Pharmaceutical Analysis

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

1 year(s)

Places available



Full-Time, Part-Time


Engineering and Physical Sciences


Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

* 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time


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

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.

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.

Why Queen's?

  • Our industrial partners have influenced the course structure, to tell us what they need from the latest analytical graduates.
  • We have guest lectures from industry to tell you about the issues they face, out in the field.
  • Employability is a major perk of the course. Ireland, north and south, is a major hub for the Pharmaceutical industry.

Everything is on-campus, and the course is very hands-on and interactive. You’ll use equipment such as:

  • State of the art X-Ray and NMR facilities
  • HPLC and GC instrumentation
  • Thermal analysis equipment
  • Electron microscopes

Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis, the course director, has a background in analytical and materials chemistry.

His research covers:

  • Plastic antibodies: making from polymers what nature makes from proteins: creating more robust and less expensive antibodies.
  • Environmental clean-up: engaging with the food industry and environmental protection agencies to recover valuable resources from waste and recycle them into useful materials – including phosphorus and nitrogen in food production waste, and even heavy metals from waste water. 

Did you know?

This programme is taught jointly between the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the School of Pharmacy by leading experts in the field.

Course Details

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.

The course 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 search 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.

During the summer semester (June-September) the students will undertake a laboratory based research project with an accompanying dissertation. 

The research project 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.


  • Full-time: Two Modules
  • Part-time: One Module


  • Advanced Separation Science
  • Chemical, Biochemical and Spectroscopic Analytical Methods
  • Solid State Pharmaceutical Analysis Methods
  • Quality Assurance/Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Research Project

Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching Semester

Contact time:
Lectures / Seminars 56 hrs.
Laboratory / Workshop classes 48 hrs.

Study time:
Coursework 50 hrs
Preparation of written/oral reports 96 hrs.
Private study / revision 150 hrs.

Assessment & Feedback

A combination of written examinations, continuous assessment and a dissertation thesis based on a three-month research project.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching takes place in the morning and afternoons.

The course accommodates both full-time and employed part-time students.

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.


  • Full-time: 12-20 hours
  • Part-time: 8-12 hours



Entry Requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Chemistry, Pharmacy or a closely allied subject. 

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

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Countryfrom the list on our International Students website.

International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. 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

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - 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

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4515

How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

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.


  • 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 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:

  • Almac
  • Randox
  • Norbrook
  • Actavis (formerly Warner-Chilcott)

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.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

TUITION FEES (2017/18)

UK/EU Fees: £5,500 
International Fees: £19,000

For more information please see Tuition Fees 


Students may be eligible for loans – see PG funding details below.  

For funding information please see the Graduate School website:

For fees, funding and further information see:


Queen's Direct Applications Portal
Steps to Postgraduate Study Guidance (HEFCE)
Queen's Postgraduate Admissions Policy

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