Water dispersible CdSe quantum dots (QDs) were synthesized in aqueous solutions through a chemical precipitation technique followed by hydrothermal treatment employing L-cysteine as a stabilizer. The influence of precursor concentration and pH of the solution on the quality of CdSe QDs were studied and discussed. The as-synthesized CdSe QDs were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) to confirm their structure and surface morphology. The size of the synthesized QDs was found to increase with pH. The optical properties such as absorption and emission wavelengths have been examined using UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and photoluminescence spectroscopy (PL). It is observed from the PL spectra that there is a continuous reduction in the photoluminescence intensity of the CdSe QDs, as the pH value increases. To confirm the capping of L-cysteine and to study the surface properties of the synthesized CdSe QDs Fourier Transform Infra-red (FT-IR) and Fourier Transform Raman (FT-RAMAN) analyses were performed and the results are reported.