Introduction to MS Course

The BMSS Introduction to Mass Spectrometry course covers all fundamental aspects of mass spectrometry, including theory, instrumentation, applications, interpretation and best practice.


The next course
7th & 8th September 2020 at Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield
and precedes the 41st BMSS Annual Meeting (BMSS41).


Who should attend?
This introductory course assumes an undergraduate level of basic chemistry, but requires no previous knowledge of the technique or practical experience. It is designed for scientists who use mass spectrometry, from archaeology to zoology, including novices and ranging to laboratory managers who will be employing mass spectrometry data in their analytical projects and wish to gain a solid understanding of the technique or who want to gain an awareness of its potential applications. The course will be useful for postgraduate research students embarking on research projects involving mass spectrometry. Current users of mass spectrometry will also find the course an excellent refresher to the theory of the technique and a means to keep abreast of recent developments and advances.

Course content
This course will introduce the basic concepts and terminology of mass spectrometry. The most important ionisation techniques used in mass spectrometry are explained, including electrospray ionisation, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation and atmospheric pressure ionisation techniques, as well as the most common mass analysers such as quadrupoles, ion traps, time-of-flight (TOF), Orbitrap and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR).

The following topics are also covered: exact atomic and molecular masses, isotopes, mass resolution, sample preparation, ionisation methods, mass analysers, ion detection, processing of data, elementary data interpretation, and considerations for the mass spectrometry of large molecules. Using relevant, real-world examples such as common drugs and clinically relevant analytes, the course will illustrate both qualitative and quantitative applications of mass spectrometry.

The course is designed to give delegates a solid foundation in mass spectrometry, to appreciate the advantages and limitations of the technique and to assist scientists in choosing the most appropriate instrumentation for a particular analytical challenge.

Typical past course modules - each lecture is accompanied by an interactive workshop

  • Basics of Mass Spectrometry
  • Ionisation Techniques
  • Mass Analysers
  • High Resolution & Accurate Mass
  • MSMS Experiments and Interpretation
  • Sample Preparation
  • Small Molecule Quantitation
  • Troubleshooting

Course Material
Each delegate will receive a course manual containing complete lecture notes together with other background information such as key references and a guide to mass spectrometry resources. Copies of Best Practice Guides for Generating Mass Spectra and Accurate Mass Measurement of Small Molecules are also provided. Delegates will also receive a copy of Anthony Mallet and Steve Down’s recently published “Dictionary of Mass Spectrometry”.

Continuing Personal Development
Professional Bodies, such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, will accept the course as contributing to an individual’s CPD Portfolio if it relevant to their employment.

Course Tutors
The course tutors are all members of the BMSS, drawn from industry, instrument manufacturers, public institutions, and academia. The tutors have considerable experience in the theory and application of the technique. The course provides access to this expertise and an opportunity for networking within a rapidly growing user base.