Taught course

Analytical Science for the Biosciences Industries

Heriot-Watt University · School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Entry requirements

A First or Second Class Honours Degree in an appropriate Life Sciences or Physical Sciences or Engineering discipline. The degree can be from a UK or overseas university. Different degrees, together with relevant industrial experience, will be considered.

For Diploma entry, candidates must hold a degree, preferably at Honours level, in an appropriate subject as defined above. Candidates who do not necessarily fulfil the above criteria may wish to apply to the Diploma programme. All such cases are given individual consideration.
English language requirements
If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. Heriot-Watt University offers a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters course:
  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)

Months of entry


Course content

Analytical science underpins crucial areas of the bioscience sector, such as biotechnology, brewing and distilling, food and drink, pharmaceuticals, and bioengineering. 

Academics at Heriot-Watt University work closely with these industries and, in recent years, leaders from organisations such as the Scotch Whisky Research Institute (SWRI), Diageo, the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service have highlighted the need for graduates who have strong applied analytical science skills. 
The MSc in Analytical Science for the Biosciences Industries has been developed in close collaboration with our industrial partners to fill this skills gap and is designed to provide training to accommodate applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in the biosciences industry.  
This degree could also benefit professionals already working within the industry, with an option for part-time study over two years. A Postgraduate Diploma is also available, allowing for study over two semesters but does not require you to complete a final dissertation project.
The MSc Analytical Science for the Biosciences Industries will equip you with detailed knowledge of applied analytical science. You will have hands-on access to cutting-edge analytical equipment, learn how to acquire and process data effectively and draw appropriate conclusions. Modern lab regulatory issues, health and safety essentials and project management also form the core of our degree.  All content will be delivered in the context of the biosciences industries, informed by our industrial partners.
These learning outcomes are devolved through the following core courses: 
  • Introduction to Analytical Science for Bioscientists 
  • Applications of Analytical Science
  • Analysis of Colloids and Complex Fluids
  • Laboratory Regulation and Project Management
  • Research and Professional Practice
Our Expertise
Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active chemists and life science academics. Research in the areas of Chemical and Life Sciences are conducted by two dedicated Research Institutes:
Across these two institutes staff expertise covers diverse applications of analytical science to materials science, gas-phase spectroscopy, chemical and biochemical analysis, complex fluids and interfacial science.
The research relevance of this postgraduate programme ensures your studies remain cutting-edge and industry focused.

Your learning environment
The MSc Analytical Science for the Biosciences Industries programme is taught though a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars, and lab sessions, allowing you to get to know and build relationships with your teaching staff, academics, and peers. You will be assessed by coursework, exams, and your dissertation, and will receive support and feedback throughout the programme. You’ll gain first-hand insights into the biosciences industry through site visits to analytical laboratories and companies, presentations by invited specialists from across the sector, and regular practical sessions with training in the use of specialist analytical equipment.
During your studies, you’ll benefit from and have access to our specialist equipment, software and laboratories used by industry, including our state-of-the-art HPLC systems, IR, UV, and NMR spectroscopies, and Mass Spectrometers (both GC-MS and LC-MS). You will work with expert technical staff to use the facilities and equipment to its full potential.
Outside of the classroom, there are various societies you can join to meet like likeminded people, gain insights into industry and career opportunities, and get involved in regular social events and networking events, including the Chemistry Society and Watt Women in STEM Society.
Customise your learning
You’ll have the opportunity to focus on the areas of analytical science and bioscience that interest you the most. You can customise your degree to match your specific interests or desired career pathway by studying four mandatory courses and choosing four further options from a range of relevant specialist courses, including beverage microbiology and biochemistry, introduction to pharmaceutical chemistry, entrepreneurship and creativity, chemistry of food, and human diseases and therapeutic interventions.
After successfully completing two semesters, you will have the opportunity to further customise your learning, by analysing a particular analytical problem or challenge within the biosciences area through your analytical research project/dissertation. You’ll be required to demonstrate your mastery of the subject area by designing, planning, and conducting a piece of original research in the analytical science and chemistry sectors.
You can choose whether to study the programme full-time or part-time. This flexibility allows you to tailor your postgraduate studies to your other commitments. You can begin the programme in September, and the full-time course will last 12 months full time or 24 months part time. If you decided to study part-time, you register for two courses per semester and progress to the dissertation at the end of your second year.  
The programme has been specifically developed in close collaboration with our industrial partners in the biosciences sector, so you can be sure that you’ll learn the necessary advanced skills in applied analytical science to set you up for life after graduation.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Enquiries Team