Department of Physical Sciences





Head of Department : T. Gillan

Departmental Staff

Courses:

National Certificate in Science (Applied Chemistry Option) - 2yrs
National Certificate in Science (Instrument Physics Option) - 2yrs
National Diploma in Science (Fine Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals) - 1yr
National Diploma in Chemical Studies - 1yr
National Diploma in Technology (Industrial Instrumentation) - 1yr








NATIONAL CERTIFICATE IN SCIENCE [Applied Chemistry Option]

GA006 SCI

The first year of this course is common for students intending to take the Applied Biology, Applied Chemistry or Instrument Physics Certificate, with students indicating their preference for a particular option either during or at the end of their first year. This gives students who have not taken all three Science subjects to Leaving Certificate an opportunity to sample each one. Entry to a particular option in second year is subject to availability of places.

Aims
To give a good grounding in the underlying theory and principles of chemistry and related sciences. Heavy emphasis is given to imparting a high quality of experimental skills, including familiarising students with a wide range of modern instrumental methods. The School is also conscious of the desire by the majority of students to proceed beyond the two year Certificate course, at least to National Diploma. The course content is designed to facilitate this aspiration so that students have the necessary foundation to enable them to transfer to a wide variety of other higher level courses.

Entry Requirements
MINIMUM entry requirement is: Pass (Grade D3 or better) in five Leaving Certificate subjects including Mathematics and English or Irish. In practice, entry levels are significantly above the minimum and points are calculated from the SIX best subjects.

Course Duration
Two years full-time study.

Career Outlets
The main employment opportunities for graduates with an Applied Chemistry background are in quality control and similar positions in the chemical industry. It should be stressed that most students progress directly from the Certificate to the Diploma programme and enter the job market at this point. Excellent employment opportunities exist in the large and growing pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries in a range of activities, including quality control, process control, effluent monitoring, organic synthesis etc. Other openings exist in such areas as technical sales, marketing and administration.

Course Content

Year 1
Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, Language/Sociology & Communications.

Year 2
Inorganic & Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Instrumentation. Elective Modules in a diverse range of subjects are also taken.


Opportunities for Further Study
The majority of graduates proceed at least as far as a National Diploma, either in this College or in another RTC. There are several routes to degree programmes either in Ireland or in UK institutions for which the Certificate is an excellent starting point. Many graduates of this course have progressed through diverse routes to honours degree programmes and to M.Sc. and Ph.D. level study. Students have transferred to institutions such as University College Galway, Dublin City University and to a number of UK Universities.

Further Information
Kathleen Lough or Head of School.


NATIONAL CERTIFICATE IN SCIENCE [Instrument Physics Option]

GA006 SCI

The first year of this course is common for students intending to take the Applied Biology, Applied Chemistry or Instrument Physics Certificate, with students indicating their preference for a particular option either during or at the end of their first year. This gives students who have not taken all three Science subjects to Leaving Certificate an opportunity to sample each one. Entry to a particular option in second year is subject to availability of places.

Aims
To produce graduates with the skills and knowledge to enter careers in challenging areas of science and technology. Modern science and technology require precise monitoring and control of many varied parameters. A particular process can put extreme demands on a measurement system in terms of the precision required and of environmental conditions. The course aims to develop an appreciation of these factors so graduates can select an appropriate physical process as the basis for the measuring instrument. Students also become familiar with computers which are rapidly becoming the accepted method of controlling instrumentation and measurement systems and for recording and analysing measurement data. Finally, graduates will be able to calibrate and standardise measurement systems using internationally recognised standards and methods of setting up those standards.

Entry Requirements
MINIMUM entry requirement is: Pass (Grade D3 or better) in five Leaving Certificate subjects including Mathematics and English or Irish. In practice, entry levels are significantly above the minimum and points are calculated from the SIX best subjects.

Course Duration
Two years full-time study.

Career Outlets
Graduates from this course find employment in diverse areas: for example, companies whose business is to design, manufacture, supply and install instrumentation and control systems, calibration and standards laboratories, the semiconductor manufacturing industry, quality control, or the academic field in teaching and research laboratories. Other employment areas are manufacturing firms who use instrumentation and control systems as part of the manufacturing process - i.e. chemical manufacturing, food processing, drug manufacture, petroleum industry, plastics manufacture etc.

Course Content

Year 1
Physics (including introductory electronics), Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Language/Sociology & Communications.

Year 2
Physics, Sensors and Transducers, Electronics, Mathematics, Computing, Instrumentation and Control, Analytical Instrumentation.


Opportunities for Further Study
Depending on performance, graduates of this course can progress to the Diploma in Industrial Instrumentation at this College, or to other Diploma courses at other RTCs. Students can also transfer into Year 2 of a three year Honours Degree in Applied Physics at the University of Salford after the Certificate provided performance is satisfactory.

Further Information
Tim Roe or Head of School.


NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN SCIENCE [Fine Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals]

SDFC3

Aims
To extend and develop the depth of understanding, competence and awareness of students in the main areas of analytical science, analytical chemistry, biochemical and microbiological analysis. To introduce students to areas of new and developing technologies such as biotechnology, genetic engineering, fermentation technology and pharmaceutical chemistry. To improve and extend the supervisory, organisational and managerial potential of students in order to enable them to attain laboratory-centred positions.

This Diploma course is an interdisciplinary course open to students from an Applied Chemistry or Applied Biology background. Students from both disciplines study some common units in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology, with subsequent specialisations for each stream.

Entry Requirements
National Certificate in Science (Applied Chemistry or Biology option) with Merit or Distinction, or equivalent qualification. Applicants holding a National Certificate with at least one year's post Certificate experience will be considered for admission, having regard to academic performance, nature of work experience and availability of places.

Holders of a B.Sc. General are also eligible to apply.

Course Duration
One year full-time.

Career Outlets
Graduates of this course are prepared for employment in the pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnolgical, and food industries. Of growing importance is the area of environmental protection, effluent monitoring, quality control of starting materials, in-process and finished products etc. The demand for skilled personnel in this area is likely to increase substantially due to the forthcoming implementation of EC directives and regulations. Many graduates have progressed to employment in supervisory, organisational and managerial capacities within industry and some have obtained employment as sales representatives in related industries. Additional laboratory-based employment opportunities exist in educational institutions, especially in university and other third-level colleges.

Course Content
A common foundation course is given to all students whether from an Applied Chemistry or Biology background. Subsequently separate modules are offered to students from each stream.

FOUNDATION MODULES
Spectrophotometric Methods of Analysis, Biochemical Analysis, Chromatographic Techniques, Quality Control/Statistics, Introductory Computing.

CHEMISTRY ENTRANTS
Electrochemical Analysis, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Techniques of Organic Synthesis, Microcomputer Applications, Topics in Physical Chemistry, Basic Microbiology.

BIOLOGY ENTRANTS
Applied Enzymology, Applied Immunology, Indicator Organisms, Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Fermentation Technology.


Opportunities for Further Study
Graduates can pursue further studies to Honours Degree level in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Microbiology. Transfer to honours degree courses in universities is possible, often with year-for-year recognition. Formal transfer arrangements with some UK Universities already exist. Each year graduates of this course transfer to such degree programmes either in Ireland or the UK. Several of these students have subsequently progressed to M.Sc. and Ph.D. level study.

Further Information
Íde Ní Fhaoláin for students with Biology background.

Myles Keogh for students with Chemistry background

or Head of School.


NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN CHEMICAL STUDIES

SDCS3

Aims
To provide the skills and knowledge necessary to proceed to the study of chemistry at a higher level at home or abroad.

To develop an awareness of the social, environmental and economic impact of chemistry and the awareness of these factors within society.

Graduates of this course will have used a wide range of modern chemical techniques and analytical instrumentation.

This course is intended for graduates of the Certificate in Applied Chemistry who wish to specialise further in Chemistry. It differs in this aspect from the a href="/depscphy.html">National Diploma in Fine Chemicals/Pharmaceuticals i.e. it is not interdisciplinary in nature.

Entry Requirements
National Certificate in Science (Applied Chemistry) with Merit or Distinction, or equivalent qualification. Applicants holding a National Certificate with at least one year's post Certificate experience will be considered for admission, having regard to academic performance, nature of work experience and availability of places.

Course Duration
One year full-time.

Career Outlets
Graduates have a wide range of career choices. The chemical industry provides employment opportunities in quality control, production, research and development and management. Additionally, public bodies such as Local Authority laboratories, Forbairt, Forensic Laboratories, Health Boards, Universities and other third level institutions are potential employers. It is also reasonable to assume that there will be a growing demand for skilled analytical personnel due to increased vigilance in the area of environmental protection and monitoring. Graduates of this course can proceed directly to the professional grade of Licentiateship of the Royal Society of Chemistry (LRSC).

Course Content
SEMESTER V Selected topics in Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Mathematics, European Language (Optional).

SEMESTER VI Further Topics in Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry. Practicals in the three subject areas above will be carried out in each semester.

Opportunities for Further Study
This qualification admits graduates to the Licentiateship grade of professional membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry (LRSC). Transfers to other institutions in Ireland and the UK into the final year of B.Sc. (Honours) or GRSC Part II have already been well established.

Further Information
Malachy Thompson C Chem, FRSC or Head of School.


NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN TECHNOLOGY [Industrial Instrumentation]

SDII3

Aims
To continue and develop on the Certificate in Instrument Physics with a specialisation in the science of Non-Destructive Testing. NDT is an expanding area of measurement science used, for example, by the Semiconductor and Aircraft industries. NDT covers the broad range of techniques which make it possible to examine, analyse, and test materials and products completely without dismantling or test damage. These techniques include X-rays, gamma, beta and neutron beams, ultra-sonics, interferometry, lasers and holography. The course is also intended for holders of similar Certificate courses in Applied Physics and Electronics at other RTCs. Additionally it is intended as a career orientated course for holders of suitable degrees from universities.

Entry Requirements
National Certificate in Science (Instrument Physics option) with Merit or Distinction, or equivalent qualification. Applicants holding a National Certificate with at least one year's post Certificate experience will be considered for admission, having regard to academic performance, nature of work experience and availability of places.

Course Duration
One year full-time study.

Career Outlets
Graduates of this course find employment in diverse areas: For example, companies whose business is to design, manufacture, supply and install NDT systems, instrumentation, control systems and robotics. They may be involved with maintenance and repair facilities which use NDT as a diagnostic tool. There are also employment opportunities in calibration and standards laboratories, in the academic field in teaching and research laboratories and in quality control. Finally, graduates may find employment in manufacturing firms who use NDT, instrumentation, or control and robotics systems as part of the manufacturing process - i.e. semiconductor manufacturing industry, chemical manufacturing, food processing, drug manufacture, petroleum industry, plastics manufacture etc.

Course Content
Instrumentation and Control, Electronics, Non-Destructive Testing, Microcomputer Applications, Mathematics and Data Processing, Project (students are expected to produce a working instrument system).

Opportunities for Further Study
Formal links are established for transfer to the second year of the three year honours degree course in Applied Physics/Electronics at the University of Salford or to the final year of the three year honours degree course in Applied Physics and Instrumentation at Manchester Metropolitan University. The latter option means that it is possible to proceed to an honours degree in four years from the date of entry to RTC Galway. A range of other options is also available for transfer to Honours Degree courses at Irish and other UK universities.

Further Information
Pat Moriarty or Head of School.