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Analytical facilities

Our instrument labs are well-equipped with a range of industry-standard equipment that will give you sought-after experience before you enter the world of work. You’ll learn about every stage of the process, from how to prepare samples and analyse them, to ensuring the quality of your data and thinking critically about what you discover.

These skills have applications in many sectors, including the environmental testing, biomedical, oil, archaeological, agricultural and forensic science industries.

We have invested in leading technology, such as our Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, which was purchased in 2014. The majority of the instruments in these labs are designed to analyse the composition of various samples. Our equipment includes:

  • Varian Vista-Pro CCD ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrophotometer) - this is used to analyse the elemental composition of samples and can analyse over 70 elements simultaneously. It’s usually used for testing soil, water and invertebrate samples.
  • PerkinElmer Atomic Absorption Spectrometer - this is a highly sensitive instrument used for elemental analysis. Due to its sensitivity, it’s typically used for trace analysis, blood analysis and gun shot residue analysis.
  • Ion Chromatography System - a machine that analyses ions in samples. It’s generally used for water samples.
  • Flash Elemental Analyser 1112 Series - this piece of kit can analyse the elements that the ICP machine would find difficult, namely carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur and oxygen. In particular, it is used for carbon sequestration studies.
  • Microwave digestion system - this digests samples in acid using microwaves to heat them under pressure. The liquefied samples are then suitable for use in the various pieces of analysis equipment.
  • Flow Cytometer – for the counting and analysis of microbial cells in liquid suspension. The light scattering, fluorescence, of individual cells are measured after being exposed to laser light. This allows you to discriminate different subpopulations within the main population.

Relevant courses:

Undergraduate courses and Master's degrees in archaeological, anthropological and forensic sciences

Undergraduate courses and Master's degrees in life & environmental sciences