Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Chemistry plays an important role in developing the modern world, maintaining sustainability and improving the quality of human life. The research areas of the Chemistry Group are diverse and broad such as analytical and environmental chemistry, electrochemistry, organometallic, photochemistry, natural products and synthetic organic chemistry, catalysis and surface chemistry. Candidates will perform a research project under the supervision of staff from the Chemical Sciences Programme and frequently in collaboration with staff members from other disciplines.

Applicants must have obtained (at least) a Master’s degree or equivalent from a recognised university in a relevant discipline. In exceptional cases, subject to relevant UBD regulations, First Class honours degree applicants may be considered for entry. All applicants must be able to satisfy the university’s English language requirements.

The typical enrolment period for full-time students is 36 months, but may stretch up to 60 months depending on each individual’s circumstances. Part-time PhD programme typically runs for a period of 48-84 months. Students may start the programme either in the August or January semester.

Aims and Scope

The PhD Programme in Chemistry aims to make scientists with high level specialised training, in order to cover the increased needs of Industry in related aspects. The scope of the Programme is to provide students the necessary specific scientific information, as well as to train them to develop their skills and analytical capabilities.


Students conduct an approved, original research project, with the supervision of one or more staff members. Upon completion of their research, they submit a Thesis, which normally does not exceed 100,000 words.


  • Compulsory modules SR-5101. These are modules that all postgraduate students must read and pass to satisfy their graduation requirement.

  • Assessment includes examination of the thesis by internal and external examiners. As stipulated in the relevant UBD regulations the examiners may subject a candidate to an oral examination or any other test they think necessary to assess the acceptability of the thesis. Periodic assessment of the progress of the candidate is carried out as stipulated in the relevant UBD regulations.

Areas of Research

  • Chemically modified electrodes.
  • Electro-analysis.
  • Aquatic environmental chemistry.
  • Chemical modification of ligno-cellulosic materials for environmental applications.
  • Monitoring of environmental pollutants.
  • VOCs in air and occupational environments.
  • Acidity of rainwater (contribution of weak organic acids).
  • Heavy metals/trace metals in marine organisms and animals.
  • Extraction and characterization of fats and oils.
  • Analysis of food additives, vitamins and minerals.
  • Soil chemistry; pollution and solid waste.
  • Natural Products.
  • Environmental conservation: Use of local food waste as potential biosorbents for the removal of environmental pollutants.
  • Study of medicinal and aromatic plants in Brunei Darussalam.
  • Analysis of nutrient compositions of fruits and vegetables in Brunei Darussalam.
  • Investigation of the structural and functional attributes of parasitic plants (Mistletoes and Dodders) in Brunei Darussalam.
  • Study of the optimization of biodiesel production.
  • Investigation of nutrient contents of local biomass and their potential as biosorbents of pollutants.
  • Green chemistry using clay catalysis.
  • Catalysis Chemistry.
  • Chemistry of Schiff bases.
  • Green technology; Organometallic emitters from natural products.
  • Dye-sensitized solar cells.
  • Design, synthesis and structural characterization of potentially new bioactive sulfur-nitrogen chelating agents and their metal chelates.
  • Utilization of sago waste for water purification systems.
  • Catalytic transfer hydrogenation.
  • New catch-release catalysts for fine chemical synthesis.
  • Electrochemistry.
  • Fabrication of small centres using nanostructured materials.
  • Spectroscopy.
  • Photo-catalysis.
  • Biotechnology
  • New generation nucleic acids and protein biosensors.
  • Novel chemical biology and biomaterials approaches.
  • Point-of-care (POC) micro-devices.
  • Agro/food-based applied biotechnology.
  • DNA/protein bioinformatics and bioengineering.
  • Synthesis and characterisation of mixed metal Oxides.
  • Hydrothermal synthesis.
  • Solid state materials chemistry particularly perovskites and doped titanium dioxides.