BSc. in Analytical Science

What Is Analytical Science?

Our information-orientated society values the detection and measurement of analytical science now more than ever. We see, use, and benefit from it every day, from the tests performed to check the purity of medicines, to the daily monitoring of industrial wastes, to analysis in the forensic laboratory.  

The BSc in Analytical Science employs an interdisciplinary approach, educating you in both theoretical and practical aspects of chemical, biochemical and microbiological analysis. The ever-increasing demand for more detailed and accurate data from within these disciplines means your services, as a trained analytical scientist, will be in constant demand. 

Analytical Science's Influence on Industry

Analytical science plays an enormous role in industries such as pharmaceuticals, process control, environmental monitoring, diagnostics, food production, and research. It is an area of science industry relies upon to create ‘new knowledge’, and there is always a need for those skilled in ways of improving methods of analysis to respond to increasing or new demands.  

At Dublin City University, the Faculty of Science and Health is unique in having, as members of its academic staff, chemists and biologists who have specialised in multidisciplinary analytical techniques. The degree programme also places a major emphasis on practical work and on developing a wide range of analytical and manipulative skills, including instrumentation and operational skills appropriate to the analytical scientist. Graduates will be in an ideal position to exploit the opportunities for biotechnology in Ireland, in established or developing companies.

Why Study Analytical Science at DCU?

The course encompasses biological and engineering aspects

  • It is the longest established degree course in Biotechnology in Ireland.
  • Extensive laboratory training through team work and partnership projects
  • Modern laboratories including the Microbial Bioprocessing Facility.
  • Biotechnology is a government designated strategic area.
  • Nine-month paid work experience placement (INTRA) in Ireland or abroad

How You Fit The Programme

As an Analytical Scientist in training, you’ll focus on the fundamental principles of physics, chemistry and biology. To appreciate how to truly detect and measure changes in chemical and molecular structures, you’ll develop a good understanding of the core physical, chemical and biological properties of said species, and the means to which to measure and quantify such. DCU’s BSc in Analytical Science will teach you the fundamentals to succeed in the emerging technology-driven industries which have a significant impact on humanity, and include the creation and manufacture of products that help in the diagnosis and treatment of disease (e.g. the production of antibiotics, insulin, and safer recombinant vaccines), and the provision of services to areas like healthcare, food, agriculture, energy and the environment.

Programme Structure

Year 1 will provide you with the essential background knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology. These are of vital importance in later years. Thought-provoking laboratory work is an integral part of the course in all years of the degree programme. 

The major emphasis in Years 2 and 3 is on analytical science, with chemical and biological aspects being developed in parallel. In Year 3 you can choose between a chemistry stream or a biology stream. Both streams cover the major, modern state-of-the-art analytical techniques, and you'll enjoy plenty of hands-on experience in our exceptionally well-equipped facilities. 

Your period of industrial placement (INTRA) before your final year ensures that you gain valuable work experience in a real-life setting, putting the many things you have learned on the course to the test. 

In Year 4 you will cover more specialised methods and applications of analytical science, which when integrated with the basic analytical techniques you have already learned, present you with the opportunity to develop your own analytical approach to solving complex problems. Chemistry and biology specialist options are maintained, ensuring that you still gain the multidisciplinary education that modern employers demand. The final part of your course comprises a full-time project taken in the last semester.  

Industrial Placement (INTRA):

  • INTRA is paid.
  • INTRA is relevant full-time work experience.
  • INTRA takes place in Year 3.
  • INTRA is arranged by DCU (in almost all cases).
  • Through INTRA, gain understanding of the practical world of industry.
  • INTRA helps you to make realistic career decisions.

Career Prospects:

With a broad and versatile range of skills, graduates can expect to find work in varied companies, institutions and positions, including:

  • Public service providers
  • Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry
  • Quality control
  • Product research, development and testing 
  • Manufacturing industries
  • Brewing
  • Agricultural fertiliser production
  • Fine chemicals production
  • Government agencies
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Food quality testing and research
  • Forensics
  • Teaching


'The degree in Analytical Science at DCU provided me with a diverse range of specialised skills across all the science disciplines, which offered me great flexibility in choosing a career. The fact that I chose to pursue postgraduate study in the Chemical Sciences department after my degree is a testament to the support and dedication of departmental staff, as well as the superb research facilities there'

Kathleen Grennan, BSc. in Analytical Science


For more information on the BSc. in Analytical Science at Dublin City University, click here.