Analysis of urine is a widely used diagnostic tool that traditionally measured one or, at most, a few metabolites. However, the recognition of the need for an holistic approach to metabolism led to the application of metabolomics to urine for disease diagnostics. This review looks at various aspects of urinalysis including sampling and traditional approaches before reviewing recent developments using metabolomics. Spectrometric approaches are covered briefly since there is already a number of very good reviews on NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry and other spectrometries are not as highly developed in their applications to metabolomics. On the other hand, there has been a recent surge in chromatographic applications dedicated to characterising the human urinary metabolome. While developments in the analysis of urine encompassing both classical approaches of urinalysis and metabolomics are covered, it must be emphasized that these approaches are not orthogonal ' they both have their uses and are complementary. Regardless, the need to normalise analytical data remains an important impediment.