: £2,635
Per 20-credit course: £1,755

Application deadline

Application requirements

You must submit a reference with your application.

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes held through the University of Edinburgh. 

Course information

Course highlights

  • Online distance-learning programmes enable students to balance postgraduate study with their work and personal life, without the need to visit a university campus.
  • Personal tutors are available to provide advice and support.
  • Students have access to a Linux computing cluster, located in Edinburgh, to carry out the practical assessment tasks.

Teaching format

Students are taught by academic staff at the EaStCHEM Research School of Chemistry, which is a partnership between the Schools of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews.

The University of Edinburgh provides access for students to computational and library resources in addition to online teaching activities and material; the University of St Andrews will provide teaching via web technology hosted at Edinburgh. 

Students participate in online tutorials, multimedia learning and peer-to-peer discussions with fellow students from around the world. Each 20-credit module is assessed on the basis of coursework and an 'open-book' online exam.

Each student is assigned a personal tutor who will be available to provide advice and support, both academic and in all areas of student life.

Technical assistance for Linux computing clusters and computational software will be provided by the School's distance education development officer. Technical support is also provided 24/7 by the University of Edinburgh's Information Services team.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.


Students will take three compulsory modules during the course, which enable participants to study key areas of modern computational chemistry and its applications.

  • Electronic Structure Theory and Classical Simulation Methods: the theories, applications and methods involved in electron correlation, molecular properties and electronic structure. 
  • Computational Modelling of Materials: understanding and simulating the crystal lattice and material properties from electronic structure and classical condensed matter. 
  • Computer-aided Drug Design: structure-based approaches to computer-aided drug design, cheminformatics and the elements of medicinal chemistry and structural biology. 

The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue


There are many potential scholarships or support schemes available to postgraduates.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the PG Certificate

Research degrees

This qualification is an ideal platform on which to base further study towards an MSc or a PhD. The University of St Andrews' School of Chemistry offers an MSc in Chemical Science as well as a large number of fully-funded PhD studentships each year. Key areas of PhD research include:

  • Molecular Synthetic and Structural Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Chemical Biology
  • Surface Science
  • Theoretical Chemical Physics

PhD in Chemistry at St Andrews


Students who graduate with the Postgraduate Certificate will enhance their employment prospects for a range of jobs offered by the chemical and related industries. 

Chemistry graduates from St Andrews have gone on to successful careers in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries with companies such as:

  • BP
  • Shell
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Siemens
  • GSK
  • Pfizer
  • AstraZeneca. 

Other career routes outwith a research environment include scientific publishing, patent law, forensic science, and IT and energy consultancy.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.


School of Chemistry
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3800

Chemistry website

EaStCHEM Research School of Chemistry
The University of Edinburgh
King's Buildings
Joseph Black Building
David Brewster Road

Phone: +44(0)131 650 7456

EaSTCHEM website

Admission to this programme is governed by the University of Edinburgh admissions policy. Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University of St Andrew ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for this programme are governed by the University of Edinburgh tuition fee policy for postgraduate students.

The University of St Andrews will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB)