Pharmaceutical Analysis Higher Level Apprenticeship

Acquire the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience for a career as a Pharmaceutical Analyst in Industry or Academia.

Who Are You?
You are presently working and may be a physical or life sciences graduate – chemistry, pharmacy and biology – or possess other qualifications alongside your work experience. You have decided to significantly develop your professional skills. To match this ambition we offer this course part-time, one day per week.

Why Study This Course?
Our industrial partners are always telling us they need people like you with our skill sets. Analysts are among the most sought after professionals with some of the highest employability rates.

You will receive practical training on state-of-the-art separation techniques, such as HPLC/MS and GC/MS, in the purpose built Pharmaceutical Analysis lab designed in partnership with Agilent (a world-leading instrument manufacturer).

Course Structure
If you are working and have a primary degree in chemistry, pharmacy or a related subject or other relevant qualifications, this course is designed to provide you with advanced knowledge and high-level practical skills in laboratory analysis, and meets the ongoing need for analysts in the pharmaceutical industry.

Apart from basic and advanced separation, spectroscopic and characterization techniques, you’ll learn about aspects of quality assurance and quality control, as well as the preparation of scientific and technical reports.

Subjects taught

Year 1
Core Modules
• Solid State Pharmaceutical Analysis Methods (40 credits)
• Advanced Separation Science (20 credits)

Year 2
Core Modules
• Research Project in Pharmaceutical Analysis (60 credits)
• Quality Assurance and Quality Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry (20 credits)
• Chemical, Biochemical and Spectroscopic Analytical Methods (40 credits)

You’ll be trained on techniques such as:
Liquid and gas chromatography (HPLC, GC)
Mass spectrometry (MS)
Thermal Analysis (DSC, TGA)
X-ray crystallography (PXRD, XRD)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

You will also receive training on QA/QC aspects of the Pharmaceutical Industry. For your research project, you’ll spend 2-3 months in a laboratory. You have the option to do this within your current employer premises.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Chemistry, Pharmacy or a closely allied subject. Performance in key modules will be taken into consideration.

Applicants with relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students wishing to apply for this Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) should upload their CV and a letter of support from their employer (combined in one file). The employer’s letter of support must state that the employer supports their application, that they are prepared to release them from work for one day per week to attend the course, and that, if they are an existing employee, they need this qualification for a new role. The new role can be a change of title/role within the company.

This Higher Level Apprenticeship is fully funded by the DfE therefore it is not open to international applicants. Further information on eligibility criteria for Higher Level Apprenticeships can be found at

Please note this course is subject to renewal of funding by the Department for the Economy and applicants must be working for a company with a base in Northern Ireland.

Application dates

The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2024. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.


2 years part-time.

Teaching Times
Lectures/practicals will be run over a single day each week to accommodate day-release schemes. Teaching may also be available outside normal teaching hours to support employed part-time students.

Enrolment dates

Entry Year: 2024/25

Post Course Info

Career Prospects
This programme is designed to prepare students for employment as analysts in the pharmaceutical and related industries or to prepare them for progression to more senior roles.

There is currently a high demand, both locally and internationally, for employees and graduates with analytical skills in this sector.

Employment Links
Many of our students have gone on to work for companies such as:
• Almac
• Randox
• Norbrook
• Pfizer

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Day release

  • Apply to

    Course provider