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Analytical Sciences and Instrumentation (MSc) (2024 Entry)

Analytical Sciences and Instrumentation students in the lab

Explore our Analytical Sciences and Instrumentation taught Master's degree.

Gain hands-on experience on Warwick's Analytical Sciences and Instrumentation MSc. Warwick's Department of Chemistry offers an expertly designed programme, combining the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Engineering and Life Sciences. Warwick is highly ranked within UK league tables, and is 64th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2023). This course has been designed for those looking to undertake a PhD or career in analytical sciences.

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of ChemistryLink opens in a new window.

Course overview

Delivered by internationally-leading experts from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, Engineering and Life Sciences as well as from our industrial partners, this Royal Society of Chemistry accredited degree course enables you to gain hands-on, practical experience with a range of equipment relevant to wider analytical sciences. This will enable you to work in any modern laboratory and give you an excellent opportunity to start your career in the field of analytical sciences.

You will have the opportunity to undertake a cutting-edge project with a world-leading research group. When you graduate, you will be positioned to take up employment in research/development roles within a number of sectors, or to progress to PhD study.

You can find out more about the Department of ChemistryLink opens in a new window by joining our webinarLink opens in a new window.

Professor Mark Barrow is the head of the MSc in Analytical Sciences and Instrumentation. Please contact chem-pgt at warwick dot ac dot uk with any specific Department of Chemistry questions, where our staff are available to discuss any queries.

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:2 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band A
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5, minimum component scores not below 6.0.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Statistics for Data Analysis

The aim of this module is to give students a basic understanding of the statistical methods appropriate to data analysis in analytical science, and to provide guidance on some statistical tools for more advanced study. Topics include: basic probability; error analysis and calibration; summarising data and testing simple hypotheses; statistical computing (software and practice, including simple graphics); experimental design and analysis of variance; sampling methods and quality control; simple analysis of multivariate data. Each session will combine lecture and data analysis workshop. At the end of the course the student should be able to appreciate the added value that statistical analysis can bring to research to perform basic statistical analyses of simple data sets using statistical software to design simple experiments.

Techniques in Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis

This module will introduce practical fundamentals of qualitative and quantitative analysis. We will consider practical aspects of sampling and calibration techniques. The laboratory sessions will include quantitative analyses using volumetry, gravimetry, UV/Visible spectroscopy, and state-of-the art inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy (ICP) techniques (OES and MS).

Frontier Techniques in Analytical Science

This module introduces students from a range of different backgrounds to advanced analytical techniques, and aims to ensure students appreciate the links between need for measurement, instrumentation design, data quality and data analysis.

Microscopy and Imaging

This module provides a foundation in the principles and applications of microscopy, starting with basics of light microscopy and progressing to state-of-the-art confocal microscopy, electron microscopy and scanned probe microscopy. The latter includes atomic force microscopy and electrochemical imaging techniques for which Warwick is particularly well-known. The module includes workshops on image analysis and seminars that cover the most recent developments in the field.

Transferable Skills

This module is based around students completing and recording tasks contributing to the development of transferable skills. Students complete a portfolio and reflect on what they have learned. The various aspects of the course cover: working in teams and working with your supervisor, communicating across disciplines using various media e.g., written reports, posters, presentations, web and video, as well as elements of leadership and career development.

Team Research Project: Real World Analysis

Research questions in academia and industry generally require the development and integration of several analytical techniques. The aim of this module is designed to make students aware of these requirements. It is the culmination of the taught part of the course, and constitutes the ideal preparation for the research project and future careers in analytical laboratories. The practical work for this module involves team work to solve real analytical problems using multiple techniques and professional data analysis. Literature work will be required as the basis of method development.

20-week individual research project

The module is designed to develop student research skills, through an extended project in an area of their chosen discipline. Students will become aware of the elements of research, including appraising the literature, designing novel experiments (practical and/or computational), assessing results and drawing conclusions that they will be able to set against the current field. This module will allow students to be original in their application of knowledge to the solution of new, research-led problems.

Optional Modules

You will study four of the following:

Electrochemistry and Sensors
This module provides a grounding in the fundamentals of electrochemistry, electroanalytical techniques and sensor technology. The module encompasses potentiometric methods, voltammetric/amperometric techniques, microfluidic/flow devices. Electrochemistry aspects draw on Warwick’s major strengths in this area and include developments in ion-selective electrodes, electrode kinetics and mass transport and key techniques, such as linear sweep and cyclic voltammetry, hydrodynamic electrodes, stripping voltammetry, ultramicroelectrodes and array devices. Lectures and problems classes are supplemented by laboratory sessions which provide students with practical hands-on experience.

Mass Spectrometry
This module introduces students to the many facets of modern mass spectrometry. Emphasis is placed both on the interpretation of spectra and also on instrumental methods, covering modern methods of ionisation (including ESI and MALDI) and mass analysis (including orthogonal TOF and FT-ICR) and the use of linked methods such as GC/MS, HPLC/MS and tandem mass spectrometry. Practical sessions include practice at interpretation and experiments using various mass spectrometric techniques.

Chromatography and Separation Science
During this interdisciplinary module students will learn about the theory and practice of different types of chromatography and their application in real-world scenarios. They will develop the skills necessary to decide how to decide which methods are the most appropriate for a given separation problem - whether for analysis or purification of, for example, synthetic polymers, biomolecules, or biopharmaceuticals. The module includes workshops on data interpretation and lab sessions providing students with hands-on experience with several different chromatographic methods.

Magnetic Resonance
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in both solution and the solid state as well as electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) will be described. The course will cover the underlying theory of the experiments as well as practical aspects of recording spectra and their interpretation. The importance of magnetic resonance across science, in, e.g., organic chemistry, pharmaceuticals and proteins, will be demonstrated.

X-ray and Neutron Techniques

X-ray and neutron diffraction and scattering techniques, as well as X-ray spectroscopies will be introduced in this module. Students will learn the underlying theory of the experiments as well as practical aspects of recording data and their interpretation. The importance of X-ray and Neutron methods across science, in e.g., material chemistry, pharmaceuticals and proteins will be demonstrated.


The first 25 weeks are lecture-based, providing you with a diverse toolbox in analytical science to complete a successful 20-week research project.

Class sizes

Class sizes can range between 5 to 40 students, dependent on modules: some of which are shared across programmes.

Typical contact hours

You should expect to attend around 10-25 hours of lectures and workshops per week and spend approximately six hours on supervised practical (mainly laboratory) work. For each one-hour lecture, you should expect to put in additional time for private study.


Examined component (%): Taught modules are generally 50%.

Assessed by coursework component (%): Taught modules are generally 50%; research projects are assessed by a variety of assessment methods.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you when you join us.

Your career

Our graduates have gone on to work for organisations in: academia and teaching; pharma industry; chemical and material industry; science consultancy; banking and finance.

Our department has a dedicated, professionally-qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Careers in Science
  • Career Options with Chemistry
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • MSc lunchtime careers presentations
  • PhD Transferable Skills careers decision-making session
  • Finding experience to boost your CV for Chemistry students
  • SME Careers Events - e.g. British Coatings Federation Careers Evening
  • Career Options with Chemistry Presentation and Networking Evening
  • 1:1 careers sessions offered

Chemistry at Warwick

Do you share our enthusiasm for chemistry and its applications, from medicine to renewable energy?

We are one of the UK’s top chemistry providers, highly-ranked for both teaching and research. Our courses will offer you an excellent all-round experience that allows you to explore and follow your curiosity.

The skills you will develop will equip you to pursue a future career in a number of industries with a number of employers.

Find out more about our research students’ careers and destinations on our website.

Find out more about us on our websiteLink opens in a new window

Our Postgraduate Taught courses

We offer non-accredited and Royal Society of Chemistry accredited course routes, depending on your career aspirations.

Our Postgraduate Research courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Find your taught course fees  

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Chemistry Funding Opportunities

Find out more about the various funding opportunities that are available on our department website.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

Find out how to apply to us, ask your questions, and find out more.

How to apply

The application process for courses that start in September and October 2024 will open on 2 October 2023.

Applications will close on 2 August 2024 for students who require a visa to study in the UK, to allow time to receive a CAS and complete the visa application process.

How to apply for a postgraduate taught course  

After you’ve applied

Find out how we process your application.

Applicant Portal

Track your application and update your details.

Admissions statement

See Warwick’s postgraduate admissions policy.

Join a live chat

Ask questions and engage with Warwick.

Warwick Hosted EventsLink opens in a new window

Our hosted events run throughout the year, with a mixture of virtual and in-person sessions. These events are a great way to learn more about our courses and departments, chat to current students and staff, and find out more information about accommodation, careers, and how to apply.

Postgraduate Fairs

Throughout the year we attend exhibitions and fairs online and in-person around the UK. These events give you the chance to explore our range of postgraduate courses, and find out what it’s like studying at Warwick. You’ll also be able to speak directly with our student recruitment team, who will be able to help answer your questions.

Live chats

Join a live chat with our staff and students, who are here to answer your questions and help you learn more about postgraduate life at Warwick. You can join our general drop-in sessions or talk to your prospective department and student services.

Warwick Talk and Tours

A Warwick talk and tour lasts around two hours and consists of an overview presentation from one of our Recruitment Officers covering the key features, facilities and activities that make Warwick a leading institution. The talk is followed by a campus tour which is the perfect way to view campus, with a current student guiding you around the key areas on campus.