What is ... Analytical Chemistry (Environmental, Forensic & Pharmaceutical)?
*Please note that, with effect from September 2018, the name of our DT203 programme has changed from ‘Forensic and Environmental Chemistry’ to ‘Analytical Chemistry (Environmental, Forensic and Pharmaceutical)’. The course content has not been modified. This rebranding resulted from consultation with students, graduates and their employers as it better reflects the course content and the range of areas where graduates have found employment
Analytical Chemistry is a branch of science that includes the identification of chemical compounds present in a sample provided. It also involves quantitative analysis – which determines the precise amounts of each compound present in the sample. An Analytical Chemist is trained to use modern analytical techniques and instruments to develop strategies for the detection, identification and quantification of substances such as the pollutants in air and water, illegal substances in suspicious powders and the active pharmaceutical ingredients in medicinal products. Graduates are work-ready and obtain rigorous scientific training including a 6 month work placement.
What are my... Career Opportunities?
Exciting opportunities are available with employers in the environmental, forensic and pharmaceutical sectors and related areas. Recent graduates obtained positions with the Environmental Protection Agency, State Laboratory, Forensic Science Ireland, Pfizer, Abbott, Amgen, Henkel and MSD.
Career paths include:
* Environmental monitoring - for pollutant levels in air, water and soil.
* Forensic analysis - of trace evidence from crime scenes.
* Pharmaceutical analysis – of medicines to establish their quality and stability.
* Chemical analysis - of complex mixtures found in foods, cosmetics etc.
The programme is recognised internationally as it is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. It is also recognised by the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland for graduate membership.
What other options do I have after completion?
The programme is recognised and accredited nationally and internationally, so graduates are eligible for taught and research masters courses (MSc) and doctoral (PhD) research programmes in DIT or in other higher education institutions as well as for the Professional Master of Education for those who want to teach chemistry and science in secondary schools.
Learning Outcomes: What will I Study?
To be an analytical chemist, you will need an interest in science, a curious mind and to enjoy solving problems. An eye for detail is also an important characteristic.
The programme has a substantial practical component which supports development of key laboratory skills and training on modern analytical instrumentation. This prepares graduates for the workplace and helps them stand out from the crowd. Laboratory practicals, case studies and workshops allow you to develop analytical thinking, team work, IT and science communication skills.
First year provides an introduction to science as well as to forensic and environmental chemistry. All science subjects are taught on the basis that you may not have studied them at Leaving Certificate.
In second year, the relevant core chemistry topics are taught as well as some specialised modules in analytical, forensic and environmental chemistry.
In the final two years, the emphasis is on analytical chemistry and environmental, forensic and pharmaceutical applications.
The six month work placement in third year is a very valuable aspect of the programme. We ensure that you are supported while you apply for and obtain this position.
Your research project in fourth year gives you the opportunity to be guided by our staff while exploring areas aligned with their expertise such as the detection of antibiotic residues in food and the development of sensors that can interface with digital cameras.
Thus, graduates are work-ready problem-solvers with excellent laboratory skills.
First year provides a foundation in science as well as an introductory module on environmental and forensic chemistry, which features hands-on activities in these areas.
In second year, the programme becomes more specialised and focuses on building a knowledge and understanding of the core chemistry topics as well as exploring analytical, environmental and forensic chemistry.
In the final two years, the emphasis is on analytical chemistry and its forensic, environmental and pharmaceutical applications. These feature case studies based on real-life scenarios which develop team-working and critical analysis skills.
A key aspect of year three is a 6 month work placement.
In year four, you will undertake a research project. You will team up with a research supervisor and use your chemical knowledge and initiative to explore a research topic and answer a research question
Are there study abroad options?
It is possible during the Year 3 placement to study in an industrial or academic environment abroad as part of the Erasmus programme. This is subject to a place being available in a host institution or company.
T: (01) 402 4645 (Claire McDonnell, Programme Chair)
T: (01) 402 4572 (Goretti Murphy, School Administrator)
What our Students say!
- I really enjoyed this course - lots of laboratory work meant that I got to learn about equipment and methods that I now use in my job.
- My interest lies in the application of analytical techniques to the investigation of evidence from crime scenes
- My time at DIT has allowed me to travel to seminars and universities abroad for work and further study in forensic sciences