Module code: CHE1044

Module Overview

The module gives an introductory overview of the main techniques used in analytical chemistry. It provides understanding of the fundamental principles of chemical analysis as well as the main aspects of their application. The combination of lectures and practical sessions allows the students to get familiarised with the common practises in an analytical chemistry laboratory (calibration of instrumentation, validation, analysis of quality control samples, etc.) as well to introduce them to health & safety regulations and risk assessment.

Module provider


Module Leader

FELIPE-SOTELO Monica (Chemistry)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: F180

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
Fundamentals of analytical chemistry; Good laboratory practice, health and safety, COSHH; Fundamentals of analytical measurement – accuracy, precision (repeatability and reproducibility), traceability, robustness, control charts.
Sample preparation – sampling, decomposition & dissolution; Classical methods – gravimetry & titrimetry analysis
Spectroscopy – fundamentals, Beer’s Law, instrumentation and calculations; Atomic emission spectroscopy; Quantitative molecular spectroscopy – UV-vis absorption and fluorescence.
Introduction to separation science – classification, terminology, fundamentals of solute interaction, equations/calculations in chromatography; Efficiency and resolution - Van Deemter equation; Basic chromatographic methods - planar (TLC, paper) and column (LC and flash) chromatography.
Electrochemistry – basic concepts, galvanic cells, standard potentials, Nernst equation, applications, problem solving, calculations and data presentation; Potentiometry - basic ion selective electrodes, pH electrode, applications.
Practical work on topics such as spectroscopy, basic laboratory good practice – titrations, electrochemistry, atomic emission spectroscopy and chromatography.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Laboratory Portfolio 30
Examination Examination: 1.5 hours 70

Alternative Assessment

Failure in the laboratory may require re-assessment through a defined practical examination

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate
- their understanding of fundamental principles of basic analytical techniques.
- their know-how of the chemical analysis practice.
- their competence to perform fundamental calculations.
- their capacity for independent/critical thinking and problem solving.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• Examination 1.5 hours (70%) – Learning outcomes 1, 2 & 3.
• Evaluation of laboratory portfolio (30%) - Learning outcomes 2, 3 & 4.

Formative assessment
The first 2 practical sessions are assessed in order to provide feedback to the students, to help them understand the requirements for the coursework, and to provide additional support/reinforcement to complete successfully the module.

General feedback is provided to all the students during the pre-laboratory sessions and tutorials; these classes deal with common mistakes (conceptual, practical or numerical), health & safety issues and reinforcing good practice.
All the students receive individual written feedback for their practical reports.

Module aims

  • provide understanding of the theoretical principles, instrumentation, calculations and problem solving aspects of atomic & molecular spectroscopy, chromatography and electrochemistry.
  • describe the fundamentals of the analytical sequence including sample preparation, operation & calibration of equipment, data recording and quality assessment of chemical data.
  • develop the students’ practical skills on the use of basic spectroscopy, chromatography and electrochemical instrumentation in a laboratory environment.
  • improve the students’ awareness of health and safety issues.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand and describe the fundamental principles and operation of analytical techniques, including spectroscopy, chromatography and electrochemistry. K
002 Undertake calculations associated to the calibration of instruments and analytical quantification, and evaluate experimental error. CKP
003 Operate basic analytical techniques, develop problem solving skills and be familiar with good laboratory practice. CKPT
004 Appreciate the implications of the provisions for COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) and Health and Safety regulations in the laboratory environment. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 79

Lecture Hours: 25

Tutorial Hours: 4

Practical/Performance Hours: 42

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
• introduce the students to the fundamentals of the analytical techniques during the lectures. These would include the physical-chemical principles as well as design and operation of instrumental analytical techniques.
• have hands-on experience in an analytical laboratory; including practice in sample preparation, operation and calibration of the instruments, validation and analysis of unknown samples.
• encourage the development of their self-evaluation skills by describing the main sources of error during the practical experiments, nurturing problem solving skills and critical thinking.
• understand and apply calculations in analytical chemistry during the practical sessions. This is reinforced with the tutorial sessions during which the students have an opportunity to revise in small groups the calculations and discuss the application of the different approaches to the resolution of analytical problems.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Combination of lectures (25 hours), practical sessions (42 hours) and tutorials (4 hours)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.