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Chemistry - Environmental Analytical Chemistry

MSc degree courses are provided in three key areas of Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Analytical Chemistry and in Pharmaceutical Analysis. They are designed to provide advanced knowledge and hands-on training in modern analytical instrumental techniques. Separation science, sensors, and spectroscopic techniques are key elements alongside chemometrics, instrumentation and advanced research project completion. You will have the flexibility to specialise in a chosen field and further advancement to PhD research is available to highly motivated and talented postgraduates.

The MSc in Environmental Analytical Chemistry is a one-year course designed to provide you with the theoretical and practical skills for employment in a diverse range of industries that require analytical expertise. The course curriculum consists of six months of lectures, laboratory practical sessions, career service workshops, industry-based seminars/workshops, site visits to industry and a six-month research project (industry, research institute, aboard).

The curriculum has been developed with input from staff in the chemistry department and also by the industry advisory board, to provide you with the necessary skills required by employers. Students have the choice to complete the six-month research project in a national or international industry or university environment. They also have the opportunity to present their research at the annual George Guilbault Symposium that is sponsored by industry with a number of awards being presented to students at this event.

Course Details
On completion of this course, you will be able to:

- identify, formulate, analyse and solve problems in the analysis of chemical compounds

outline fundamental and applied aspects of chemical analysis

- design and carry out a method of pharmaceutical and chemical analysis, including instrumental analysis

- prepare written laboratory reports that provide a description of the experiment, explain the experiment and reasoning clearly, and provide an appropriate conclusion

- communicate effectively with the chemistry, environmental and pharmaceutical communities

- carry out research and method development in chemical, pharmaceutical and environmental analysis

- prepare a written research report in the form of a dissertation

Unique aspects of the course
This is the most established Environmental Analytical MSc course in Ireland and is amongst the more popular MSc courses studied in UCC. This MSc course in particular has great international success in attracting students from all over the World due to the industry-led teaching agenda. The industry relevant curriculum offered to students and the opportunity to complete a six-month placement in industry or an academic research lab has also impacted greatly on the student experience. The global recognition of the course is also evident from our international alumni that maintains contact through a dedicated LinkedIn group.

This course also has an Industry Advisor Board that provides crucial industry feedback on both the teaching strategy and practice for the taught postgraduate course in Environmental Analytical Chemistry. There are currently 18 companies on this board with representatives from the Pharmaceutical, BioPharma, Biomedical Device, Environment and Food/Beverage sectors. There are a number guest lectures from industry and a dedicated industry led module where students participate in a series of workshops either delivered on site with the industry partner or hosted by the Tyndall National Institute.

Annually, the George Guilbault Symposium provides the MSc students with an opportunity to present their Thesis projects. This event is run over two days, with all students presenting. An evening reception also takes places where students have the chance to present a poster on their research work and engage with industry. Students are shortlisted for presenting to the industry judges on the second day and these presentations are distributed amongst several keynote presentations made by industry. All the awards (Best Presentation and Best Poster) are sponsored by industry.

This MSc course in Environmental Analytical Chemistry gives students a broad foundation in analytical chemistry and its application in an industrial setting with more focus specifically on the analysis of environmental samples and environmental legislation. It also provides them an opportunity to gain much sought-after and valued industry relevant training and qualification in an analytical division. This course is internationally recognised for its award-winning and high quality students with >90% of students finding employment in industry or going on to further their studies through PhD.

Entry requirements

2017 Entry Requirements: Candidates must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in a subject(s) related to that of the MSc programme. See also Detailed Entry Requirements.

The number of places is limited and selection will be made on the basis of the candidate's performance in his/her primary degree. Graduates with equivalent qualifications in related areas of science and technology, or with proven and relevant industrial experience can be considered for places following interview and assessment.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please go to to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests.


1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

Teaching Mode: Full-time, Part-Time
The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours over 2 years.

The courses consist of a 12 month full-time intensive programme of lectures, laboratory work on set experiments and a dissertation based on individual research and development in the selected field of modern analytical science, under the supervision of an expert staff member. Part-time students may complete the course over 24 months subject to flexible day release from industry.

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
The MSc courses aim to provide you with the necessary skill set to develop methods and solve problems as demanded by many industries today (including pharmaceutical, environmental and forensic analytical laboratories). You are also introduced to research and innovation in analytical science.

Many analytical chemists, pharmaceutical chemical analysts and environmental chemical analysts go on to pursue careers in industry, government and forensic laboratories and opportunities for further research often result.

The course sets out to bridge the gap between the current undergraduate degree knowledge and what is relevant and expected by industry. There is a strong emphasis on developing transferable skills and ensuring that the career path for the student is either industry or academically focused. A large percentage of students gain employment in industry after completion of the course, however a number of graduates also decide to progress to international PhD opportunities.

Further enquiries

Eric Moore
Tel: + 353 21 234 6451

Subjects taught

The MSc course in Environmental Analytical Chemistry consists of eight course modules that include lectures, set practical sessions, career service workshops, industry guest lectures, industry workshops and site visits and a six-month research project.

Students study 90 credits course work from the following modules:

Core Modules (60 credits)

CM6012 Modern Analytical Techniques, Chemical Data Analysis and GLP (10 credits)
CM6013 Separation Science, Sensors and Process Analytical Technology (10 credits)
CM6014 Materials, Pharmaceutical and Bio-analysis (10 credits)
CM6015 Practice of Analytical Chemistry (10 credits)
CM6027 Industry Led Workshops (5 credits)
CM6027 Taught Postgraduate Transferable Skills Development (5 credits)
EV4002 Environmental Monitoring (10 credits)

Research Project Module (30 credits)

CM6021 Research Project and Dissertation in Environmental Analytical Chemistry (30 credits)

Programme Requirements
The MSc Degree in Environmental Analytical Chemistry is awarded to successful candidates after passing written examinations across all taught modules, including the continuously assessed practical module CM6015, and the research project, which has to be written up in the form of a dissertation and approved by the external examiner.

The written examinations are split between the Winter and Spring examination periods. CM6012 and EV4002 are taken in the Winter, whilst CM6013 and CM6014 are taken in the Spring. Students taking the course part time over two years can decide in advance what exams to take in each of the two years.

The research projects commence in Semester 2 and continue into Semester 3 and cover the time period of April to September. Dissertation completion and submission deadlines are beginning of October each year.

Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar.

Research Project and Industry Placement:

You will be required to complete a six-month research project based on your individual research and development in a selected field of modern science. You carry out your research in UCC’s laboratories or at an approved academic or industrial partner.

When you complete your research dissertation in an industrial setting, it provides the company with an opportunity to assess your skills and abilities and to screen potential future full-time employees. Students also have the opportunity to travel aboard to do their research project. This highlights the international recognition of the course and the close links established between the course and the relevant institutes.

Students who secure employment upon graduation fit into the organisation and contribute productively much sooner that other graduates. For students with an interest in future careers as PhD researchers, research projects are offered across a broad range of topics.

Placement and Study Abroad Information
During the second and third semester (April to September), students complete a six-month research project on a topic related to analytical chemistry. Industry-based projects in these areas are managed by a dedicated placement officer who facilitates career workshops during which students prepare for and are interviewed by staff from companies interested in hosting students. For students interested in an academic career (PhD studies), projects are offered in a broad range of research areas utilising modern research techniques. These such projects are usually done within the Chemistry Department or supervised by Principle Investigators located in the Universities research centers such as the Tyndall National Institute.

There also exists the opportunity for placement aboard, where students have a choice of destination. There currently exists collaborations with research institutes in Belgium (imec), The Netherlands (NFI), France (CNRS) and Northern Ireland (Almac).

All research projects are undertaken in consultation with an academic supervisor and examiner. Those in industry also have an industry supervisor.

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018 Irish/EU fee €7,500 (excl. €1,000 Bench Fee). A €1,000 Bench Fee is also required, payable directly to the department. The part-time course fee is half the full-time fee in the particular year of study.

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11th September 2017

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