AD Schools' Analyst Competition

The Schools' Analyst Competition is a national competition run by the RSC's Analytical Division for first year sixth form students studying AS level Chemistry or equivalent (i.e. Year 12).  The Analytical Division’s Regions hold heats, in early spring each year, to select a team or teams, to go through to the National Final (held in June). Each team comprises three students (with an accompanying teacher).

Regional Heats

The Regions within the UK who hold heats in the competition are:

Analytical Division East Anglia Region

Analytical Division Midlands Region

Analytical Division North East Region

Analytical Division North West Region

Analytical Division Northern Ireland Sub-Region

Analytical Division Scottish Region

Analytical Division South East Region

Analytical Division Western Region

The Final of the Competition

The Final of the Competition sees around 18 to 20 teams competing for a Challenge Shield. First, Second and Third placed teams in the National Final receive prizes of £1000, £600 and £300,  respectively with the other finalists receiving £100 each. There are also prizes for the individual team members of the first and runner-up teams.

Teams are required to undertake various practical analytical determinations based on problems relevant to industrial or social needs. These are judged for skill, understanding and accuracy and are intended to promote team work and safety in the laboratory. Each competition aims to provide some tasks which are relatively familiar to the students such as titrations and others which are likely to be unfamiliar, such as chromatographic separations or atomic and molecular spectroscopy. In this way, it is hoped that the competitors will learn new skills, as well as demonstrate their existing knowledge, skills and aptitude for analytical science.


Sponsorship of regional competitions and the final are invited (please contact Professor John Dean). Over the years, the RSC has had a very generous sponsorship for the Regional and National competitions from industry, public utilities, the Regions and Groups of the Analytical Division and in particular the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund (ACTF). 

Brief History

The first competition was organised in London by the then Polytechnic of North London (now London Metropolitan University) in 1982. In 1985, a similar competition was held in the Manchester area and then, when these proved to be so popular, other regional events were also held. These were brought together for the first time in 1990 in a National Final for the winners of all the regional competitions.

Report on the Analytical Division's 2016 National Schools' Analyst Competition

A team from Hymers College in Hull (North East Region) were the winners in 2016.

Report on the Analytical Division's 2015 National Schools' Analyst Competition

A team from Ruthin School (North West Region) were the winners in 2015.

Report on the Analytical Division's 2014 National Schools' Analyst Competition

A team from Charterhouse School (South East Region) were the winners in 2014.

Previous Winners of the National Finals of the Schools’ Analyst Competition

List of Previous Winners of the Schools' Analyst Competition

Resources from Previous Regional Heats of the AD Schools' Analyst Competition

Resources used in previous years' competitions

Risk Assessment for RSC events

A risk assessment form must be filled out for every event organised by the RSC. All forms are available for download along with examples of Red Risk Assessment Forms .

Contact and Further Information

Professor John R. Dean
Coordinator, National Schools’ Analyst Competition
Tel: +44 (0) 191 227 3047 / 07976 585434