Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

CHEM6125 Mass Spectrometry: Theory and Application

Module Overview

Mass spectrometry is the key enabling technology for the 21st century. It delivers practical and sustainable innovations to enable significant advancements in areas such as healthcare delivery, life sciences, environmental management, energy, food safety, and water quality. This module will explore the tenets of modern mass spectrometry and introduce advanced techniques and applications.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Determine appropriate ionisation technique and instrument type for analysis
  • Interpret, understand and critically evaluate mass spectrometry data
  • Have an awareness of the principles of advanced mass spectrometry techniques
  • Have raised awareness of mass spectrometry applications areas


1. Tenets of Mass Spectrometry • Ionisation techniques • Sample Introduction • Analyser types • Low and high mass resolution 2. Advanced Mass Spectrometry • MS/MS • Hyphenated techniques • Large molecule MS 3. Applications of Mass Spectrometry • Structural elucidation • Qualitative MS • Quantitative MS • Speciation • Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) • ‘Omics’ 4. Practical techniques • Sample preparation and data acquisition • Strengths and limitations of automation • Data Interpretation • Reporting data in literature/reports

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching Methods • Lectures (two per week: a mixture of plenary lectures and small-group problem solving workshops) • Practical workshops (spaced evenly through the semester, involving interaction with the instrumentation and data interpretation in small groups) • Directed reading • Bb online support Learning Methods Independent study, student motivated peer-group study, student driven tutor support.

Independent Study118
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

De Hoffmann and Stroobart. Mass Spectrometry – Principals and Applications. 

McLafferty and Turecek. Interpretation of Mass Spectra. 

Gary Siuzdak. Mass Spectrometry in Biotechnology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 25%
Written exam  (2 hours) 75%
Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings