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Analytical Chemistry (Environmental, Forensic & Pharmaceutical) / Ceimic Anailíseach (Chomhshaoil, Fóiréinseach & Cógaisíochta)


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.

Module Listing

Year One

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.

Year Two

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.

Year Three

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

Is there an Advanced Entry Option?

Yes. An application to any year after Year 1 is called Advanced Entry.

  • All applications are made through CAO and not directly to us here in TU Dublin. Click here to apply.
  • Closing dates for application vary. Most programmes will be open until 30th June but many programmes accept late applications.
  • Contact the School directly using details below to ask if a late application will be considered.

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.

Further Information

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