Absolute Basics of GC & GC-MS

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Course summary

  • Duration: 1 day for face-to-face | Total of 6.5 hours for Virtual Classroom course
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Course type: Universal, applicable to all instrumentation
  • Teaching method: Face-to-face OR online via live video, with instrument parts and consumables to see
  • RSC CPD approval: Approved for CPD
  • Scheduled course venue: See venues
  • Online/onsite/in-house/offsite availability: Arrange this course just for you
  • On demand availability: Available
  • Scheduled course price: £385 + VAT
  • Course discount: RSC and CAMS members receive a discount on this course*

Course approval

Royal Society of Chemistry approved training logo

This course has been approved by the Royal Society of Chemistry for purposes of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

What will you learn on this course?

This course teaches the fundamentals of gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Attendees will gain a firm foundation in these techniques by learning about the instrumentation used, how the separation process occurs and gaining an overview of the function and operation of each component of the instrument.

The types of samples which can be analysed are covered, along with the different sampling techniques available and considerations when preparing samples.

Beyond the instrumentation, the course discusses why the technique is used and the answers it can give, looking at qualitative and quantitative data analysis, to give you a full picture.

The course will also review different industries and their applications of the techniques, using each as a case study to apply knowledge learned throughout the course.

This course is a perfect introduction for absolute beginners to gas chromatography and GC-MS. The course will cover the what, how, why, where and when of GC & GC-MS.

  • What is gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, a GC or GC-MS?
  • How would you use them? How do they work and what is available?
  • Why would you use them? How would they help solve your problems and what answers could they give?
  • Where would you use them? What types of analytes and samples can you use them for?
  • When would you use them? Which applications to answer what questions?

Learning outcomes

  • You will learn about the different types of chromatography
  • You will understand the definitions of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry
  • You will learn the principles and components of the gas chromatograph
  • You will learn about the principles and components of the mass spectrometer
  • You will learn the purpose and principles of data analysis
  • You will learn about different sampling techniques for GC
  • You will learn about a number of industries and their application of GC and GC-MS

Who is this course for?

  • Beginners - those new to Gas Chromatography or Mass Spectrometry.
  • Analysts or technicians looking for a refresher in these techniques.
  • Lab managers and line managers - those who are responsible for the instruments or the analysts using them.
  • Data analysts and report writers - technical specialists who aren't using the instruments but are using data from them.
  • Service engineers and consultant engineers - those who look after or recommend the use of these instruments but don't have the chemistry background or chemistry viewpoint.
  • Those involved in the sales or marketing of these instruments, their consumables or their use for analysis - e.g. manufacturers, contract labs, media companies.

Course combinations

This course is ideal either as stand-alone or prior to attending the Practical Essentials of GC & GC-MSComplete GC & GC-MS, Hands-on Complete GC & GC-MS or one of our manufacturer-specific Comprehensive courses.

Book this course

Feedback from previous attendees of Virtual Classroom course

"Diane explained everything in an very easy way so it was easy to understand. [Most useful topic:] The part with the questions at the end. Then you really had to think and you realized if you had understood everything correctly."  On-Demand Virtual Classroom course, October 2022.

"Seeing all the components and learning what they do. It was really helpful to see the parts and get an idea of what is happening to samples."  On-Demand Virtual Classroom course, March 2022.

"Very knowledgeable trainer, went through everything in thorough detail."  On-Demand Virtual Classroom course, February 2022.

"I found the section that went into detail about the different types of GC column interesting. I had heard of them through my uni course but didn't really know their different mechanisms/interactions that each of them had and how that would influence your separation. It was also interesting to hear how the SP was actually added to the column!"  October 2021.

"The different sampling techniques and the questions at the end as they made you think more about why you would pick one over another and I think that will be useful to take into the lab."  October 2021.

"The whole course was great but I found it useful to see the physical components from the instruments."  October 2021.

"Diane was very knowledgeable, answered any questions. I liked that she had bits of kit to show us."  October 2021.

"The structure, being able to access the powerpoint, the presenter, having examples of the equipment to see."  Tony Pink, Chemist, City of Toledo Environmental Services (October 2020).

"Interaction with course tutor was helpful."  July 2020.

"The sheer depth of knowledge and information presented."  Sam de Neijs, Senior Chemistry volunteer, The Loop (April 2020).

"Enjoyed interactive bit at the end, was very useful in solidifying the information."  Grace Richards, PhD Student, The Open University (April 2020).

Feedback from previous attendees of Face-to-Face course

"Very informative and touches on all areas of GC-MS."  Onsite training, June 2022.

"Being able to see the parts up close, every stage of the instrumentation being broken down."  Onsite training, June 2022.

"Range of presentation methods inc. interactivity, questions. [Most useful topic:] Different types of columns and when they'd be used."  Onsite training, June 2022.

"Interactive-ness, seeing parts from the machines, in-depth explanations and questions at the end."  Onsite training, June 2022.

"A lot of very useful information, it was all relevant."  Matt Grant, Apprentice Analyst, Northumbrian Water (October 2019).

"Diane explained things in a clear way to make it understandable despite me not being from a science background."  Jenny Baines, Commercial Manager, Aport (October 2019).

"[I enjoyed the] enthusiasm of Diane of GC and methods, interesting examples of applications."  Charlotte Wild, QA Technician, Blue Sky Botanics (October 2019).

"Diane is a brilliant instructor! (Most useful topic:) understanding the science behind GCs."  Tom Wickstead, Commercial Director, Aport (October 2019).

"[I enjoyed the] clarity of presentation media."  Jonathan Gough, Senior Production Technician, Ellutia (October 2019).

"Easy to understand, even for people with non scientific knowledge. Diane made the course enjoyable."  (October 2019).

"[I enjoyed] the great way in which such complex subject was presented in order to be really easily understood."  Camelia Tulcan, Associate Professor, Banat University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Romania (April 2019).

"Enthusiastic and easy to understand."  Delegate from a consulting company (April 2019).

"[I enjoyed the] broad overview of all aspects of GC & GC-MS."  Delegate from a UK university (April 2019).

"Very detailed overview about different applications and different instrumentation."  Abigail Robbins, Analytical Chemist, Owlstone Medical (bespoke training, January 2019).

"Really clear, good quality explanations. Great structure of content and slides."  Delegate from the chemical detection industry (bespoke training, January 2019).

"[I enjoyed] the hands-on examples of different consumables and also the real-world examples of where different extraction and analytical techniques would be used."  Shaun Loach, Organic Analyst, Terra Tek Limited (January 2019).

"[I enjoyed] learning about all the different types of GC methods."  Robert Moar, Research Scientist, Vecotech Ltd (January 2019).

"The course instructor was very experienced and tried to match the information to our own experiences/backgrounds. Good use of hands-on materials."  PhD student, UK university (January 2019).

"[I enjoyed the] pace and friendliness. Little practical was good. Good range of material covered."   Brett Keith, Lab Manager at The Open University (October 2018).

"Good pace, clear, just as hoped, excellent slides, excellent teacher."   Delegate from the food industry, October 2018.

"[I enjoyed the] overall background of GC. More context to help with my role and customer."  Customer Services, clinical industry (April 2018).

"[I enjoyed the] clarity of slides."  PhD Student from a UK university (July 2017).

"[I enjoyed] information about different types of detectors and columns."  Eirini Lamprianidou (April 2017).

"Hand out looks useful with slides in bitesize style." Delwar Hussain, Research Scientist, NPL (December 2016).

"A thorough overview to GC&GC-MS technology that covered all the basic topics to practical lab work using the instruments on the market." Research scientist, physics organisation, (December 2016).

"The application of the topic area in various industries was very interesting. It was good to know the wide applicable areas including clinical diagnostics."  Philip Okyere, Biomedical Scientist, NHS (October 2016).

"Diane's depth of knowledge for the complete range of GC and MS related topics was very interesting and useful to participate, I would recommend it to anyone involved with GC/GCMS related work."  James williams, Technical Sales Specialist, Markes International (May 2016).

"Each Section was clearly explained. It was quite a laid back course in that Diane was happy to take questions throughout and discuss some topics in more depth where requested. Being able to see some of the items that Diane was explaining to us was very helpful in understanding their use. The task at the end was also very good and helped to bring all of the topics discussed together."  Jessica Farrelly, Product Manager - TD Consumables, Markes International (May 2016). 

"Very good. There was a lot of content, Imran did a great job of keeping everyone engaged."  Lesley Davidson, Finance Manager, DAS (May 2016). 

"Lots of info about how GC's Work. Inlets, Carrier Gasses and detectors."  Nicholas Lewis, Chemistry Analyst, Terra Tek Ltd (January 2016). 

"Brilliant course!  A lot of information for a basic course, but very well presented and explained. Great availability of the tutor."  R&D Associate Scientist, Eirechrom delegate (December 2015). 

"Very good background into GC & GC-MS clearly expalined, not complicated. Very detailed and interesting. Easy to understand & follow.  Liked that it is independent and not delivered by any particular suppliers."  QC Analyst, Eirechrom delegate (December 2015). 

"All of my expectations were met, it was a vey informative training course. I found this training to be very detailed and interesting.  This will prepare me well for my training and testing in GC in my career.  The slides were very well prepared and clearly presented.  It was a good refresher for me."  Analyst Level 2, Eirechrom delegate (December 2015). 

"I found the training very helpful.  Lots of practical information about GC Supported with Practical examples. Clear presentations supported with practical examples no additional material required."  QC Analyst, Eirechrom delegate (December 2015). 

"Very good to refresh my memory.  Good information on how samples may be injected onto the column."  Eirechrom delegate (December 2015). 

"Being completely new to the subject it was all interesting."  Kim Feldsmann, Administrator/ Marketing, Trajan Ltd (June 2015). 

"Seeing real bits of equipment, it helps put the theory in context for me."  Scientist, testing services company (June 2015). 

"The topics were well explained and diagrams were used to make the concepts clear. I particularly liked the use of items from the GC instrumentation to demonstrate points and also to show what these parts look like in real life. Compares well to other courses. Was well presented."  Scientific graduate, instrumentation equipment supplier (April 2015). 

"It was correctly pitched to be interesting, accessible and challenging."  Martin Crookes, Team Leader & Reporting Manager, Key Forensic Services (March 2015). 

"(I enjoyed having the) opportunity to ask questions during the presentation and have them answered by an expert."  Matthew Kershaw, Research Technician, The Open University (March 2015). 

"Interative, helped consolidate learning."  PhD student, The Open University (March 2015). 

"Good quality slides and very personable yet professional presenter. Tour of the lab was very interesting, as well as seeing and handling the common machine parts. A very good standard with a much better variety/balance than some other course I've attended."  Simon Steeson, PhD Student, University of Surrey (December 2014).

"[I enjoyed] going through each step from the absolute basic start."  Daniel Curtis, Lab Technician, University of Surrey (December 2014).

"Very well run course. Great content and well delivered."  Keith Gannon, QC Analyst, Unilever (December 2014). 

"Very engaging, lots of good analogies to explain complex methods."  Senior Laboratory Technician (December 2014). 

"Extremely informative throughout, friendly, approachable and knowledgable tutors."  David Bryant, Air Products PLC (September 2014). 

"Very good."  Product Specialist - Analytical (September 2014). 

"The breadth of coverage - a very good introduction, relaxed atmosphere."  University PhD Student (June 2014). 

"Informal atmosphere, easy to ask questions. Small size of group is a great improvement on many courses I have attended."  International Sales Administrator (June 2014). 

"Everything about this course (especially the) operational procedure of the GC-MS."  Olawumi Samuel, a Laboratory Scientist from Nigeria's Osum State University (May 2013). 

"Proximity exchange with the very knowledgeable teacher. The little tips and examples that may not be in the presentation."  Post Doctoral Research Assistant from a University (May 2013).

"Comprehensive; informal presentation; opportunity to ask questions as we went along. Most interesting topic: Fundamentals of GC. Most useful topic: Sample preparation."  Carolyn Willis, Research Director, Amersham Hospital.

"This course has 'removed a veil from my mind'.  I have not done GC for several years and this has provided me with a very sound foundation on which I can now build for a more advanced GC development.  The level of detail in the Why and Where of GC was excellent and therefore allowed one to readily understand the information in the afternoon session which needed more interpretation".  Andrea Jordan, Post Graduate Researcher, Chemical Engineering and Advanced Material Graduate School, Newcastle University.

"Very useful practical knowledge.  Gave a very good overview of the topic, although perhaps too many points covered".  Laboratory Technician, Manchester University.

"Content very good, clearly explained".  Researcher, Manchester University.

"Coverage of wide range of material, optimal balance between general and more specialised topics, small group size, [and] face-to-face interaction."  Researcher, Open University (2012). 

"Open and comfortable environment in which to ask questions."  Marc Davies, Open University.

"High level of detail given into describing how GC works."  John Robertson, Inorganic Chemistry Analyst, South East Water.