Organic Synthesis

Student in a laboratory working with chemicals

Organic Synthesis is a specialisation at the Master of Science Programme (MSc) in Chemistry.

Do you want to invent and produce new compounds? New medicines, smart materials, better fuels, brighter pigments, perfumes and more? The specialisation in organic synthesis prepares you to manage invention and development of novel organic compounds. Acquire a deep insight into what can and cannot be produced in an organic chemistry laboratory. Get hands on experience with advanced techniques and equipment for producing small molecules.

Who can apply: If you have a bachelor with at least 60 ECTS in chemistry you can apply for admission to the MSc programme in Chemistry at the University of Copenhagen.

All chemistry master degree courses at University of Copenhagen are taught in English.


With a specialisation in organic synthesis you will be trained to get creative in the laboratory and acquire skills that are sought after by the private sector. Not least the pharmaceutical industry.


The specialisation in organic synthesis is set at 120 ECTS and consists of the following:

  • Compulsory courses, 30 ECTS.
  • Elective courses, 30 ECTS.
  • Thesis, 60 ECTS.

Regarding the elective courses, most students choose chemistry courses – but if you have special interests you may choose freely from the entire curriculum of University of Copenhagen, provided you obtain advance approval for your course of choice.

The specialisation in organic synthesis looks like this

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Year 1 Elective course Elective course Elective course Elective course
Reaction and Synthesis in Medicinal Chemistry Organic Chemistry
Year 2 Thesis

As a chemistry graduate with the specialisation in organic synthesis you will gain knowledge of

  • physical organic chemistry.
  • reaction and synthesis in medicinal chemistry.
  • modern techniques for synthesis of advanced organic and inorganic small-molecules.

You will also be able to

  • elucidate the reaction mechanisms of desired and undesired organic reactions.
  • work independently with specialized equipment and advanced synthesis methods.
  • work with synthetic chemistry under inert atmosphere, anhydrous condition and extreme conditions (temperature, pressure, etc.).
  • work with various types of chromatographic purification methods.
  • organize, describe, execute and optimize multistep syntheses on large and small scales.
  • communicate detailed instructions in writing with such detail that they can be followed by persons without specialized knowledge or can be published in international journals.
  • make use of synthetic chemistry literature, databases, reference works in conjunction with the knowledge of chemical reactions' detailed processes to develop and improve preparative methods.

Furthermore, you obtain the competencies to

  • analyze reactions on the basis of physical organic chemistry.
  • analyze scientific papers and patents dealing with synthetic problems.
  • analyze a complex synthetic problem and plan a feasible synthesis.
  • make educated choice regarding the use of advanced techniques and advanced equipment.
  • make educated choices regarding the execution of the chemical reactions and purification methods.