Postgraduate study

Analytical Chemistry MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Analytical Chemistry

Analytical Chemistry is a fundamental science for employment in chemistry and related industries, focusing on the separation, identification, and quantification of matter using various techniques.

This 1-year MSc programme covers both the theory and the applications of a number of techniques in Analytical Chemistry, as well as introducing students to the principles of the 'analytical process', data analysis/presentation and research methods.

During the programme and the research project, you can specialise in different streams of Analytical Chemistry such as:

  • analysis of biomolecules
  • environmental analysis
  • characterisation of materials

Why Edinburgh

The School of Chemistry hosts world-class Analytical Chemistry facilities that will be at the core of the teaching and training of our students, not only to provide graduates with the theoretical knowledge behind analytical chemistry techniques, but also unique hands-on experience of operating the instruments.

Structure breakdown

Semester 1 focuses on theory and fundamental techniques used in Analytical Chemistry, which will be assessed by various forms of continuous assessment and a written exam in December.

Semester 2 focuses on specialised techniques and their application, a team-based practical problem-solving exercises and a literature survey as preparation for the independent research project.

The MSc research project will run over summer.

Assessment and topics

Each course will have a strong practical element and a notable element of continuous assessment.

The majority of teaching is delivered in small groups and you are assessed through a combination of coursework, laboratory reports, presentations, exams and performance and reporting on the MSc research project.

The degree includes topics in:

  • Chromatography and Separation Science
  • Optical Spectroscopy
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
  • Electrochemistry and Sensors
  • Sampling and Data analysis
  • Analysis of Biomolecules
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Characterisation of Materials
  • Research Methods

On completion of the course, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental principles and concepts in Analytical Chemistry and associated techniques
  • critically evaluate the relative merits of different techniques used in Analytical Chemistry and their application to real-world analytical chemistry challenges
  • use a range of techniques to various tasks and research problems in Analytical Chemistry, showing creativity and lateral thinking in response to a specific problem, while being able to make well-informed independent decisions
  • show competence in a range of routine and advanced technical skills by effectively applying academic knowledge in a research lab, including operation of common analytical instruments
  • critically analyse and interpret complex data, offering professional-level insight
  • design and carry out a multicomponent workplan independently and as a team in a professional and equitable manner
  • demonstrate an in-depth understanding of a chosen research area acquired through literature and research
  • communicate research findings and present complex data at a professional standard in various formats to peers and wider audiences

You will also have the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as:

  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • computing proficiency
  • organisation skills

We actively support and guide you in your career aspirations.

Analytical chemists are employed by a range of industries and services (private and government sectors) and diverse career opportunities exist for our MSc Analytical Chemistry graduates.

They are qualified to take up many roles in the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries, either in research and development or sales and marketing.

Analytical chemists play an important role in environmental analysis and protection, healthcare services, diagnostics, vaccine development and consumer safety to name but a few.

Alternatively, an MSc degree is a precursor to a PhD degree.

The degree also provides training in problem-solving and analytical thinking, and provides skills in data analysis and presentation, making a career in IT, management or finance a possibility.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in chemistry, or a closely related discipline, with a strong chemistry component.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant work experience and supportive references.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section.We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Chemistry
  • Joseph Black Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FJ

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application.

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Chemistry
  • Joseph Black Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FJ