Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

MSc Instrumental Analytical Chemistry (1 year)

PLEASE NOTE: This programme is not recruiting for entry in 2020

This analytical chemistry masters is structured around a solid core comprised of the three main analytical techniques – mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Each of these techniques contains a number of key common themes (data collection, analysis and management). Supporting modules feature further analytical techniques and serve to embed themes of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), facility management and enterprise into the programme. A group analytical project develops interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team and will be the first opportunity for students to independently fully exercise some of the components of the course taught in the first semester. The integral research project provides an opportunity to explore any of the main themes directly or as part of a collaborative synthetic/analytical investigation.

Introducing your course

Analytical Chemistry is the largest employment area for the chemical sciences. The Instrumental Analytical Chemistry MSc gives you a boost to your bachelor’s degree that significantly increases your employability. We offer an advanced, instrumentation-driven postgraduate education in modern analytical chemistry with some elements in combination with one or more specialist research areas such as synthesis or data science.

You will receive comprehensive, hands-on, training with state-of-the-art research-led instrumentation in the techniques and provision of mass Spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy and X-ray Diffraction. This training will then be used in your research project, which focuses on the application of these techniques to most areas of mainstream chemistry.

MSc Instrumental Analytical Chemistry

The MSc masters in analytical chemistry programme will provide you with knowledge, understanding and strong practical skills in:

  •  The fundamental analytical techniques¹: mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy and X-Ray diffraction (single crystal and powder);
  • Other general characterisation techniques and separation science methodology;
  • GLP, electronic recording, data management, facility management and exploitation of results;
  • Data analysis and experimental design;
  • Planning of a safe working practice, including evaluation of hazards and environmental effects;
  • Working within a small team to achieve a common research goal;
  • Self-led practical-based research, particularly on characterisation and analytical instrumentation.
  • The ways in which it is possible to exploit the results of research.

¹ Analytical science currently defined by the EPSRC as principally consisting of mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants

To Apply

You can apply for this analytical chemistry masters through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. You can find out more here.

Please note that all applicants for the Instrumental Analytical Chemistry MSc will be interviewed (this may be by Skype) before an offer can be considered.

For all enquiries please contact: tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8310

Professor Simon Coles MSc Coordinator,

Dr Neil Wells, MSc Coordinator,

Programme Structure

This masters in analytical chemistry is in two parts: formal instruction (lectures, problem-solving workshops and practicals) followed by individual research.

Your theory and skills courses are delivered over two semester teaching periods and are taught according to the prescribed order presented in the scheme.

The practical phase of your research project will be completed from June until mid-August. It is anticipated that the final weeks of August will involve a concentrated period of dissertation preparation with a very limited amount of laboratory work being completed.

Embedded within the research project module is a mandatory safety course in Semester 1. The general safety induction lectures will be given during the graduate induction days, together with distribution of the Safety Booklet. Follow up lectures targeting key areas of Health and Safety will be available and you will be required to attend the ones relevant to your research. You can anticipate that there will be 3-4 more sessions after the safety induction.

Key Facts

All students are located in new or recently fully refurbished custom-designed buildings with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities

As part of the Characterisation and Analytics section you will be joining a multidisciplinary community which benefits from the world-leading facilities hosted in Chemistry at Southampton (including the UK National Crystallography Service).

Since the summer of 2010 there has been over £10million of investment in instrumental analytical chemistry.

Key facts

Bursaries available to UK and EU applicants.

Please contact or +44 (0)23 8059 8310 for more information.


If you are a student from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine or Syria you may be able to apply for a Saïd Foundation scholarship to study with us.

Photo of Emanuela Lorusso, MSc Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, 2016
My experience at the University of Southampton and in particular my summer project definitely added value to my career and therefore allowed me to be considered for several positions
Emanuela Lorusso, MSc Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, 2016
Photo of Alice Moysiadi, MSc Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, 2016
the opportunity to work with inspiring individuals, passionate about what they do and willing to disseminate their knowledge that made my experience unique
Alice Moysiadi, MSc Instrumental Analytical Chemistry, 2016

Typical entry requirements

First degree

In addition to the University's General Regulations for Admissions, the normal entry requirement to study this analytical chemistry masters is at least an upper second class honours degree in Chemistry, or a closely related subject. The degree must have had a minimum Chemistry content of 50%. Closely related subjects are: biochemistry, physics, polymer science, environmental sciences, material science, mathematics.

Non-UK applicants will usually have completed 4 years or more in higher education.

Students who have achieved a lower second honours degree will only be admitted onto this masters in analytical chemistry in exceptional circumstances.

A key feature of your first degree studies is that you must demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes (both content and level) that will ensure you can seamlessly integrate into our teaching and research experience.
Candidates who do not hold any of the above qualifications, but who have relevant professional experience in the fields of instrumental analytical chemistry may be eligible for admissions, but are advised to contact the MSc Admissions Tutor prior to applying.

Selection process

Intake: 15-20

The analytical chemistry masters selection process will involve close scrutiny of your academic credentials in a process that will include both the academic researcher you identified as being of interest to you and the Post Graduate Admissions Tutor. Typically the process will involve an interview (via Skype for students not available to come to Southampton). The whole process is supported by a Post Graduate Admissions Administrator who remains in touch with students throughout the application process.

The decision of whether to offer a place is one made by the Post Graduate Admissions Tutor who will make the formal offer of a place to you if this is the appropriate course of action.

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy which is described on the Diversity website

Disabled applicants for this masters in analytical chemistry course will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Enabling Services to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate students wherever possible. The role of these services in relation to the admission process may be found on the Enabling Services website.

Students are expected to prepare themselves for this masters in analytical chemistry programme through private study prior to the start of the course. A reading list will be made available through contact with the Programme Leader.

A minimum standard of English Language is required for admission to the programme . You will need a band B pass in one of the tests listed at:

On the student admin language page

Further information on language support can be found at:

English language support page

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

This taught analytical chemistry masters degree offers an advanced, instrumentation-driven postgraduate education in modern analytical chemistry with some elements in combination with one (or more) of these specialist subject areas. The programme incorporates both taught modules as well as independent research

Year 1

In the first semester, you will take five compulsory modules. In the second semester you will take four compulsory modules and you will have a free choice of one further module (subject to it being relevant to an MSc qualification in chemistry and being at the appropriate academic level.

The course will be completed by a 30 ECTS Research Project (CHEM6142) conducted over the summer months to form a year of study.

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Instrumental Analytical ChemistryMSc 2020Full-time£9,250£23,136
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Modules within the analytical chemistry masters programme make use of a range of learning teaching and assessment methods based around a core of lectures, practical experimentation (small group and individual), private research and study. As well as summative coursework assignments, many modules will also make use of formative coursework in the form of short reports and presentations. Formative development will be in the form of reflective, peer group and tutor-led exercises – both theoretical and practical. Group and team working are also a key component of the programme, some coursework being carried out in groups and the learning results presented to the class. A key theme throughout the programme is that of management of facilities, projects and people, which provides an alternative dimension to learning.

The taught modules primarily consist of core material and are delivered in the form of lectures, partly with integral small group exercises and practical experimentation, which has a strong individual and hands-on ethic. There is unhindered access to a dedicated educational instrument-based laboratory.

Study locations

Chemistry building

Chemistry, Highfield Campus

Chemistry is based at the heart of the University of Southampton's Hig...Find out more

Related Courses

Share this course Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings