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CDT Handbook

Welcome to the Analytical Science CDT

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the University of Warwick and to the Analytical Science Centre for Doctoral Training (MAS CDT). We hope you’ll have a productive and very enjoyable time here. Our aim is to provide you with an environment where you can greatly enrich your knowledge and scientific experience; undertake high quality research; and play a full part in creating our exciting multidisciplinary scientific community.

The training given in the MSc or Certificate will give you a well-rounded view of many different areas of science. This will equip you for your PhD in analytical science, with significant multidisciplinary and industry engagement.

You are from a variety of different disciplines and this is one of the strengths of this programme. The strengths that you have will enable you to help those who have less experience in your discipline and vice versa. Interaction with your colleagues will provide you with an invaluable network of professional contacts.

We shall support you throughout your time with us and there are many opportunities to learn skills that will help you in your future career.

As with many things in life – the more you put in, the more you get out!

This handbook is an important resource that you should read carefully. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will answer them or direct you to someone who can. We assume any information we give you in handbooks, emails, or in meetings has been understood and accepted unless you tell us otherwise.

Professor Steven Brown, AS CDT Director

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The Analytical Science CDT Centre

The CDT centre has hosted 3 generations of Physical Science CDT over 14 years: MOAC DTC, MAS CDT and now the Analytical Science CDT. The centre is a community of students, academics and administrative staff, as well as hosting the Chemistry MSc students. Everyone benefits a great deal from being based in Senate House. It is important that to make the most of the facilities we have but also help to keep the environment a pleasant and inviting place for people to visit. The MSc students, although the newest members, play a very important part in making the centre an effective place for multidisciplinary science—simply because they are physically in the centre the most.

The centre hosts the Analytical Science CDT, MAS CDT, Chemistry MSc students, MRC DTP IBR MSc students and the Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science office.

You can read the common room and workroom rules here.

During the week, the sliding doors at the front of Senate House are card access only from 7:00 pm, if you card access is not working please visit the admin office.

The people you will see in the department on a regular basis:
Director of Analytical Science CDT and MAS CDT PhD Director

Professor Steven Brown – Physics - - Ext: 74359

Director of MAS CDT

Professor Pat Unwin - Chemistry - - Ext 23264 or 22187

Analytical Science CDT MSc Director & Director of Chemistry PGT

Dr Nikola Chmel - Chemistry - - Ext 23234 (02476 523234)


Eleanor Edwards - - Ext: 75808

Christina Forbes - - Ext: 24621

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CDT 1 + 3 Training Route

The 1 + 3 year programme consists of a one year taught MSc in Molecular Analytical Science (F1PL) followed by a three year PhD in Analytical Science (F1P9), in which you undertake a research project based in two or more different disciplines.

The purpose of the MSc is to provide all the students with the skills and knowledge needed to perform effectively in analytical science research, develop new techniques and methodologies and apply them in creative ways to solve real-world problems. To that effect, training in exploiting synergies between different experimental methods and in harnessing the power of combining data collection with experimental design, statistical analysis, modelling, and simulation will be undertaken. The disciplines covered include chemistry, physics, statistics, mathematics, biology, engineering and computer science.

The centre has been established through collaboration with our industrial partners, as a result during the MSc you will have unique opportunity to work very closely with current industry leaders on exciting analytical science projects.

On the 1+3 route progression to the PhD programme will require a student to have obtained either a Merit or a Distinction on the MSc.

You will find different aspects of the course more or less challenging depending on your background. Part of being an effective multi-disciplinary scientist is to be able to communicate what you know and understand to colleagues from different backgrounds. To help you gain these skills throughout the MSc you will be encouraged to teach and learn from each other.

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Direct PhD Training Route

If you are on the Direct PhD in Analytical Science (F1P9) route you will formally start your PhD in the October of your first year but will then undertake 6 modules (60 CATS) from the MSc course from term 1 and 2 of your first year (see below for list of modules) to be passed at Merit level. This will lead to the conferral of a Postgraduate Certificate in Analytical Science.

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MSc Modules

Taught Core modules term 1 & 2

Term 1:

CH915 Principles and Techniques in Analytical Science 10 CATS

CH932 Introduction to Chemistry and Biochemistry 10 CATS

CH921 Frontier Instrumental Techniques for Molecular Analytical Sciences 10 CATS

CH922 Microscopy and Imaging 10 CATS

CH923 Statistics for data analysis 10 CATS

Term 2:

CH914 - Electrochemistry and Sensors 10 CATS

CH908 - Mass Spectrometry 10 CATS

CH911 - Chromatography and Separation Science 10 CATS

CH916 - Magnetic Resonance 10 CATS

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AS CDT Formal Requirements

MSc & PG Certificate


When you are enrolled on a module (for either the MSc or Certificate) there is an expectation that you will attend all of the scheduled lectures and workshops and labs. If you are unable to attend a session you need to complete the absence form.

The main University term dates do not relate to the MSc course. Lectures will take place in term times but exams and projects all take place during vacation time. If you need to be away during the MSc year please check the timings with the Admin office and see the CDT term dates below.

If you do not attend all compulsory parts of the course you may be unable to complete your MSc/PhD and your stipend may be stopped.

The full course handbook will be available on Moodle at the start of term. This will outline all regulations including exams, assessment and extenuating circumstances.

MSc Requirements

To pass the AS CDT MSc, the University MSc regulations require students to pass (i.e. get more than 50%) on at least 150 CATS out of the 180 CATS required for an MSc degree. The remaining 30 CATS must be above 40%.

For an MSc with Merit to be awarded, the University requires an average of 60% or above to be obtained. In addition, AS CDT requires the student to have obtained at least 150 CATS at 60% or above.

For an MSc with Distinction to be awarded, the University requires an average of 70% to be obtained. In addition, AS CDT requires the student to have obtained at least 150 CATS at 70% or above.

If a student achieves an overall module mark beneath 50% they have the option to re-sit the components marked below 50% once. However, the whole module or research project mark will then be capped at 50%.

The Warwick Interdisciplinary Science Transferable Skills module CH948 is assessed as pass/fail and must be passed.

PhD Requirements

AS CDT’s system of quality assurance for PhD students is a combination of meetings with the PhD Director and meetings with an advisory committee. In both cases recommendations for progression will be made which the student should follow up. Each student has their own 2-person advisory committee whose members are appointed by the PhD Director in consultation with their supervisors. AS CDT staff will then confirm with the nominees that they are prepared to undertake this role.

The monitoring system includes 6 monthly reports and a plan for the next 6 months. The report must be submitted using the online form in the PhD portal according to the following deadlines:

  AC to be arranged and secured in members diaries before: Preparation Report to be submitted (using online form) by: Advisory Committee to take place between: Meeting with PhD Director
AC Meeting 1 Mid December  Beginning of January   Mid Jan - Mid Feb March
AC Meeting 2 Mid June Beginning of July Mid July to Mid Aug September

Your advisory committee meetings are meant to help you identify where you are with your project. They are to establish:

  • That the progress seen is appropriate to the stage of the research programme;
  • That the research methods are appropriate and practical;
  • If any theoretical and practical difficulties are hindering the project;
  • If the level of contact with supervisor(s) is adequate;
  • That a realistic plan is in place for completion of the research within the expected time frame;
  • Goals to be achieved before the next advisory committee meeting.

During each advisory committee meeting, the online copy of the PhD Advisory Committee form is to be completed.

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PhD Students are not required to carry out demonstrating/ teaching within their host department(s). If students would like to volunteer for demonstrating/ teaching they must first obtain approval from the AS CDT Director and their supervisor(s). Students need to be provided with appropriate training and receive appropriate payment. You are encouraged to get involved with Demonstrating for the AS MSc course.

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Seminars and Meetings

In addition to carrying out your core academic work, during your MSc and PhD you will also follow the quality assurance process by attending weekly Wednesday seminars, weekly MSc meetings, and the CDT annual conference.

During term time, all students attending modules have a compulsory weekly group tutor meeting in order to identify any concerns. It is assumed that all information conveyed during this time has been formally passed on.

Every department runs their own seminar programme. PhD students are required to attend the AS/MAS CDT seminar and at least one other seminar each week.

External seminars can be found here:

Chemistry Dept RSC Lecture Series

Materials GRP events

Physics Dept Seminars

Engineering Dept Seminars

Statistics Dept Seminars

Warwick Centre for Predictive Modelling Seminars

WMG Seminars

CDT Annual Conference

Part of the centre’s funding covers an annual conference for all students and staff. The conferences are multi-day events held away from Warwick, with self-catering meals planned and cooked by the student cohorts, scientific content from students, and visiting speakers.

All students will present their work:

  • MSc year - flash presentation and poster
  • PhD year 1 - flash presentation and poster
  • PhD year 2 - 15 min presentation and poster
  • PhD year 3 - flash presentation

Attendance at the Annual Conference is mandatory for all students.

You can see photos from previous Annual Conferences here:

Transferable Skills

You will follow the university transferable skills training programme by taking CH948 during your MSc and the ‘Warwick Post Graduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science’ during your PhD.

All the details for the PGCTSS can be found on their website

The transferable skills training programme spans the full 4 years in a carefully structured manner. In year 1 (MSc) students receive an introduction to team working and leadership, and a wide range of oral and written communication skills training, with a particular emphasis on communication across scientific disciplines (CH948). The programme continues in years 2-4 with the PGCTSS with concentrated 3 or 4 day courses run in collaboration with other CDT’s. These courses expose students to another research culture and enhance each individual’s science networks.

Year 2 focuses on team working in a research environment and interactions with supervisors, colleagues and younger scientists. This course takes place in Warwick.

Year 3 looks at the communication of research to general (non-scientific) audiences (with the end point of this course being an interaction with a real audience of the students’ choice). This course usually takes place in April at Imperial College in London.

Year 4 involves a particular emphasis on decision making, career guidance, job hunting, thesis planning and leadership. This course usually takes place in December at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor

This programme is complemented in years 2-4 by Doctoral Skills modules 1, 2 and 3, as well as individually-designed research-related advanced training programmes with lecture courses, summer schools, conferences, laboratory visits etc. Your PhD advisory committee reviews your progress which is formalised in the form of The Postgraduate Certificate in Transferable Skills in Science

The aim of this accredited Certificate is to help you to be a successful doctoral researcher and to be even more successful in your post-doctoral career than you might otherwise have been.

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Health and Safety Inductions

All students are required to attend all relevant safety induction sessions in all of the Departments in which they are to work.

MSc students must attend the Health & Safety inductions in Chemistry as well as the safety talk given by the University Safety Officer in week one. You will not be allowed entry to

More in-depth safety training will be given at the start of MSc mini projects or PhD projects. There will also be lab-specific training which your Supervisors will advise you on.

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Attendance, Holidays and Absences

Attendance at taught MSc sessions (lectures, workshops, laboratory practicals etc.) is mandatory. Periods of absence due to illness of less than one week can usually be dealt with by submitting a completed absence form.

PhD students are expected to take no more leave than staff: 30 days including all customary leave days and shut-down periods. In addition, there are usually eight statutory leave days (such as bank holidays). This makes a total of 38 week-days of holiday entitlement. The timing of leave for MSc students is prescribed by their timetable. Untaken leave cannot be carried over from one year to the next.

For periods of absence due to illness of one week or more, in addition to the absence form, a doctor’s note clearly stating the reason for the absence together with start and end dates is required. If the Administrators have any reason to believe that the system of self-certification for absences is being abused, a doctor’s note may be requested from the first day of any absence. Absence due to illness from any sessions leading directly to assessment or examinations will need to be excused by a doctor’s note irrespective of the duration of absence. Laboratory sessions are not to be missed without a supporting doctor's note (or genuine emergency, bereavement etc.); if they are, you will not be able to submit work for that portion of the module. When laboratory sessions are missed on an unauthorised basis, you will be required to meet with the Director to discuss the reason for your absence in more detail.

Periods of absence due to causes other than illness (e.g. holidays, other external commitments and conferences) should be agreed in advance with the Administrators as well as any relevant module leaders or supervisors, prior to the time of absence. You must complete the online form for each period of absence.

If you do not attend all compulsory parts of the course you may be unable to complete your MSc and your stipend may be stopped.

The CDT is required by the University to monitor your attendance and engagement with your course of study. In order to satisfy these monitoring points, MSc students are required to attend Wednesday seminars and submit assessed work for the MSc exam board. PhD students are required to attend CDT Wednesday seminars and the annual CDT conference as well as meeting meet regularly with their Supervisor.

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CDT Term dates

Welcome week Week 0

University Autumn Term Week 1 - Week 10 (usually 1st week of October to 1st week December)

MSc Revision/Exams Week 11 - 12

Christmas Break Week 13 - 14

University Spring Term Week 15 - 24 (usually 1st full week in January to 2nd week in March)

MSc Revision/Exams Week Week 25 - 26

University Summer Term Week 30 - 39

Easter Bank Holiday Moveable

Mini Project 1 11 weeks Week 28 - 38

Mini Project 2 11 weeks Week 39 - 49

Final MSc presentations and results Week 52

Statutory and Customary Holidays

Please click here for the latest statutory and customary leave dates for the current academic year.


Student-Staff Liaison Committees (SSLCs) are student-led committees that form the basis for the representation of students' views within the department and at higher University committees. They are an integral feature of the University's quality assurance framework. SSLCs provide a forum for academic staff and students to discuss issues relating to a module, course, department or centre. The SSLCs are student-led and organised forums.

AS CDT and the Department of Chemistry have postgraduate SSLCs, you cna view details here. If you would like to be involved, please speak with the current SSLC chair. All SSLC representatives should attend one of the SSLC training sessions – further details are available here.

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Personal Details and Email Accounts

It is the student’s responsibility to update their centrally held record via evision with any changes in contact details (address, phone number, emergency contacts). MAS will primarily use Warwick e-mail accounts as a means of contacting all students. You are required to check your University e-mail account at least twice a day, unless this is impossible due to down times of the University’s IT system or because you have arranged to take holiday. It will be assumed that any message is received within 24 hours of being sent. Students are responsible for liaising with IT services about their University e-mail account and user code if this is necessary. Students need to ensure that their University alias (e.g: always points to their current user account. Please note that the user account may change with the transition from MSc to PhD and provisions will need to be made accordingly.

Students are responsible for keeping the administration office informed if there are any problems with their University e-mail account so that alternative contact arrangements can be made.

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Computing and Printing

Computers: Students on the 1 + 3 MSc route will be provided with a laptop at the beginning of their MSc course; this remains the property of the CDT and may need to be returned after the MSc year. The laptops will contain software necessary for the MSc course. Students will be expected to keep their laptop safe and advise the administrator should any fault arise. It will be assumed you have the required computing facilities unless you indicate otherwise. You will need to make sure that you have included your laptop in your home contents insurance

PhD students will be provided with an appropriate laptop which will either be supplied by the supervising departments or from an Industry fund. Please note that you are expected to make sufficient arrangements for backing up your work. Time Machine back up is available in house (1TB of space per student) for Mac users, please contact if you would like to be signed up.

The CDT provides its students with free printing:

  • HP Laserjet (Black & White) in the MSc Student Study room
  • Kyocera MFP in the common room (scanning and printing and photocopying)

The CDT also owns an A0/A1 poster printer which students can use for research and teaching purposes. To use it, you will need to sign the online form on the computer next to the printer. Please do not abuse your photocopying and printing privileges.

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Pigeonholes and Mail

Every CDT student has a pigeonhole in Senate House in which University correspondence will be placed and coursework will be returned to you; please check yours daily. Once something is deposited in your pigeonhole it is assumed to have been received within 1 working day. You are allowed to have parcels delivered to you in the department, please address to MOAC DTC, Senate House, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL to make sure it gets here.

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Books and Periodicals

The CDT has a subscription to New Scientist and Nature, and these journals (along with a variety of other scientific publications) are available on the tables in the common room. As a matter of courtesy, students are requested to replace all reading material after use. The CDT has a library for the benefit of students. Books must not be removed from the common room. If they are used in a student office then they must be returned to the library shelves at the end of each day.

If you feel there is a book which would benefit you and the other students and it cannot be found in either the library or the University library, please tell the Administrators.

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PhD Budget Management

All CDT students are allocated their own consumables and travel budgets which is managed by their supervisor. Students will have stores codes in Chemistry, Physics, Engineering or other department as appropriate. You can order goods using the online ordering system called OPeRA. Reports on your budget expenditure will be made available to you on a regular basis.

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Expenses and Travel Guidelines

It is expected that PhD students will attend one international conference over the funded year period as well as 1-2 one-day UK meetings each year.

Expenses claim forms may be found online or from the CDT Administrative office. You need to keep and submit all relevant receipts otherwise claims cannot be reimbursed. It is expected that you will maximise what you can achieve with your budget, i.e. do things as cheaply as possible! You must also abide by Warwick’s financial regulations.

All PG students are required to log details of their overseas travel arrangements with the Chemistry Finance Office for all work trips here.

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