What is Analytical Chemistry?
The equipment of everyday life is made from raw materials. Chemists analyse and understand these raw materials to determine efficient and safe ways of transforming them into useful products, develop new products and materials, and monitor production processes to ensure the quality of finished products.
Analytical Chemistry is the speciality dealing with devising, selecting, and using methods for determining the identity and quantity of chemical components of materials. Many important materials, such as biological samples or drugs and medicines, have key components that are present at very low levels or concentrations, and many sophisticated techniques have been developed for their detection and analysis.
About the Course
The BSc (Honours) in Analytical Chemistry with Quality Assurance (ACQUA) prepares students for laboratory careers in the pharmachemical industries. Graduates identify and solve analytical problems by the selection and use of a wide range of methods and techniques – from the mainstream areas of spectroscopy, chromatography, and electrochemistry, to more specialised areas such as particle size analysis or immunoassay techniques.
The Honours BSc ACQUA also focuses on quality assurance, which is of vital importance to the pharmaceutical, chemical and allied industries. The course is examined using a combination of continuous assessment of both theory and practical work, and end of year examinations.
Module delivery is usually by means of formal lectures and practical sessions, with almost half of the working week spent in the laboratory.
A mandatory work placement of a minimum of 10 weeks takes place in Year 3.
The Honours BSc ACQUA is recognised by the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland for membership (MICI); graduates are also eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC).
The Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Analytical Chemistry with Quality Assurance satisfies the degree requirements of the Teaching Council. As with other recognised degrees, a postgraduate programme of Initial Teacher Education, accredited by the Teaching Council, consisting of two years full-time study or 120 ECTS credits must subsequently be completed to be eligible for registration with the Teaching Council.
Graduates achieving a First Class or Second Class (Grade 1) Honours Degree may proceed to postgraduate research programmes in Chemistry (MSc, PhD) at CIT. Such graduates will be eligible for consideration for a limited number of Postgraduate Research RÍSAM Scholarships offered by CIT each year.
Holders of the Honours BSc ACQUA may also embark on postgraduate programmes at Irish and UK universities.
If I didn’t study Chemistry for the Leaving Certificate, am I at a disadvantage?
No – the fundamentals of the three Leaving Certificate science subjects are delivered during the first semester, with chemistry being further developed as the course progresses.
What is the difference between CR 340 and CR 007?
Students commencing on the CR 007 route will have completed the ordinary BSc Degree in 3 years, while those starting on CR 340 will take 4 years to complete the Honours BSc Degree, with significant additional material being delivered in the fourth year to achieve the higher level award.
What personal skills are most suited to the course and subsequent careers?
Numeracy, accuracy, precision; good practical and manipulative skills; an analytical approach to problem-solving, i.e. the ability to relate a numerical answer to the physical reality that it represents.
"The practical chemistry laboratories were very ‘hands-on’ and I found the lecturers very helpful and approachable. In 3rd year I did my work placement in a pharmaceutical company in the Cork region which gave me valuable experience of both Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and regulatory Quality compliance in industry. I successfully completed my Level 8 BSc (Hons) and was awarded with first class honours. I completed an MSc in Molecular Biology (UCC).
The methodology, statistical calculations, trouble-shooting and analytical expertise I've gained by completing my Chemistry degree at CIT was extremely relevant to my Master's project as these skills are very important in all aspects of science. The CIT Chemistry programme has equipped me with the skills and has given me the confidence necessary to carry out successful research. Due to my high BSc (Hons) grade, I was the chosen candidate for a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) PhD scholarship in Bio-photonics in DCU.
I would advise anyone who has an interest in working in the BioPharmaceutical sector or in academic research to consider studying the Level 8 BSc (Hons) in Analytical Chemistry with Quality Assurance in the Department of Physical Sciences at CIT."
Dr Brendan Healy
“After graduation, I qualified for a research grant and joined the chemistry research group at CIT to start my PhD research in freshwater and marine natural toxins. On completion of the PhD, I began work as an Analytical Chemist in the Quality Assurance Department at Pfizer. This role involved validation and transfer of analytical methods, analytical support for production and QC, troubleshooting, method development, cleaning validation, regulatory support for new product submissions, technical writing, etc. I had encountered many of these topics during both my BSc and PhD studies.”