Master of Science/Post Graduate Diploma MSc/PgD in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Analysis

MSc/PgD in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Analysis

Course Overview

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Why take this course?

Ireland is a major pharmaceutical hub for the entire globe with nine of the top ten global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies having significant operations in Ireland. Ireland is home to 85+ biopharmaceutical companies and is the 5th largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally (Ref: IDA Ireland: Biopharmaceutical Industry in Ireland).


This interdisciplinary MSc programme in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Analysis is designed to provide participants with industry-informed, expert knowledge and skills, in the application of modern, state-of-the-art, analytical techniques, which focus on pharmaceutical ingredients, products and other chemicals.


This postgraduate programme addresses the needs of industry across the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. The programme is aimed in particular to address current employment shortages and skills deficits in pharmaceutical and chemical analytics. The programme is designed for both science graduates and scientists currently employed in industry, who, through a multidisciplinary targeted approach, wish to further develop their analytical skills in advanced drug analysis, chemical analysis and toxicology. Enhancement of environmental sustainability by the pharmaceutical and chemical industries is also a key objective which the programme will address.

What will I experience?

Expert training on the use of state-of-the-art, analytical, instrumentation will be provided. Graduates will gain insight into emerging developments in the growing, multinational, pharmaceutical sector in Ireland and across the European Union (EU). The programme will be delivered by a highly skilled, interdisciplinary team of academic staff, with analytical expertise across multiple domains (pharmaceutical and chemical sciences, pharmacy, pharmacology and toxicology). The programme will have a strong focus on the requirements of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries in a multinational, global setting. The programme will also draw on a wide body of industry partners at various stages throughout the delivery of the programme.

One of the main objectives of the MSc programme is to deliver a wide range of experimental-focused, analytical skills in modern laboratory settings.* The programme also aims to equip the graduate to pursue a career as an analytical scientist employed in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors or to prepare the graduate to embark on further postgraduate research studies across the pharmaceutical and chemical sciences. Through successfully completing this programme, the learner will acquire the competence to excel in the laboratory as an analytical scientist and facilitate career progression in this rewarding and multinational, industry-orientated field.

* A new multi-million euro STEM facility is currently being constructed on the Athlone campus at TUS, which will be operational from September 2025. The large-scale development, part of the Government of Ireland’s Higher Education PPP programme, will span three-storeys and a floor area in excess of 6,000 square metres. A number of laboratories, specialist and general, will be stacked over the first and second floors of the new STEM facility.

What opportunities might it lead to?

​Progression Pathways

Graduates from the MSc programme in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Analysis will be ideally positioned to progress to NFQ Level 10 PhD programmes in a cognate area at TUS or other universities in Ireland or internationally.


Multiple career opportunities for graduates of this programme include employment in areas such as Analytical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Bioanalytical Analysis etc.

Additional Information

Teaching and Learning Strategies

A variety of teaching and learning strategies feature across the delivery of this programme, reflective of the different nature of each of the various modules. The MSc/PgD programme is designed across five thematic areas based on the following pillars:

  • Advanced Analytical Chemistry Techniques
  • Bioanalytical Techniques
  • Industry Focus
  • Transversal Skills and
  • Research

Each module within the programme is aligned to the five thematic areas on which the programme is constructed.

Postgraduate Diploma (PgD) in Pharmaceutical and Chemical Analysis

Participants on the PgD programme take 60 ECTS of modules, excluding the Research Project, which learners registered on the MSc programme additionally take to gain a total of 90 ECTS, in order to successfully complete the programme.

​For additional information about this postgraduate programme, please contact:

Head of Department: Dr. Carmel Kealey, Head of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Health, Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest, Athlone Campus, University Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37HD68, Republic of Ireland; Tel. +353 (0)906468081; e-mail:

Course Details

Course Fees:
Fees for EU applicants: €7,800; Fees for non-EU applicants: €16,500 *Fees subject to change
Course Duration:
1 Year
Registration Closing Date:

How to apply to this postgraduate programme at the TUS Athlone Campus:


Course Commencement Date:

​Next Starting Date: September 2024

Course Award:
Master of Science/Post Graduate Diploma
Course NFQ Level:
Level 9
Dept of Life & Physical Sciences
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Eligible candidates for the MSc/PgD should hold a first (1H) or a second-class honours (2H1 or 2H2) award class in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or an international equivalent in a subject(s) related to that of the MSc/PgD programme (some examples of specialisation in honours degree programmes may include cognate areas such as: Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, Drug and Medicinal Product Analysis, Forensic and Pharmaceutical Science, Analytical Science, Toxicology, Pharmacy, Biochemistry etc. or an equivalent qualification).

Graduates who hold equivalent qualifications in cognate areas of science or technology or who have proven, relevant industrial experience will be considered for places on a case-by-case basis under the TUS Policy on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 2022-2025.

Non-EU nationals must provide evidence of ability to take classes through the medium of the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent). Applicants may be required to attend TUS for an interview. An online Zoom/Skype/MS Teams interview may be arranged for international students.

Course Structure

Year 1

​Semester 1 [30 ECTS]:

Advanced Analytical Techniques (10 ECTS);
Bioanalytical Methods with Toxicology (10 ECTS);
Standards and Regulation in the Pharmaceutical Laboratory (5 ECTS);
Research Methods and Professional Development Skills (5 ECTS).

Semester 2 [30 ECTS + 30 ECTS-Research Project]:

Method Development for Pharmaceutical Chromatography (5 ECTS);
Characterisation of Pharmaceutical Materials and Polymers (10 ECTS);
Applied Spectroscopic Analysis (5 ECTS);
Data Analysis for Analytical Scientists (5 ECTS);
Industry Oriented Workshops (5 ECTS);
*Research Project (30 ECTS).

*The Research Project module runs throughout Semester 2 and is continued on after Semester 2 in the summer period from May to the end of August.

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

Skills and Labour Market Research

The National Skills Bulletin 2021, published in October 2021, produced by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS on behalf of the National Skills Council, reported that although growth is still strong in the pharma sector in Ireland, a current shortage of Analytical Chemists has been identified. The report stated that demand for these skills in the life sciences is likely to continue to grow, with shortages occurring for roles that require a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The Bulletin also indicated that certain skill sets (critical analysis, problem-solving, etc.) of STEM graduates are highly sought after across a range of other occupations.

Career Prospects


Multiple career opportunities for graduates of this programme include employment in positions such as:

  • Analytical Chemist (working in areas such as: chemical analysis, drug formulation and development, product validation and toxicology)
  • Analytical/Bioanalytical Scientist
  • Toxicologist
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Validation Specialist
  • Product/Process Development Scientist
  • PhD Researcher (in a cognate area related to the pharmaceutical and chemical sciences)
  • Researcher (working in Research and Development)

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