A Royal Society of Chemistry accredited degree programme designed to enhance the skills of Chemistry graduates, focusing on environmental and life sciences.
This programme is studied on campus.
The MSc programme in Analytical Chemistry will build on your undergraduate Chemistry experience and develop specialist skills applicable to analytical, bioanalytical and environmental topics.
This programme focuses on specialisation in advanced modern analytical methodology. The range of industries or institutes where these skills are asked for includes the pharmaceutical industry, environmental institutions, research institutes and also the oil & gas industry.
NMR and elemental and molecular mass spectrometry allows the identification and quantification of small biomolecules in complex mixtures at trace level. Trace analysis of toxic elements such as arsenic or mercury is not only needed for the determination of environmental contamination, but also applies to food security, as our impact study on Arsenic in rice impressively shows (ranked 1st in Scotland at 2014 REF) .
The University has a historic and central presence within Aberdeen, the town where modern chromatography was invented (Synge, Nobel prize 1952), and where Frederick Soddy published the discovery of a new element, protactinium (Nobel Prize 1921).
Key Programme Information
At a Glance
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- 12 months or 24 months
- Study Mode
- Full Time or Part Time
- Start Month
What You'll Study
The information below applies to the 1 year full time / 2 year part time on campus learning MSc programme which runs in September.
- Semester 1
- Advanced Analytical Methodologies A (CM5039) - Credits: 15
The discovery of novel compounds e.g. for cancer or antibacterial research and treatment is a major task in the life sciences. The key to successful characterisation of novel compounds is structure elucidation, which can be achieved by modern, advanced analytical techniques. In this course, you will learn about the background theory of analytical techniques with a focus on structural identification to gain in-depth knowledge with methods like elemental & molecular mass spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) for qualitative and quantitative determinations. The course will contain lectures, tutorials and invited lectures by experts in the field.
- Advanced Analytical Methodologies B (CM5040) - Credits: 15
Metals are ubiquitous in the environment and in living things. They can be essential or toxic, and can occur in traces in biota and environmental samples. For the determination of trace levels of elements, advanced analytical methods can be used, based on atomic spectrometry. This course will provide in-depth knowledge of atomic emission, absorption and fluorescence spectroscopies, and mass spectrometry, featuring qualitative and quantitative aspects. Chromatography, combined with atomic spectrometry, is featured for trace element speciation, which allows distinguishing different metal compounds with varying toxicity. The course will contain lectures, tutorials and invited lectures by experts in the field.
- Practical Exercise and Professional Skills in Analytical Chemistry (CM5041) - Credits: 30
In this course, you will learn how to perform instrumental analysis on modern analytical equipment. The course comprises a variety of experiments with modern instrumentation including atomic absorption/emission spectrometry, mass spectrometric methods, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry, gas and liquid chromatography and atomic fluorescence spectrometry in practical lab sessions. It provides experience in data collection and data handling from modern instrumentation through practical experience in environmental and life science applications. Students learn about research dissemination, funding mechanisms, quality assurance and ethical issues.
- Semester 2
- Research Techniques and Professional Skills and Problem Solving in Theory and Practice (CM5539) - Credits: 30
This course is tailored to provide you with research skills with a focus on problem solving and team working experience. A PPME project (Project Planning and Management Exercise) is performed, which asks for planning, managing and results delivery for teams of 2-3 students. Project topics revolve around environmental and analytical work. Workshop style assignments are held; information prioritising, (short notice briefing on an analytical problem) and writing a grant proposal for a long term investigation. The course contains laboratory classes and workshops. Oral presentations and scientific writing are part of the course assessment.
- Research Project in Analytical Chemistry A (CM5522) - Credits: 30
An individual research mini-project is performed in the second term within the Environmental Analytical Chemistry program. This mini-project is performed within one of the research groups in the chemistry department involved in environmental and analytical research. This can comprise a range of topics, from method development e.g. for mercury analysis, to determination of new compounds in plants. You will build on the knowledge you have acquired in the first term. The work will be mainly carried out in research groups e.g. the trace element speciation laboratory Aberdeen, TESLA, or the Marine Biodiscovery Center, MBC.
- Semester 3
- Research Project in Analytical Chemistry B (CM5905) - Credits: 60
An extended research project is the last part of the Environmental Analytical Chemistry course. An individual research project topic is given to each student within the field of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. This can comprise a range of scenarios, e.g. the life sciences, archaeology etc. You will build on the topics taught in the first parts of the degree. We aim to provide project placements in related research groups at the University of Aberdeen, or in research institutes (e.g. the Hutton Institute, Marine Lab) locally in and around Aberdeen. Projects are supervised by both a University supervisor and placement supervisor.
We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
How You'll Study
- Field Work
- Group Projects
- Individual Projects
- Lab Work
Assessment is by coursework, by written examination or by a combination of these as prescribed for each course. The Extended Research Project will be assessed by dissertation. The degree of MSc shall not be awarded to a candidate who fails to complete the Extended Research Project at an appropriate standard, irrespective of their performance in other courses.
Why Study Analytical Chemistry?
- The programme has been designed in collaboration with our industrial advisory board, ensuring that it is relevant and current.
- It contains theoretical and practical courses, formal teaching as well as application oriented research training, and professional skills such as project planning management exercises.
- We provide strong research-led teaching in all analytical subjects, with a focus on environmental and life sciences, relevant for industries and research or government institutes.
- Entry on to the programme is competitive and student numbers are kept on a smaller scale in order to provide the opportunity for students to closely integrate with academic staff.
- Our Alumni community feedback in to this course, for example through our mentoring system, where students are encouraged to contact mentors from industry.
- Many of our staff in the environment group (TESLA) or the natural products group (MBC) work closely with industry via research and consultancy. (KDME1)
- Though focusing on analytical topics, this degree programme will also give you the relevant chemistry knowledge and skills to perform in a variety of industrial processes.
- In the 2014 REF, our department was rated "1st in Scotland for Chemistry research impact".
- Our main research revolves around the broad areas of Biomolecular Chemistry (Natural products, medicinal chemistry and environmental analytical chemistry with speciation) and materials (surface chemistry and catalysis), and are particularly well equipped for these areas.
- Facilities for Biomolecular Chemistry research include 300, 400 and 600 MHz NMR, electrospray MS (Orbitrap MS), GC-MS and LC-MS, and a unique collection of instruments for environmental analysis and speciation (ICP-MS, MIP-AES, atomic fluorescence and absorption spectrometry, HPLC-ICP-MS, GC-ICP-MS, laser ablation ICP-MS).
- Facilities for Materials Chemistry Research include X-ray single crystal and powder diffraction, electron microscopy, solid state NMR, XPS, EPR, FTIR and Raman microprobes, impedance spectroscopy, gas sorption analysis and a comprehensive suite of thermal analysis instruments (including high pressure DSC).
- Chemistry staff also make extensive use of Central Facilities such as synchrotrons and neutron sources both in the UK and Europe. We are a full member of ScotCHEM which includes the international graduate school within the network of Scottish Chemistry Institutions, and can access facilities in other Scottish Universities.
Our minimum entry requirement for this programme is a Chemistry, Applied Chemistry or Industrial Chemistry degree at 2:2 (lower second class) UK Honours level (or an Honours degree from a non-UK institution which is judged by the University to be of equivalent worth).
Students with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Geology or B.Ed in Chemistry may also be considered if they have a 2:1 (upper second class) result or above.
Key subject you must have covered: at least 2 years of university Chemistry.
English Language Requirements
All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.
Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.
If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.
Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempt from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.
You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme.
- an up-to-date CV/Resumé
- Degree Certificate
- a degree certificate showing your qualifications
- Degree Transcript
- a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
- Personal Statement
- a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme
Fees and Funding
You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.
Tuition fee rates can be found on our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
|Home / EU / RUK Students||£6,000|
|Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year|
|Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year|
International non-EU Applicants
- In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
- For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.
Our Funding Database
View all funding options in our Funding Database.
Many graduates will find careers working in a pharmaceutical company or will work for an environmental agency as, or with, Analytical Chemists. This course gives strong fundamentals of techniques which are widely used in life sciences and in environmental monitoring in industry and academia and gives an appreciation of emerging new analytical techniques which will be used in those fields in the future. This opens up careers in lab-based studies which are not centred around the traditional chemical science laboratories.
We have a variety of links to Research institutes (James Hutton Institute; Marine Laboratories; Rowett Institute for Health and Nutrition; Laboratory of the Government Chemist), local and further afield.
We have contact to suppliers of Analytical Instruments, and are able to provide seminars and information sessions; Industrial lectures and visits to industrial sites, e.g. Intertek in Aberdeen, are organised where possible, and direct contact to local and UK wide companies is facilitated.
This degree holds accreditation from
- Head of Department
- Professor Marcel Jaspars
- Other Experts
- Professor Jorg Feldmann
- Dr Andrew Kindness
- Programme Coordinator
- Dr Eva Krupp
Information About Staff Changes
You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.
Facilities include 300, 400 and 600 MHz NMR, electrospray MS (Orbitrap MS), GC-MS and LC-MS, and a unique collection of instruments for environmental analysis and speciation.
X-ray single crystal and powder diffraction, electron microscopy, solid state NMR, XPS, EPR, FTIR and Raman microprobes, impedance spectroscopy, gas sorption analysis and a comprehensive suite of thermal analysis instruments (including high pressure DSC).
Get in Touch
College of Physical Sciences Graduate School
University of Aberdeen
Fraser Noble Building