Pharmaceutical Analysis with Industrial Placement
Acquire the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience for a career as a Pharmaceutical Analyst in Industry or Academia.
Who Are You?
You are probably a recent physical or life sciences graduate – chemistry, pharmacy and biology.
But you could equally be in work and want to develop your professional skills. If you are, we offer this course part-time as well, one day per week.
Why Study This Course?
Our industrial partners are always telling us they need people like you. Analysts are among the most sought after professionals with some of the highest employability rates.
Experience in a pharmaceutical company can help you decide if you enjoy working in industry or prefer research/academic career. Placements also improve employability prospects as a lot of placement students get offered a job immediately after they complete their degree.
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).
Placements on this course can be done in an appropriate company anywhere in the UK or the Republic of Ireland. They are open to both local and International students (subject to visa requirements).
Learning and Teaching
This innovative course accommodates both full-time and employed part-time students.
CONTACT TEACHING HOURS (per week in term time):
Full-time: 12-20 hours
Part-time: 8-12 hours
At Queen's, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the MSc in Pharmaceutical Analysis we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts and develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society. We make use of innovative technologies and a world class library to enhance their development as independent, lifelong learners.
Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
A good balance of practical and taught classes across all aspects of the programme, including hands on training on the state-of-the-art analytical laboratory designed and build in partnership with Agilent Technologies. Significant aspects include: analytical method development, problem solving and safe working practices and transferable skills (such as report writing, oral presentations, IT, teamwork, critical thought) and the application and development of this technical portfolio within a company.
You'll learn the theory behind state-of-the-art analytical techniques and have an opportunity to practice your skills using the most modern instrumentation.
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 in industry, for example in Almac.
Indicative Number of Modules Per Semester
First Year: Two taught Modules per semester.
Second Year: One Module spans a year from May.
There is also a research module.
Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester
Contact time Year 1:
Lectures / Seminars 56 hrs.
Laboratory / Workshop classes 48 hrs.
Coursework 50 hrs
Preparation of written/oral reports 96 hrs.
Private study / revision 150 hrs.
Contact time Year 2:
Pre-departure seminar 2 hours
Placement update meetings 3 hours
Workplace hours: 1150 hours
Preparation of written report 8 hours
Report writing 40 hours
List of Indicative Programme Modules
Advanced Separation Science
Chemical, Biochemical and Spectroscopic Analytical Methods
Solid State Pharmaceutical Analysis Methods
Quality Assurance/Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry
*Students enrolled on a placement module will be offered training and support in preparation for their placement applications as well as during their industrial placement. Placements are competitively secured by the students and are not guaranteed by the University.
The course in Year One comprises four taught modules, two of which will run during the entire academic year (Sept-May) and two semester-long modules; the first running Sept-Jan and the second Feb-May.
Advanced Separation Science: (Sept-Jan) will cover the most important separation techniques relevant to the Pharmaceutical Industry as well as method validation, stability of pharmaceutical compounds and sample preparation methods (20 CATS points).
Chemical, Biochemical and Spectroscopic Analytical Methods: (Sept-May) will cover the majority of modern spectroscopic techniques and their applications in pharmaceutical analysis as well as aspects of GMP and GLP (40 CATS points).
Solid State Pharmaceutical Analysis Methods: (Sept - May) will discuss a series of solid state characterisation techniques and their application in pharmaceutical analysis (40 CATS points).
These three modules include a large number of practical sessions, which involve conduct of experimental work using state-of-the-art analytical techniques and instrumentation, literature searches and preparation of scientific reports.
Quality Assurance/Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry: (Feb-May) will cover QA and QC aspects of the Pharmaceutical Industry (20 CATS points) and is assessed exclusively by class tests and group assignments.
In Year Two Industrial Placement (120 CATS points) students will experience an industry-based work environment and will have the opportunity to analyse and critically self-reflect on the experience of working in industry, communicating their conclusions in writing. They will develop an awareness and understanding of the structures, practices and ethos of an industrial workplace as well as developing a range of highly transferable skills which will maximize their future career prospects.
Industrial Placement students will have the opportunity to complete their research project (60 CATS points) on return to QUB or during their placement, with this being dependent on approval from both the industrial supervisor and the research project module coordinator. In the latter case students can submit their thesis and other necessary components upon return to the University following completion of their placement, with these aspects, and others, being assessed as per the requirements of the research project module.
The laboratory based research project (with accompanying dissertation) will provide training in how to tackle a research problem in chemistry and will include a strong emphasis on the development of critical thinking, analysis of data and independent research.
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.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2022. 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.
2 academic years full-time, 3 academic years part-time.
FT hours: term 12-20hrs pw and 35hrs pw summer project. Lectures/practicals will be run over a single day each week to accommodate day-release schemes. Teaching may be available outside normal teaching hours to support employed part-time students.
Post Course Info
This programme is designed to prepare students for employment as analysts in the pharmaceutical and related industries.
There is currently a high demand, both locally and internationally, for graduates with analytical skills in this sector.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Queen's is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen's students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Graduate School, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen's University Belfast Full Employability Statement for further information.
Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen's. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen's Certificates, placements at home or overseas, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Overall, these initiatives, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers
Employment after the Course
WHERE YOU MIGHT BE IN FIVE YEARS' TIME?
You might be working as a laboratory analyst or senior analyst, in quality assurance or quality control or in an industrial R&D facility.
You could be managing graduate recruits of your own, signing off the analysis and the quality of drugs and releasing batches into the world.
You could study further towards obtaining a PhD and continue towards an academic career.
The main focus of this degree is pharmaceutical analysis, but your training and placement experience could open up career pathways in other areas, such as the food industry or environmental protection.
Many of our previous students have gone on to work for companies such as: