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    Swansea University Medical School Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas



  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Please see website for further details.

  • Last Updated

    25 September 2018

World demand for mass spectrometry (MS) and chromatography has grown at an unprecedented rate, with qualified graduates in short supply and highly sought-after. Postgraduate training is essential as undergraduates are not taught to the required depth. Swansea is the only UK institution to offer a range of schemes solely dedicated to these topics, drawing upon expertise in the Institute of Mass Spectrometry (IMS), based at a long established UK centre of excellence. 

Key Features of Applied Analytical Science (LCMS)

Course content designed for the needs of industry

Essential topics such as fundamentals of mass spectrometry and separation science, professional management of laboratory practice, data analysis and method development.     

Extensive training in a research-led Institute

To improve their analytical science skills to professional levels required for the workplace. 

Highly practical course and extensive in-house equipment

MRes students can experience more in-depth and ‘hands-on’ learning than most current analytical MRes programmes. Additional sessions including experiment design, health and safety, and laboratory skills are held in preparation of the research project, to ensure students are adequately equipped for project work.

Taught modules encourage problem solving skills, involving relevant simulated (pre-existing) scenarios 

To develop analytical thinking, professional and academic skills through advanced practical and theoretical studies and the submission of a scientifically defensible thesis.

Participation of expert industrial guest lecturers

Unique opportunities to network with potential employers and enhanced employability prospects in highly skilled and relevant areas such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food and nutrition, homeland security, clinical diagnostics, veterinary and forensic science, environmental analysis, plus marketing and sales, to name a few. 

Assessments that encourage transferrable skills essential for employment

Including case studies, problem sheets, data processing and informatics exercises in addition to the traditional examinations and essay based assignments. 


All MRes Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) students will complete the following taught modules:

  • Mass spectrometry – basics and fundamentals
  • Separation science and sample handling
  • Data analysis and method development

MRes students will also be expected to complete a 120 credit research thesis with a viva.

Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) Programme Structure

Taught modules in the Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) programme will be led by formal lectures, seminars and workshop sessions at the Institute of Mass Spectrometry (IMS) in the College of Medicine. Independent student-led learning using Blackboard to guide pre-reading will be required in order for students to explore and fully understand the subject area.

LCMS is a highly practical technique and the taught modules will encourage problem solving skills and involve dealing with relevant simulated (pre-existing) scenarios.  The experiences gained in these sessions will develop the analytical thinking skills required for the research project which will be laboratory or theoretically based.  Prior to the commencement of the research project, basic laboratory skills and health and safety competencies will be evaluated to ensure minimum requirements are met.  Failure to reach this level will result in students being required to complete a non-laboratory based project.      

Assessment for taught modules will include examinations, case studies, essays, problem sheets and database searching results. The MRes project will be assessed through a written thesis supplemented by a viva. For students enrolled on the MRes the completion of all taught modules only (60 credits) will result in the award of Higher Education PG Certificate for students who exit at this point. This certificate exit qualification is different to the programme “PG Certificate in Applied LCMS”.

Professional Accreditation

Professional Development (PD) Portfolio 

This will enable Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) students to organise and highlight current competencies and training needs into a single document. This can be essential in documenting necessary requirements for continued professional development with a relevant professional body (i.e. Royal Society of Chemistry, RSC, CChem status).  


An application to the Royal Society of Chemistry will be submitted after the first year of study.

Careers and Employability

Unique networking opportunities with relevant potential employers for enhanced employability in areas such as: 

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food and Nutrition 
  • Clinical diagnostics
  • Forensics
  • Environment
  • Agriculture
  • Homeland security 
  • Marketing and sales
  • Veterinary 
  • Cosmology
  • Geology
  • Textile manufacture
  • Archaeology


Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) graduates will be extensively trained in a research-led institute. The highly practical nature of the course and extensive in-house equipment will enable students to experience a more in-depth and 'hands-on' MRes than most current analytical courses.

Training involves a fully integrated approach of three main sections:

  • National Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • Research at the Institute of Mass Spectrometry (IMS)
  • Swansea Postgraduate Education Centre for Training and Research in Analytical Mass Spectrometry

Instrumentation/techniques within IMS:

  • Liquid chromatography/high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC/HRMS and LC/HRMSn)
  • Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MSn); low resolution MS.
  • Nano-liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (nano-LC/MS)
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • Liquid chromatography/ultraviolet spectrophotometry (LC/UV)
  • Liquid chromatography/diode array (LC/DAD)
  • Electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)
  • Atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation-mass spectrometry (APCI-MS)
  • Electron ionisation-mass spectrometry (EI-MS)
  • Chemical ionisation-mass spectrometry (CI-MS)
  • Liquid secondary ion-mass spectrometry (LSI-MS i.e. ‘Fast Atom Bombardment’, FAB),
  • Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS)

We routinely carry out a number of sample preparation techniques including:

  • Solid phase extraction (SPE)
  • Liquid-liquid extraction (LLE)
  • Electrophoretic techniques
  • Affinity extraction
  • Ion-exchange
  • Precipitation


Swansea University has long been established as a centre of excellence for mass spectrometry, with the siting of the Royal Society Research Unit here in the 1970s followed by the Mass Spectrometry Research Unit and then the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Facility in the 1980s. All mass spectrometry facilities are now housed within the Institute of Mass Spectrometry (IMS) within the College of Medicine.

Research Areas

  • Medical Mass Spectrometry
  • Analytical Mass Spectrometry
  • Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation Development
  • MALDI Matrices and Method Development

Visit the Applied Analytical Science (LCMS) MRes page on the Swansea University website for more details!




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