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Materials Characterisation - Advanced

The Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Materials Characterisation was developed based on an analysis of the importance of the pharmaceutical and related industries in Ireland and within the South-East region and also using information generated from the Wales Ireland Network for Scientific Skills (WINSS) Scientific Survey from a large number of pharmaceutical/ biotechnology, medical device and food companies. One of the outputs from this survey indicated that 32% & 33% of the companies require training in Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy respectively while almost 40% require Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) training. Recognising this demand, the postgraduate certificate in Advanced Materials Characterisation was devised. This module is a part-time Level 9 programme and specifically addresses this recognised skills deficit by providing advanced level training.

This course 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. The certificate programme can be taken singly as a stand-alone module worth 10 credits at level 9, or if the student wishes they can use these credits towards the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc (WD 519/520).

This module provides an overview of the current technologies used for the characterisation of materials.

The principles and instrumentation used in surface analysis, polymorphism, trace analysis and polymer characterisations will be studied. A wide range of surface analysis techniques such as microscopy and micromeritic techniques will be covered, specifically their use, sample requirements, principals and limitations.

Examples of industrial applications of these techniques will be given, from raw materials and product characterisation to trace analysis and impurity determination.

On successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:
1.Describe the principles of operation behind a range of optical, scanning probe and scanning electron microscopic techniques.

2.Describe the principles of operation and applications of a variety of micrometric and thermal analytical techniques for materials characterisation.

3.Describe the principles of variety of moisture, polymorphism, and particle size and rheology determinations in materials.

4.Critically evaluate the potential of all the above in the characterisation of materials in the pharmaceutical industrial environment.

Entry requirements

• Applicants for entry to this Postgraduate Certificate course should hold a bachelors degree at honours level (Level 8) in an appropriate subject area or equivalent qualification. In addition, in order to fully appreciate the industrial impact of the analytical content of this programme, it has been deemed necessary to have a minimum of two years relevant industrial experience.

• This module is worth 10 credits and can be taken singly or as part of the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Analytical Science with Quality Management WD519/WD520.

• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.


4 months part-time.

The programme is delivered through a blend of lectures, laboratory-based work and projects. For this single module 10 credit certificate, students will be required to attend WIT for two separate blocked two-day sessions in addition to a one-week laboratory session.

Number of credits


Further enquiries

Course Leader
Dr. Kathleen Grennan
BSc PhD - Lecturer
Phone: +353 51 302047

Application date

Closing Date: 30/September/2017

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