Food and medicine safety has always been a major community concern, and based on the 2009 Hong Kong government policy address, the testing and certification industry can be a leading economic pillar.
To meet the rising demand for chemical analysts, the Hong Kong Baptist University's (HKBU) department of chemistry is offering the master of science in analytical chemistry.
The pioneering programme offers training on the latest chemical techniques, and quality assurance and laboratory management skills.
"One important characteristic of the course is that we place equal emphasis on theoretical knowledge and experimental and problem-solving skills," says the secretary to the programme board, Dr Lai Suk-yin.
The course can be finished in two years in part-time mode, or one year full-time. "The part-time course is designed for people who are working in the industry, and who wish to update and enhance their knowledge for career advancement," says Lai. "Most are technical staff from chemical testing labs. A smaller number work in medical labs in hospitals."
The programme consists of lectures, lab training and independent research projects. Attendance at seminars by non-university experts is also required.
Lectures take place on weekday evenings - twice a week for part-time students and four times a week for full-timers. The former conduct their lab work on alternate Saturdays; the latter, on weekday during daytime.
Applicants should have a degree in chemistry or another physical science or life science discipline.