Analytical Chemistry MSc

Why choose this course?

Chemical analysis plays a role in virtually all aspects of everyday life throughout the world. With analytical techniques and instrumentation becoming evermore sophisticated, there is an increasing demand for qualified analytical chemists. This industrially relevant course will provide you with a strong background in the theory of analytical techniques and give you the ability to apply these techniques to complex analytical problems.

Analytical Chemistry MSc

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year 2 days a week September 2020
January 2021
Full time 2 years including professional placement 2 days a week plus placement year September 2020
Part time 2 years 1 day a week September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You will gain the knowledge and key skills required for a career in analytical chemistry.
  • This course provides exemption from Part A of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Mastership in Chemical Analysis, the statutory qualification for a public analyst.
  • Through an independent research project you will be able to study an area of interest in greater depth.

What you will study

You will gain the key skills required in the specialised area of analytical chemistry, including good measurement and scientific practice, evaluation interpretation of data, and other professional and organisational skills. You will also study core analytical techniques and their applications.You may also be offered a placement within industry (depending on your results and project availability), where you will carry out your independent research project.

Please note: this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments.


Core modules

Statistics and Quality Systems

30 credits

The module introduces students to the role of statistics and quality systems in modern analytical science. It demonstrates how a thorough understanding of statistical concepts, the analytical process and the quality systems and quality management paradigms collectively enable the consistent and reliable interpretation of analytical chemical data to support the economic requirements of a business organisation. The module aims are:

  • To define analytical chemistry and the criteria that distinguish it from other sciences.
  • To describe and appraise the analytical process in a systematic manner and emphasise the purpose of each stage.
  • Provide the rationale for the use of statistics in chemical analysis and experimental design and the skills required to perform statistical testing and interpretation of chemical data manually, via a calculator and with software.
  • To enhance students knowledge of the planning and development of quality systems in the analytical laboratory.
Molecular and Atomic Spectroscopy

30 credits

This module introduces the main spectroscopic techniques used in industry, e.g. UV/Vis, FTIR, Mass Spectrometry, NMR, AES, AAS and X -Ray methods and later progresses to the more advanced designs and applications, eg MS/MS, FTMS, TOF, sector and quadrupole mass analysers, 2D NMR, LCMS, MALDI, Atomic Fluorescence and ICPMS/AES.

Separation Science

30 credits

This module introduces students to the principles and theory of separation science and its application in the laboratory including solvent extraction, high performance liquid chromatography, gas/liquid chromatography, centrifugation, gel and capillary electrophoresis and hyphenated techniques.

Specialised Analytical Techniques

30 credits

This module will:

  • introduce various specialised situations and techniques (eg clinical, environmental and materials science) in which the analyst will have to provide analytical solutions; and
  • illustrate the solution of complex analytical problems using an integrated approach.

60 credits

This module involves a research- or industry-based in-depth research project. You will develop your ability to critically evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, utilising analytical and laboratory skills.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Prepare a realistic and coherent project proposal, formulate aims and objectives and plan your own time to achieve stated objectives.
  • Critically evaluate the current literature.
  • Carry out appropriate experiments in a safe manner (applying COSHH) and generate reliable data suitably analysed and apply appropriate statistical tests.
  • Communicate the results of the project in a coherent report and in oral and visual manner.

Optional modules

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.


The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

What this course offers you

  • The Analytical Chemistry course gives you a strong background in the theory of analytical techniques. You also learn how to apply these techniques to complex analytical problems. You have the chance to study recent trends in analytical science and the latest analytical techniques.
  • The independent MSc research project gives you the chance to study an area of interest in greater depth and gain valuable research skills. Our students often find this an excellent selling point when looking for a job or promotion.
  • You can choose to take your project in industry or as collaborative research with other laboratories depending on availability. For example, past projects have looked at:
    • dust sources at Hampton Court Palace;
    • determination of Hexavalent Chromium; and
    • radiochemical investigation of Uranium 232.
  • The taught courses aim to prepare you for the job market. Alongside your academic studies, you gain skills in:
    • problem solving and organisation;
    • data collation, review and synopsis;
    • communication (oral, written and electronic);
    • time management;
    • computing; and
    • co-operation and teamwork.
  • Visiting speakers and industrial visits support the formal teaching on the course (read more in the Links with business and industry section).
  • We regularly review our courses to make sure they remain up to date and that you graduate as a marketable industry professional.
  • The knowledge and skills you gain will allow you to pursue a career in analytical science in a variety of industries or the public sector. A careers and networking event at the end of the course will help you build valuable contacts.
  • We offer flexible timetables and part-time options to help you fit your studies around other commitments. If you are working in industry and want to brush up in a particular analytical area, you can even take individual modules on a stand-alone basis.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A good honours degree or equivalent in chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceutical science or a related subject such as pharmacology or biomedical science. Other degrees will be considered on an individual basis.
  • If you do not hold a relevant degree in one of the above subjects, significant relevant work experience will be considered.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.


In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course the minimum requirement is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in Reading, Listening and Speaking.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 571 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1229 hours

32% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 1
  • Coursework: 62%
  • Exams: 32%
  • Practical: 6%

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation).

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes, therefore you may be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.

Staff teaching on this course

This course is delivered by the School of Life Sciences, and Chemistry in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing.

The Faculty's wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate courses covers a diverse range of subject areas, from aerospace to geography; from maths and computing to biotechnology; and many more. Our collaborative set-up provides new opportunities for our students, and we design our courses with industry professionals to ensure you stay up to date with the latest developments.

School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry

The School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry is well known for the high quality of its undergraduate and postgraduate courses. These include full- and part-time foundation programmes.

Excellent facilities support our teaching - students benefit from new, purpose-built laboratories, equipped with state-of-the-art instruments. Strong links with industry and other key sectors ensure our students are well prepared for today's employment market. These include connections with hospitals and community pharmacies, accreditation from industry bodies, and involvement with active research groups.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Course fees and funding

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,200
  • MSc part time £5,060

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,500
  • MSc part time £7,975

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

What our students say

Age: 24 
Course: Analytical Chemistry MSc

"I chose to do the Analytical Chemistry MSc because I did a bioanalysis module during my undergraduate degree which led me to develop an interest in analytical chemistry.

"The teaching is great; the lecturers are the best, very approachable and helpful. The lecture material is absolutely relevant and the lectures basically take place on Wednesday and Thursday only, allowing us loads of time to study and get coursework done on time. The practicals on the course are really helpful. I got to use loads of the analytical instruments such as GC-MS, Infrared, UV-Vis and so many more.

"I spent three months at GSK on a work placement, working as a development scientist for the New Product Development Aquafresh team.  Overall the placement allowed me to gain invaluable experience for a global organization that I can put on my CV as work experience which automatically makes me more employable - the industrial placement at GSK, simply unbelievable."

Dora Namyalo has recently been featured in Future Leaders, an annual publication celebrating the UK's 100 most talented black students after she was nominated by her lecturer, Dr James Barker.

Dora Namyalo

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Research in the Faculty is organised into several research areas, including the Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Group (BPSRG). This is an interdisciplinary group shared by Kingston University and St George's, University of London in which research is organised into the following themes:

  • parasitology and microbiology
  • haematology/immunology/cancer biology
  • biomedical, pharmaceutical and instrumental analyses
  • medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry
  • clinical pharmacy and advanced drug delivery
  • nutrition/exercise and sports science.

How we work with industry partners

Our links with industry provide a practical base for our courses. They also help us to ensure your studies are kept up to date and relevant to the working environment.

If you choose to study this course, you will benefit from:

  • real-world experience thanks to your MSc project, which you can undertake either:
    • in industry – past students have undertaken project placements in the pharmaceutical industry, forensic labs, analytical consultancies, hospital labs and research labs – or
    • as collaborative research with other laboratories;
  • the latest views from visiting speakers – such as Vicki Barwick from LGC (an independent chemical analysis lab) and Stephen Paton from global pharmaceutical  company Ely Lilley
  • industry visits, such as to Cancer Research UK or the Clinical Trials Laboratories Service.

Where this course will take you

Recent graduates have gone on to a range of roles, including:

  • chemists in large and SME chemical/pharmaceutical companies
  • teaching
  • PhD research
  • sales and marketing
  • managerial positions.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.


There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories, including labs dedicated to analytical chemistry;
  • new work areas and dedicated laboratories for research;
  • specialist equipment, such as:
    • gas and liquid chromatography
    • electron microscopy
    • a range of spectrometers, including mass spectrometers, infrared spectrometers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers
    • nuclear science equipment
    • thermal analysis
    • x-ray diffractometers
    • electrochemical analysis;
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance.

Dedicated graduate facilities

In addition, you can use the dedicated Graduate Centre on campus. This includes:

  • additional IT facilities
  • seminar rooms
  • social spaces and a canteen
  • a learning resource centre with specialist libraries.