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Analytical Sciences and Instrumentation (MSc) (2023 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:ii 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 Sciences

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.

Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.

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
Department content block about department

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.

Taught course fees  Research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

The University carries out an initial fee status assessment based on information provided in the application and according to the guidance published by UKCISA. Students are classified as either Home or Overseas Fee status and this can determine the tuition fee and eligibility of certain scholarships and financial support.

If you receive an offer, your fee status will be stated with the tuition fee information, however we are awaiting guidance from the UK government regarding fee status for EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK for academic year 2021/22 onwards. We are not able to confirm the fee status for these students until the relevant eligibility criteria have been confirmed. Once we have received further information from the UK government, we will provide you with an update on your fee status and let you know if any additional information is required. If you believe your fee status has been incorrectly classified you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire (follow the instructions in your offer) and provide the required documentation for this to be reassessed.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) provides guidance to UK universities on fees status criteria, you can find the latest guidance on the impact of Brexit on fees and student support on the UKCISA website.

Additional course costs

Please contact your academic department for information about department specific costs, which should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below, such as:

  • 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.

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Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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