Why was this course developed?
The MSc/Postgrad Diploma in Analytical Science with Quality Management programmes were developed based on an analysis of the importance of the pharmaceutical and related industries in Ireland and in particular within the South-East region. This followed a Scientific Skills Survey which was conducted by Wales Ireland Network for Scientific Skills (WINSS) to address the scientific skills gaps within pharmaceutical/biotechnology, medical device and food industries based in Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, South Tipperary, Cork and Kerry.
The IDA strategy for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and related sectors, taking into account the number of multinationals here already and increased competition from emerging economies, is to encourage companies to 'start earlier and finish later' in their Irish-based activities. This means expanding research and development and the pre-clinical stages of product development. This focus will increase the requirement for highly trained graduates and postgraduates with research capabilities. This will require up-skilling of graduate staff to postgraduate level in advanced analytical techniques and quality management. These courses are seen as critical, not only in increasing the number of graduates from the region with a formal qualification in analytical science and quality management, but in making a valuable contribution to the infrastructure of the region in the context of developing and attracting knowledge-based industry.
Recognising this demand, the Department of Science at Waterford Institute of Technology offers a range of part-time taught postgraduate programmes. The content of these programmes specifically addresses major thematic topics in analytical science and quality management that are perceived to offer the best prospects for growth, particularly in an Irish context.
What are the unique features of this course?
This is the only postgraduate course in the South-East region that offers a combination of analytical science and quality management disciplines. The programme places a strong emphasis on the professional development of the graduate, and is aimed at students already working in an industrial environment. Such a qualification will enable and facilitate career progression for graduates in the region. This programme is very closely linked to highly successful research groups active in the Department of Science at WIT, in particular the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre (PMBRC). Many of the research projects carried out in the Department are in collaboration with pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries in the South-East. This high level of postgraduate research, and investment in state-of-the-art instrumentation resulting from this research activity, helps to underpin the content of the analytical modules in the programme, facilitating advanced demonstrations and practicals.
What are the programme aims?
The overall aim of the MSc/Postgrad Diploma in Analytical Science with Quality Management programmes is to produce graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise in analytical science and quality management. Another goal of the programme is that it will also confer on the graduates a set of personal and professional attributes that will allow them greater flexibility in the development of their own career options, over the span of their career. Specifically, the aims of the programme are:
•To graduate individuals who have advanced knowledge of the disciplines of quality management and analytical science.
•To graduate students who can lead their company's quality programmes.
•To enable graduates to assess the potential of and implement new analytical technology within an industrial environment.
•To graduate students with advanced research skills.
On successful completion of this programme, the learner should be able to:
1.Evaluate and apply advanced analytical techniques in a regulated scientific laboratory environment.
2.Demonstrate a systematic understanding of quality systems or standards and be capable of evaluating the effectiveness of these in a manufacturing environment.
3.Compare and evaluate a range of advanced quality methodologies and analytical techniques, including novel and emerging techniques.
4.Critically appraise new and next generation solutions to best practice management principles in order to take significant responsibility for quality management in the workplace.
5.Demonstrate the ability to lead in group projects, initiate and carry out problem-solving activities and conduct critical reviews of work accomplished.
6.Successfully undertake individual and group projects involving research, project management and presentation of results.
7.Produce an academic dissertation based on a body of research work, containing aims and objectives, methodology, literature survey and critical evaluation of it, a description of the work and findings and conclusions together with references and citations.*
8.Be capable of progression to programmes leading to a higher qualification such as a Doctoral Degree (level 10) as a result of advanced research training skills.*
* Students of MSc in Analytical Science with Quality Management only.