Schools' Analyst Competition

The Schools' Analyst competition enables students competing in Year 12 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, S5 in Scotland or Year 5 in Republic of Ireland to demonstrate and expand on their existing chemistry knowledge, skills and aptitude for analytical science through practical analytical experiments based on relevant societal or industrial problems. 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.

Cancellation of 2020 Schools’ Analyst Competition

In light of developments with the coronavirus (COVID-19), and after careful consideration of the potential risks, the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division and the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund have taken the decision to cancel all upcoming regional heats and the Final of the Schools’ Analyst Competition for 2020.

This was not an easy decision for us to make, however, we believe it to be the right course of action given the range of areas teams are travelling to attend the regional heats and the Final.

The health and wellbeing – and the protection of schoolchildren and teachers – is our number one priority, along with a collective effort to slow the spread of the virus.

While we appreciate that this will be disappointing for those involved in this year’s competition, we hope that you will understand that we have a duty of care for everyone participating in our events. It is particularly disappointing to those schools/colleges that have already won a place at the planned Final in June.

The competition will once again run in 2021.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

John Dean, Schools’ Analyst Competition Coordinator

Further information on coronavirus and RSC Education events

Regional heats

The competition is now held yearly and is organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Division. Each region of the Analytical Division holds heats in early spring each year to select the teams to go through to the national final held in June. Each team comprises three students with an accompanying teacher.

The format of the regional heats varies across the regions. Regional heats are open to all schools and are accessible to students with additional needs. We encourage schools to submit teams that are broadly representative of their school’s gender balance.

For details of regional heats in your area please view Analytical Division events.

To find out more or apply to take part please contact your Local Analytical Division Region.

Find my local division

The final

The final of the competition takes place at a UK university and sees around 20 teams competing for the trophy. First, second and third placed teams receive prizes of £3000, £2000 and £1000, respectively with the other finalists receiving £100 each. There are also prizes for the individual team members of the first and runner-up teams.

Volumetric flasks

Source: © Shutterstock

For further information about the competition please contact Professor John R. Dean (coordinator, National Schools’ Analyst Competition)

ACTF 2020 competition winners

An image of someone opening a golden envelope surrounded by confetti

Winners of Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund’s logo and video competition announced


ACTF trustees announce the winners of their new logo and TikTok video competitions, run in lieu of the 2020 Schools’ Analyst competition

Information for organisers

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.

Risk assessment guidance

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).

Analytical chemistry trust fund