Module code: CHE1044

Module Overview

The module provides 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 practices 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

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

FELIPE-SOTELO Monica (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 62

Lecture Hours: 20

Tutorial Hours: 4

Laboratory Hours: 35

Guided Learning: 9

Captured Content: 20

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 (Thin Layes Chromatography, paper) and column 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 basic analytical techniques and laboratory good practice – Experiments on titration, electrochemistry, atomic emission spectroscopy and chromatography.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Experiments in titration and potentiometry 10
Practical based assessment Experiments in chromatography 10
Practical based assessment Experiments in spectroscopy and electrochemistry 10

Alternative Assessment

Failure in the laboratory may require re-assessment through a defined practical examination. For the laboratory exercises an alternative written assessment can be set. This is based on analysing or explaining experimental data, or detailing experimental techniques.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Understanding of fundamental principles of basic analytical techniques.

Know-how of the chemical analysis practice.

Competence to perform fundamental calculations.

Capacity for independent/critical thinking and problem-solving.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Closed-book examination (2h, 70%) – Learning outcomes 1, 2 & 3.

During the closed-book exam students will need to demonstrate their understanding of physical-chemical principles of basic analytical techniques as well as be able to complete calculations and demonstrate good knowledge of data handling and basic statistics.

- Evaluation of 3 laboratory experimental reports (coursework, total 30%) - Learning outcomes 2, 3 & 4.

Assessment of the laboratory report will enable the evaluation of the students’ ability to operate basic analytical instrumentation, and the application of critical thinking in the evaluation of the results.

Formative assessment:

The formative and summative assessments are scaffolded, so that students will receive formative assessment on the three first sessions in the laboratory. The formative feedback is provided in a timely manner (individual through SurreyLearn, and general during the pre-laboratory sessions) so that they can incorporate the feedback in the last three submissions that are part of their summative assessment.


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. KCP
003 Operate basic analytical techniques, develop problem solving skills and be familiar with good laboratory practice. KCPT
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

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.

Provide 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, practical sessions, and tutorials.

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: CHE1044

Other information

This module provides the fundamental concepts in analytical chemistry on which the students will build up during levels 5 (module CHE2035) and Levels 6 and 7 (modules CHE3066 and CHEM038).

In addition to the theoretical knowledge during the lectures, the laboratory sessions provide  students with very much sought-after hands-on experience in several analytical techniques, which will prove valuable to enhance their Employability. Teamwork and discussion are encouraged during the tutorials and experimental sessions and  students are challenged to develop and use their problem-solving skills to answer to practical and technical problems as well as apply critical thinking in the evaluation of their results. By doing so we nurture Resourcefulness & Resilience in our students preparing them to be competent professionals.

students will be exposed to new advances in analytical techniques and will have the opportunity to discuss how analytical methodologies can align better with “Green Chemistry” principles and contribute to their awareness of Sustainability practices

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry 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
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 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
Medicinal Chemistry 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 2024/5 academic year.