Analytical Science – Drug Analysis and Toxicology
This course has a common first semester with the Analytical Science courses with other specialisms (Environmental Analysis, and Food Analysis, Authenticity and Safety).
However, the extensive laboratory module is tailored to emphasise analytical techniques most relevant to your chosen specialism of Drug Analysis and Toxicology.
You will take part in a group problem-solving mini-project within your discipline. This builds on semester one study and emphasises the groups' ability to correctly apply appropriate instrumental techniques and methodology to solve the analytical problem posed.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), Ethics and Project Planning are introduced to the group and will provide you with valuable experience for your individual MSc Research Project Preparation which is carried out in the final 2-3 weeks of semester 2.
The project titles are released at the beginning of semester two but not allocated until week 3 or 4. Allocation is often based on a competitive basis.
You will begin the MSc Research Project practical work where you will develop your skills in using initiative, innovation, interpersonal skills, and a high level of autonomy, critical judgement and the application of appropriate and relevant principles in order to produce your thesis.
Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our Course and module disclaimer for more information.Detailed module information
A built-for-purpose learning environment fully supports your learning experience in analytical science. You are given extensive use of state-of-the-art analytical equipment, e.g. GC-MS, LC-MS, LC-MS-MS, ICP-AES, SEM-EDXA, CE, DSC, TGA, PCR, NMR and tuition from research active, expert staff. Much focus is placed upon developing you to work autonomously and problem-solve in analytical environments.
Our partners commonly provide industrial visits and guest lectures as well as external MSc projects. These relationships will allow you to gain a unique insight into the opportunities available within the analytical chemistry sector, as well as the challenges and opportunities you will face once in the workforce.
- Lectures - 20 students per group, 10 hours per week
- Seminars - 20 students per group, 1 hours per week
- Webinar - 20 students per group, # hours per week
- Tutorial - 20 students per group, 2 hours per week
- Project Supervision - 20 students per group, 5 hours per week
- Demonstration - 20 students per group
- Practical class or workshop - 20 students per group, 1 hour per week
- Supervised time in studio / workshop - 20 students per group
- Field Work - 20 students per group
- External Visits - students per group, 1 hour per week
- Placement / Work Based Learning - 20 students per group
You will develop substantial initiative and autonomy through lectures, tutorials and laboratory exercises which will demand a significant amount of independent learning to complete coursework and assessments. The MSc project is a significant piece of self-directed work which tests your higher cognitive skills in problem-solving and analysis, synthesis, evaluation and selectivity and improves your ability to learn.
Staff Delivering on This Course
Our team features in the annual Support and Teaching staff with Appreciation and Recognition (STAR) awards voted by the students and organised by RGU:Union.
Most of our staff members are research-active or have connections to industry. Professional involvement in the design of this course ensures its alignment with the requirements of the industry and increases your employability. Our school has a unique relationships with, for example, Aberdeen's environmental industries, Scottish Food and Drink producers and the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA). We also collaborate with the Scottish Police Authority on the profile analysis of seized and surrendered abused drugs.
Typically students are assessed each year:
- 1 written exam typically for 2.5 hours
- 3 written assignments, including essays
- 1 report
- 1 dissertation
- 14 set exercises
- 4 oral assessments
- 1 practical skills assessment
We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.
The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.
Study Skills Support
The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:
- Academic writing
- Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
- Maths and statistics
- English language
- Information technology support
An optional 3-month unpaid placement is available. Depending upon availability and academic performance, you may have the opportunity to undertake your MSc Research Project in an industrial setting. This may be in the Aberdeen area or further afield, e.g. other parts of Scotland, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, France etc. We have a dedicated Placement Office to support you to securing a placement, however most students achieve placement from their own independent networking. Please note that industry projects are limited and subject to availability.
Study Abroad is not technically an option for this course. However, the MSc project can be undertaken abroad in an EU country, which will enhance your learning experience and maximise your employment prospects.
85% of MSc Analytical Sciences graduates have gone on to employment in analytical sciences and 12% have continued to PhD study (Business Gateway, 2017).
Graduates gain employment in a wide range of areas such as research, project management and analytical services associated with a range of industries including distillation, pharmaceutical, oilfield chemistry, food/drink analysis and environmental science.
Graduates may also go on to further their academic career by seeking doctoral studies either within Robert Gordon University, when funding and suitable vacancies are available, or the rest of the UK, EU or internationally.
Some of our graduates with the Drug Analysis and Toxicology specialism have gone on to undertake a variety of projects including tablet quality analysis at GSK, substances of abuse analysis for Police Scotland, and toxicology analysis at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary Hospital.
English Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5, or an equivalent.
We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:
* All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. A small number of courses require higher levels, but this will be stated explicitly on your offer letter.
For Academic Year 2018/2019
The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:
- The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
Find your reading list by module
- Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
- Accommodation and Living costs
Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.
Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.
Scholarships and Financial Awards
You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:
For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter. For further information see:
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We’ve got a few options for applying to our postgraduate courses for UK, EU and international applicants.
All applicants to postgraduate courses can apply direct to the university using our online application form.
All applicants can apply direct to the University with our PDF form.