Pharmaceutical Analysis Higher Level Apprenticeship | Courses | Queen's University Belfast
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Pharmaceutical Analysis Higher Level Apprenticeship

MSc|Postgraduate Taught

Pharmaceutical Analysis Higher Level Apprenticeship

Entry year
Entry requirements
2 years (Part Time)
Places available
15 (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

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


    You are presently working and may be a physical or life sciences graduate – chemistry, pharmacy and biology – or possess other qualifications alongside your work experience. You have decided to significantly develop your professional skills. To match this ambition we offer this course part-time, one day per week.


    Our industrial partners are always telling us they need people like you with our skill sets. Analysts are among the most sought after professionals with some of the highest employability rates.

    You will receive practical training on state-of-the-art separation techniques, such as HPLC/MS and GC/MS, in the purpose built Pharmaceutical Analysis lab designed in partnership with Agilent (a world-leading instrument manufacturer)


    Applications for this course received after 30th June 2022 may not be accepted. In addition, a deposit will be required to secure a place.

    Pharmaceutical Analysis Higher Level Apprenticeship highlights

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

    Industry Links

    • Our industrial partners have influenced the course structure, to tell us what analytical skills and training they would like their staff to have. We have guest lectures from industry to tell you about the issues they face, out in the field.

    Career Development

    • The skills you will acquire will help you to progress to more senior roles within their employer organization.

    World Class Facilities

    • Everything is on-campus, and the course is very hands-on and interactive. You will receive practical training on state-of-the-art separation techniques, such as HPLC/MS and GC/MS, in the purpose built Pharmaceutical Analysis lab designed in partnership with Agilent (a world-leading instrument manufacturer)

    Student Experience

    • 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. Find out more about Dr Manesiotis' ground-breaking research and the School's recent partnership with Agilent which has resulted in a new purpose-built lab:
    Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the demand for highly-skilled analytical scientists, both in industry and academia.

    This course offers advanced training in chemical analysis, with a focus on applications in the pharmaceutical sector.

    Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis
    Course Director
  • Course content

    Course Structure


    Course DetailsYou’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 within your current employer premises.
    Indicative Number of Modules Per SemesterPart-time: One Module
    Indicative Proportional Mix of Time in Classes, Tutorials/Seminars/Labs, and Private Study in a Teaching SemesterContact 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.
    List of Indicative Programme ModulesAdvanced Separation Science
    Chemical, Biochemical and Spectroscopic Analytical Methods
    Solid State Pharmaceutical Analysis Methods
    Quality Assurance/Control in the Pharmaceutical Industry
    Research Project
    ModulesThe 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.

    People teaching you

    Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis
    Director of Education; Reader in Chemistry

    School of Chem & Chem Eng

    Teaching Times

    Lectures/practicals will be run over a single day each week to accommodate day-release schemes. Teaching may also be available outside normal teaching hours to support employed part-time students.

    Career Prospects

    This programme is designed to prepare students for employment as analysts in the pharmaceutical and related industries or to prepare them for progression to more senior roles.

    There is currently a high demand, both locally and internationally, for employees and graduates with analytical skills in this sector.

    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.

    Employment after the Course

    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.

    Employment Links
    Many of our students have gone on to work for companies such as:


    Learning and Teaching

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


    Part-time: 8-12 hours




    Assessments associated with the course are outlined below:

    Written examinations

    Continuous assessment

    Research project dissertation

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Chemistry, Pharmacy or a closely allied subject. Performance in key modules will be taken into consideration.

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

    This Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) is fully funded by the DfE therefore it is not open to international applicants. Further information on eligibility criteria for Higher Level Apprenticeships can be found at

    The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2022. However, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

    International Students

    Our country pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country.

    English Language Requirements

    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

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    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 degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: 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.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £0
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £0
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £0
    EU Other 3 N/A
    International N/A

    No tuition fees are payable by students for the degree apprenticeship as it is funded by the Department for the Economy’s Higher Level Apprenticeship programme. Please refer to for further information.

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

    2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Pharmaceutical Analysis Higher Level Apprenticeship costs

    Students are required to buy a laboratory coat in year 1 at a cost of £15. Students have the option to hire a locker, at a cost of £5 per student per year.

    How do I fund my study?

    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 £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

    More information on funding options and financial assistance.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    When to Apply

    The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

    Terms and Conditions

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

    Download a prospectus