Module code: CHEM038

Module Overview

The purpose of this module is to give students an advanced understanding of Analytical chemistry. The student will enhance the knowledge and application of specialist topics in analytical chemistry including awareness of the operation of advanced modern instruments with particular attention to the principles, practical aspects and problem solving/application aspects of advanced atomic spectroscopy, chromatography, electrochemistry, and mass spectrometry. Case scenario examples will be used to give students a broad understanding of how data are produced and interpreted. This module demonstrates the application of relevant techniques to a wide range of application such as Environmental chemistry, geoscience, ecotoxicology, medical sciences.


This module support further learning across all chemistry programmes such as:

  • CHE1034 (basic knowledge for Chemistry of the Environment)

  • CHE1044, CHE2035, CHEM028 (From fundamental to advance analytical chemistry modules)

  • CHE2033, CHE3055, CHEM034 (Forensic toxicology/investigation, analysis of trace evidence)

  • CHEM037, CHE3062 (principles of pharmacokinetics, drug processes, schedules) 

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

AL SID CHEIKH Maya (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 93

Lecture Hours: 22

Practical/Performance Hours: 3

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

1 - review of recent advances in modern analytical techniques; inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) - principles, instrumentation, interferences and operation, system of sample introduction; speciation analysis.

2 – overview of isotopic analysis in environmental forensic chemistry, for example Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS), Isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and coupling possible.

3 - the use of electrochemistry for (bio)analytical chemistry.

4 - statistical analysis of data relating to the elemental analysis of real environmental samples; application of calibration curves (including use of dilution factors), and production of an analytical report, writing up and presenting a research proposal; and

5 - review of separation science (GC and HPLC); method development, optimisation, choice of method; preparative chromatography, supercritical fluid (SFC), counter-current, hydrophilic interaction (HILIC), chiral separations, role of HPLC/GC in pharmaceutical, biomedical and environmental analysis.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework: Data Handling 5
Oral exam or presentation Oral Presentation of Research Proposal 5
Coursework Coursework: Research Proposal 10
Examination Online Online (Open Book) Examination within 4hr window 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

  1.   What is being assessed:

The assessment strategy is designed to allow students to demonstrate sufficient theoretical and applied practical skills of the above.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework: Data handling (5%). Students will take part in a self-study exercise provided at the beginning of the term. The self-exercise includes data treatment guide, videos, online meeting to practice the data handling. Students are encouraged to practice in groups and to engage with the academics. On the day of the practical, a new set of data is provided, and the students will have 3hrs to handle the data and provide their results in an Excel file. (LO 2, 3, 4 & 5)

  • Presentation: Oral presentation of the research proposal (5%). At mid-term, the students will have to present of 15 min their research proposal using power point. The presentation will be followed by 15 min of questions. This step will allow academic to give feedback to the students to improve their write up, which will be due few weeks later.

  • Coursework: Writing a research proposal (10%). Students will write an application for a PhD studentship. The Doctoral College Studentships of the university will be taken as example and will follow their guidance (abstract 150 words max. and research proposal 1000 words max.). Guidance will be provided at the beginning of the term in the syllabus of the module, online with videos, guidance notes etc available on Surreylearn. At mid-term, a full day will be set to have groups of discussion about the progress done on the review of literature and student can engage with academic to seek advice on their write up. (LO 2, 3, 4 & 5)

  • Examination (80%): It is an online open book examination.  Students will complete an examination covering the full range of material discussed in lectures and coursework.  The examination will be designed to test their application of the material presented. (LO1, LO2, LO3 & LO4)

  1. How it is assessed:

  2. Formative assessment: Informal formative assessment is conducted throughout the module during lectures and a mid-semester group meeting where students have the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities (including quizzes with instant feedback, discussion group) and to receive both peer and tutor feedback, with the aim of allowing students to assess their progress weekly.

  3. Feedback: Feedback and feedforward on summative assignments will be provided via SurreyLearn. This will indicate what students did well, less well, and what they need to do to improve in the future and will relate both to issues specific to the module and to transferable skills. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module within in-class discussions and activities, and practicals.


  1. Purpose of the assessment:

The assessment strategy is designed to:

  1.  allow students to develop and test their knowledge and their skills in a manner that not only enhances their understanding of the topic, but also allows them to situate it within the wider context of the subject area providing consistency within the program in analytical chemistry. The assessments therefore contain valuable employability components and test a range of transferable skills.

  2. allows for assessment to take place in a supportive context through collaborative work that is, in part, peer assessed, and that can be applied to assessments in other modules. Such an approach contributes to the development of students as independent learners by empowering them to self-evaluate, and reflect on, their own performance in relation to others.

  3. allow students to test their performance in relation to ‘real-life’ scenarios and realistic documentation production, and to critically engage with the latest academic knowledge in relation to the subject area.

  4. allow students to receive feedback from expert staff.

Module aims

  • 1- describe and evaluate the fundamentals of instrumental methods, with particular emphasis on recent developments.
  • 2- describe and evaluate the instrumentation, problem solving and operational aspects of advanced atomic spectroscopy, chromatography, electrochemistry, and mass spectrometry.
  • 3- review and improve student awareness of advanced quality control in analytical chemistry.
  • 4- improve student awareness of practical aspects of analytical measurement and the use of statistics and calculations for quantitative analysis.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand and evaluate the relative usefulness of a range of analytical techniques, including advanced atomic spectroscopy, chromatographic/hyphenated techniques using mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS, HPLC-MS, GC-MS), use of electrochemistry for (bio)analytical chemistry KCPT
002 2 Critically evaluate the operation of modern instrumental techniques coupled with an appreciation of instrumental calibration and validation KCP KCPT
003 Demonstrate problem solving and data handling skills CPT
004 Evaluate instrumental interferences and analytical figures of merit KCPT
005 Conceptually understand and evaluate the use of statistics (calculation of least squares line of best fit and dilution factors in quantitative analysis) so as to produce a report (coursework) CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategies are designed to build on skills gained in FHEQ 5 (especially Advances in Analytical Instrumentation) in order to:

  • develop knowledge, skills of the fundamentals and operation of advanced modern analytical instruments.

  • develop a practical approach to good laboratory practice and quality control/validation in the research laboratory; and

  • develop critical thinking in relation to analytical analysis by exploring troubleshooting situation

  • enhance skills in data handling, statistical analysis and analytical report writing.

  • Develop scientific writing through innovation

To achieve this, learning and teaching methods will include a combination of lectures (22 hours), a laboratory-based session (3 hours) to produce their own data. A coursework will enhance the individual data handling and the write up of a PhD studentship proposal of 1000 words.

  • A case scenario examples will be provided at the beginning of the term with a data set, videos, active learning/discussion sessions, and online resources. The student will have to practice the data handling at its pace to finally have a new set of data provided on the day of the practical to manipulate them and submit their work by the end of the practical session.

  • This will allow students to work individually and collectively to achieve investigative outcomes that mirror those common in real world analytical work, building upon skills acquired in previous modules.

  • To maximize learning by encouraging students to be actively engaged in decision-making, negotiation, evaluation of information, and the application of theory to practice, to address challenges and solve problems faced by practitioners.

  • The write up consist in a case scenario of writing a research proposal for applying on a PhD studentships competition. The write up is an abstract of 150 words with a full proposal of 1000 words maximum.

In this module we aim to prepare the student to the real life for industry or academic pathway. Collectively, these methods will combine guided learning, independent learning, and self-reflection. The lectures will introduce and explain key concepts, theories, and core aspects of the practical application of the issues discussed. Coursework’s meetings will provide students with the opportunity to be active participants in their learning experience by undertaking interactive exercises and group discussions, demonstrating their acquired understanding and knowledge, critical thinking, and communication skills. In order to build confidence and to engage students with diverse learning backgrounds, students will be encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas, and reflections, including those relating to their own experiences. Ongoing feedback opportunities from staff and peers will be variously present in coursework, lecture and practical.

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: CHEM038

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital Capabilities: this module allows students to both develop skills and attitudes that enable individuals and organisations to be able to participate actively in society and professional life, within a digital, connected world. The module is designed to:

  1. generate¿ new questions or address new challenges in analytical chemistry.
  2. Understand how digital technology is changing practices in their discipline.¿
  3. Judge whether digital information is trustworthy and relevant; distinguish different kinds of information (e.g. academic, professional, personal and political); ¿
  4. Use digital tools and media in ways that support personal development.¿
  5. Make decisions and solve problems based on digital evidence (e.g. peer reviewed articles);¿
  6. Create, share and showcase digital artefacts with an awareness of audience and purpose; ¿
  7. Collaborate online to produce shared outcomes or meet shared goals; use collaborative tools (e.g. file sharing, shared writing/drawing tools, project management tools, shared calendars and task lists)¿

This will be met by using digital methods such as

  1. software for data treatment (e.g. Excel, origin); Excel and origin are available on all computer of the university.
  2. literature search using different journal database (e.g. Scopus, web of science or Google scholar); for the CW, the student will have to do a review of literature for the background on the research proposed
  3. use of reference manager software (e.g. Mendeley, Zotero, EndNote). It is critical to consolidate the learning out come from transferable skills (CHE1045) and world of work (CHE2027) by using reference manager to produce references in a report or manuscript. ¿Students will be encouraged to have a shared reference folder to help each other to build the background of their research proposal.

Sustainability: This module allows students to develop their capacity for everyone to live well, within the Earth’s ecological limits, now and into the future.¿ The module is taking up-to-date scientific question for the research proposal write up with for example the impact of contaminants of emerging concerns. Through case scenario proposed in the module, the students are pushed to reflect on how analytical chemistry is most of the time the bottle neck of finding solution to environmental issues. The students will have to propose and discuss appropriate, informed, and responsible actions to promote solution and awareness about our environment.

Employability: students will both understand, and actively participate in, a range of principles and processes used within analytical analysis. Coupled with the development of critical thinking, reasoning, decision-making, collaboration, leadership, and other transferable skills, the module allows students acquire and practice attributes that will be attractive to employers in this field. The focus of the assessment strategy will help to prepare students for the realities of the world of work because it allows them to be familiar with how analytical analysis is integrated into the wider context of crime investigation.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: The assessment strategy, and indeed the in-class preparation that precedes it, is designed to challenge, and stretch student capabilities. It is also one where students are experiencing the roles and perspectives of investigator and analyst individually and collectively as a cohort, and latterly in smaller groups for their first assessment. Students will therefore need to develop resourcefulness, be able to share ideas and experiences both individually and collectively, appreciate potential barriers and challenges faced by others, and provide support and show empathy towards each other in working towards achieving successful outcomes and responding to problem-based task requirements.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry MChem 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2023/4 academic year.