Postgraduate study

Analytical Chemistry MSc

Awards: MSc

Funding opportunities

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

This 1-year MSc degree covers both the theory and the applications of many of the commonly used techniques in modern Analytical Chemistry. It also introduces students to the principles of the “analytical process” and data analysis, interpretation, and presentation. During the degree and the research project, students can specialise in different streams of Analytical Chemistry such as analysis of biomolecules or characterisation of materials.

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 the theoretical knowledge behind analytical chemistry techniques, but also hands-on experience of operating a wide range of analytical instruments.

The programme will have a strong practical element and significant continuous assessment. The majority of teaching is delivered in small groups and the students are assessed through a combination of:

  • coursework
  • laboratory reports
  • presentations
  • exams
  • performance and reporting on the MSc research project

The degree includes topics in:

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

MSc Student Experience

Lectures are given by leading researchers in areas of analytical chemistry. The lecture courses are supported by tutorial sessions and workshops, and assessed by various forms of continuous assessment and written examination.

In both Semester 1 and Semester 2, students will receive two 20-credit taught modules. The material covered is supported by a further 20-credit module in practical laboratory and research techniques.

The programme also provides experience and training in activities that are important to professional chemists and to the research process, such as:

  • science communication
  • team work
  • data handling and statistics
  • modern laboratory techniques
  • various other transferable skills

On completion of the degree, students 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 broad range of analytical techniques to address 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

Additionally, you will have enhanced your professional/practical skills through:

  • experience of research design and management
  • hands-on experience in advanced instrumentation and techniques
  • production of scientific reports

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

  • interpersonal and communication skills
  • computing proficiency
  • organisation skills

The School of Chemistry actively supports and guides its students in their 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.

You will be 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 an excellent precursor to a PhD degree.

The degree also provides training in problem solving and analytical thinking, and provides valuable skills in data analysis and presentation, making our graduates attractive to employers from the IT, management, corporate finance and big data sectors.

Alumni Profiles

Chemistry Career profiles

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

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.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

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

We 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 Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Read our general information on tuition fees and studying costs:

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 residency status

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

Other funding opportunities

The Tercentenary Masters Scholarship Scheme helps outstanding postgraduate taught masters students to study in the School of Chemistry by providing for some of the costs of their training.


The scholarship will cover your full tuition fees (2023/24 Scotland/Rest of UK/International/EU tuition fees) and will be tenable for one academic session. This award cannot be held concurrently with fully-funded scholarships. It can, however, be combined with other partial funding.


The scholarship is offered to applicants starting a full-time MSc programme in the School of Chemistry in September 2023 in:

  • MSc Analytical Chemistry
  • MSc Medicinal & Biological Chemistry
  • MSc Materials Chemistry

For further information on the scholarship opportunities available, please see our website:

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.

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