About the Department of Chemistry

Rhodopsin molecule

With a pedigree as one of the oldest Chemistry departments in England, and continuing an illustrious tradition at the University epitomised by the discoveries of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins in the structure of DNA, the Department of Chemistry has a distinct focus on understanding the chemistry of life and the interface with biology. Our imaginative, interdisciplinary research provides the foundations for innovations in chemical biology, biomaterials science, synthetic biology and nanomedicine.

The Chemistry Department of King’s College London has been in existence since 2012. The department has witnessed an extraordinary period of development from a zero base to 19 permanent Principal Investigators (Pis). We are a growing, dynamic department that is smaller, younger and more gender diverse than Chemistry norms – for instance, the mean age of PIs is 43, and our open, inclusive working environment has helped us achieve gender representation above national averages for chemistry, e.g. 50% female professors (w.r.t.. 9% nationally).

In 2014 we became a cornerstone of a strategic expansion of physical sciences in the university. King’s acquired and fully refurbished a stand-alone, four-storey chemistry research building, “Britannia House”, and the department moved into the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences. Our success presaged further large-scale development of science at King’s alongside the re-start of an Engineering Department. We profit from our position in central London and opportunities afforded by King’s partnerships with the Francis Crick Institute (the Crick), Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI) and London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN).

Our vision is to become an international centre of excellence that transcends the boundaries of chemistry to explore new frontiers at discipline interfaces and provide fundamental solutions for a sustainable and healthy society. We have exploited our inherent positioning at the physical and life science interface to instil a clear identity and have become renowned for the chemistry of life. Moreover, we have seeded areas for future growth in chemical biotechnology and bioelectricity, as part of King’s propitious engineering rejuvenation.

We harness our unique interdisciplinary skills in three research themes:

  1. Chemistry of life across scales – a new era of functional biology

  2. Chemical biotechnology – interfacing biology with materials

  3. Bioelectricity – clean, sustainable energy


We provide a vibrant environment in which to study 21st century undergraduate and postgraduate chemistry in the heart of London. Our approach enshrines the rigour of the discipline in a progressive interdisciplinary context, designed to produce a new generation of scientists fluent across traditional subject boundaries. The cross-fertilisation of physical and biological sciences enables our graduates to harness the transformative power of chemistry and tackle emerging challenges in modern society and medicine.

We aspire to lead with modern teaching methods, emphasising student learning through new technology-enhanced approaches and combining virtual and hands-on laboratory experiences. In an innovative educational environment, students gain an integrated view of chemistry without the usual subdiscipline divides and become comfortable working beyond the traditional confines of the subject. Our research-led education lays the foundations for graduates to exploit their unique range of chemical expertise both within and beyond the discipline.

The Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences

Delivering sustainable academic excellence

We are a vibrant faculty based in the heart of London with a long tradition of world-leading research and teaching in physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science and engineering.

Our internationally-renowned scientists are working across traditional subject boundaries, leading cutting-edge research, tackling global challenges and answering fundamental questions about our universe.

Our vision

Atoms, molecules and fractal elements

We come together with a shared purpose and vision: To advance and promote academic excellence and impact in Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences (NMES) for the benefit of our students, staff, knowledge and society.

To deliver academic excellence and impact, future prosperity in a digital and sustainable world relies on our education and research drawing on strong core disciplines and designed collaboration between disciplines to enhance student learning and speed up discovery and innovation. Interdisciplinarity is at the centre of our academic activities and will be based on key identified themes.

We are promoting an inclusive environment for staff and students alike and building a culture of thriving enterprise and innovation, working together with a range of industrial and international academic partners and organisations.

Education and research

For students, we offer a wide-ranging portfolio of undergraduate, MSc and PhD programmes. Studying with us enables students to work with, and learn from, world-leading academics while benefiting from an open-door policy and a wealth of support.

With nearly 5,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and around 350 academic and research staff, our ambition is to inspire, educate and innovate - fostering the next generation of scientists and future leaders. We count Nobel Laureates among our distinguished former staff and students, and we are committed to promoting the careers of women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Our Departments

  1. Department of Chemistry

  2. Department of Engineering

  3. Department of Informatics

  4. Department of Mathematics

  5. Department of Physics


London

Our unrivalled central London location has enabled us to foster close ties with tech, business and science industries, and we are within easy reach of major research libraries and leading scientific societies such as the Royal Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT, the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the London Mathematical Society.

Our future

Supported by significant university investment, the faculty is embarking on a period of ambitious growth, which aims to build upon current strengths in natural and mathematical sciences and establish King’s as the outstanding global institution in science and technology.

For more information including our academic leadership team kcl.ac.uk/nmes/about

About King’s College London

King's College London, Strand Campus

King’s College London offers an intellectually stimulating environment, where staff are dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and learning in the service of society. We are a multi-Faculty institution, providing high-quality education, research and innovation across the sciences, humanities, medicine, law, dentistry, and social sciences. As a member of the Russell Group, an association of leading UK research-intensive universities, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards in research and education. King’s is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to five Medical Research Council Centres spread across its three teaching hospitals.

King’s is one of the top 10 UK universities, ranked 35th in the world (QS World University Rankings, 2022) and the fourth oldest university in England, based in the heart of London. King’s has over 31,000 students from some 150 countries, and over 8,500 employees. King’s is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of about £1BN (2020/21). King’s Strategic Vision looks forward to our 200th anniversary in 2029. It shows how King’s will make the world a better place by focusing on five key strategic priorities: educate to inspire and improve; research to inform and innovate; serve to shape and transform; a civic university at the heart of London; an international community that serves the world.

King’s comprises nine faculties, each with an academic leader and professional services lead: Executive Dean of Faculty and Director of Operations. Professional Services are provided in every Faculty as well as centrally to deliver support services for students and staff.

Our faculties

  • Faculty of Arts & Humanities
  • Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
  • Faculty of Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sciences
  • Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
  • Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience
  • King’s Business School
  • The Dickson Poon School of Law