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PgCert Advanced Chemical Analysis

Overview of the Programme

Upskilling opportunities in state-of-the-art analytical techniques

The aim of the programme is to provide a strong foundation in chemical analysis and its applications in a wide range of sectors, with emphasis on state-of-the-art instrumental techniques. These techniques underpin practically every aspect of monitoring of human or natural activity, including biomarker discovery for contractable and non-contractable diseases (such as COVID-19, diabetes, cancer), production of pharmaceuticals, identification of drugs of abuse, ensuring food safety and monitoring environmental pollution. Students completing this course will possess the analytical skills highly sought by local and international employers in these sectors, which are a significant and growing part of the local and global economy, in particular during the post-COVID-19 recovery effort.

Online delivery and blended-learning activities within the programme will enable students to access learning materials in a highly flexible manner, compatible with the demands of the current pandemic situation. 

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The course will consist of three equal credit bearing modules, as follows:

Course Delivery

This course will start w/c 18 January 2021 with the bulk of teaching completed by the end of March 2021. Assessment activities will follow-thereafter.

Teaching and assessment will be fully delivered online through a mixture of self-directed study and practice materials and live online workshops and seminar classes. In order to replicate the interactive and engaging nature of an on-campus delivery, the online delivery will include:

  • Weekly workshops that consolidate learning and further explore course topics. These will be delivered live to permit learners to connect and ask/answer questions. The classes will also be recorded to permit flexible on-demand access.
  • Weekly practice activities including set exercises, problem sheets and other tasks to reinforce learning and build practical skills.
  • Online learning materials (directed reading, study packs, etc.) which leaners will study in their own time each week.
  • Regular formative assessment to measure learner progress and to provide advice and direction.
  • Online advisory support for learners to connect with experts to provide bespoke one-to-one support. Offered Monday to Friday, daytime to early evening, to flexibly support leaners.

Approximately 15-20 hours of study effort will be expected each week from those enrolled on the course. A computer and Internet connection will be required.

Opportunities for Progression

Careers and Further Study

The PgCert in Advanced Chemical Analysis contains the first 60 credits of the established and well-regarded MSc in Pharmaceutical Analysis. Those graduating with a certificate will be able to access entry-level jobs within the broader pharmaceutical, food and environmental analysis sectors, as well as healthcare, diagnostics and law enforcement.

Those who wish to continue their studies will be given the opportunity to transfer directly into the second year of the MSc in Pharmaceutical Analysis. The part-time MSc is taught during a single day per week, providing ongoing upskilling for those who have returned to full-time employment.

If you are seeking to continue with your professional development you will have the opportunity to self-fund progression to the full Master’s subject to meeting the academic requirements for progression.


Admissions and Requirements

Academic requirements:

  • Normally at least a 2.2 UK honours-equivalent degree in Chemistry, Pharmacy, Biology or related science discipline, or
  • A 2.2 UK honours-equivalent degree in any other science or engineering discipline if appropriate work experience in an analytical or related role can be demonstrated.
  • Places available on this programme are limited.  Where there are more eligible applications received than places available, the academic selectors for this programme will make offers in rank order based on academic merit and potential as evidenced in the totality of the information provided in each application.  We will operate a waiting list as required to allow us to fill all available places.

Other requirements

  • Computer and internet connection.
  • Depending on pertinent lockdown and/or social distancing guidelines, we aim to give the opportunity to students to experience the use of some of the core state-of-the-art instrumental techniques covered in the course, in the form of three day-long practicals per student, run on campus.  This will be in keeping with PHA guidance. We will use a booking system to maximise flexibility, but availability to travel to Queen’s on the selected dates would be necessary in order to participate to this activity. A live broadcast of the practical classes will also be arranged for those not able to attend in person.