Course Coordinator: Dr. Chamari M. Hettiarachchi


The Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo has a long tradition of excellence in teaching and offers four year undergraduate programs in chemistry and related disciplines. Further the Department of Chemistry has taken an interest towards the postgraduate education in Sri Lanka. M.Sc. in Analytical Chemistry is the first ever taught M.Sc. program in the country that was started by the University of Colombo in November 1975.

Building on the success of this program, Department of Chemistry introduced M.Sc. in Applied Organic Chemistry on April 28, 2006. Organic chemistry is everywhere in today’s world. Mastering organic chemistry is crucial for the design of a wide range of everyday products, novel products and processes. Design of materials with tailor-made properties requires an enhanced understanding of their synthesis, physico-chemical characteristics, characterization and structure-property relationships at the molecular level.

An historic change was made on October 24, 2009 when two courses of the program were offered on-line, enabling the busy postgraduate students to access the lessons from home. The department envisages offering this program via dual mode and more courses will be offered on-line in the future.

The M.Sc. in Applied Organic Chemistry Program provides a broad background in organic chemistry both at theoretical and experimental level. This is accomplished via courses/practical classes covering different areas related to organic chemistry and by conducting a research project. Some research projects are conducted with extensive collaboration with companies.


Organic chemistry plays an essential role in a large number of chemical industries. The objectives of this programme are,

  1. To provide students with an advanced knowledge of areas of organic chemistry relevant to Sri Lankan Industry, including industries based on natural products, pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, cosmetics, plastics and rubber etc., in order to improve productivity and enhance developments in Industry.
  2. To expose graduates to soft skills necessary for an industrial environment.

How to Apply

This program is offered at the beginning of every year and the advertisement will appear in Sunday Observer and Daily News during October and November of the previous year.

Every application for enrolment must be on the prescribed forms obtainable from the Academic and Publications Branch, University of Colombo on the payment of a non-refundable fee of Rs. 500. Duly completed application forms should be returned to the Senior Assistant Registrar, Academic and Publications, University of Colombo. Originals of certificates and transcripts should be produced before admission as required by the University of Colombo.

Eligibility and Admission Criteria

The minimum requirements are,

A pass in the B.Sc. degree with Chemistry as a subject from a recognized University or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo. The selection will be on the basis of M.C.Q. Examination and/or an interview. Fluency in English both written and spoken and having basic skills in computer usage would be an advantage.


Application fee: Rs.500
Registration fee: Rs.2500
Course fee Part A: Rs.90000
Course fee part B: Rs.15000
Library fee: Rs.2000

Course fee for Part A can be paid in two instalments. The first instalment of Rs. 60,000 should be paid at the time of registration and the second instalment of Rs. 30,000 must be paid within 6 months of commencement of the course. There is a Rs. 5,000 library deposit which is refundable.

Please note that fees paid are not refundable and subject to revision from time to time.
Back to the Top


This M.Sc. programme has 30 credits from the two parts, Part A (coursework) and Part B (research). The coursework component consists of theory and laboratory work. This M.Sc. will consist of two 2-credit courses and four 3-credit courses. Two theory courses are offered via e-learning mode. One credit is equivalent to fifteen hours of instruction. Laboratory work will amounts to 6 credits. Thirty hours of work is considered one credit in laboratory work. The total coursework component consists of 22 credits.

To proceed to the research component (Part B) students should achieve 2.5 GPA in Part A.

The research component is 8 credits. Students are required to carry out research at an academic, industrial, research institution where the necessary facilities are available. The title of the research project, place where the research work will be carried out, and the supervisor/s will be approved by the Faculty Board prior to commencement of research.

The duration of the programme is 18-24 months. Course work will be conducted in the first year of the course over 2 semesters of 20 weeks each. The courses are offered during Fridays and Saturdays.

The research component will be of 8 months duration. In carrying out the research project continuous attendance during regular working hours is necessary to complete the work with in 8 months.

Theory courses offered in Part A
MOC 5100: Advanced Organic Chemistry
MOC 5200: Separation and characterization techniques
MOC 5300: Medicinal Chemistry
MOC 5400: Natural Product Chemistry
MOC 5500: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
MOC 5600: Optional Topics (conducted by experts from Industry)


The experience and skills our students acquire working in practical classes and during the research project make them eligible for a broad range of jobs. Graduate of this programme will have carrier opportunities in research institutions, pharmaceutical industry and various chemical industries.

Job seekers

Career opportunities will be advertised on this website upon request from research institutions and private companies.


Students can upload their resumes for the referral of possible recruiters.

Back to the Top