Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials 2 Hours. Oral presentation
Practical 32 Hours. Taught practicals
Practical 20 Hours. Group project work
Other Oral presentation by students reporting the results of the green field/brown field study


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Continuous assessment of laboratory notebooks and practical write ups  70%
Semester Assessment Oral project presentation  10%
Semester Assessment Written project report (2500 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation marks to be carried forward . Resubmit elements of coursework. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Work safely in a chemical analysis laboratory

2. Prepare a range of different sample types for chemical analysis using advanced techniques

3. Select and apply the most appropriate analytical technique/calibration strategy for the chosen analyte within a range of complex matrices

4. Make analytical measurements on a range of advanced analytical instruments with due consideration to safety and data quality

5. Use reference materials to assess the accuracy of analytical techniques

6. Write laboratory and technical reports

7. Design and implement a sampling and analytical protocol to assess a field site for a wide range of contaminants

Brief description

This module will be a practically-based course which will provide training in safe laboratory procedures for the inorganic analysis of environmental materials. The module will start with sample preparation and dissolution, then consider classical analytical techniques and go on to cover a wide range of advanced instrumental analytical techniques. The module will emphasise the importance of quality control and assurance in analytical chemistry and will cover calibration techniques. A series of laboratory exercises will be assessed through laboratory notebooks and practical write ups. The students will also work on a group project to assess the geochemistry of a potential development at a selected green field or brown field site.


  1. Sample preparation prior to analysis - storage, drying, disaggergation etc.
  2. Sample dissolution - partial and total digestion methods
  3. Chemical separation techniques - ion exchange
  4. Classical analytical techniques - gravimetry, titrimetry
  5. Instrumental methods - flame based (flame photometry, atomic absorption spectrophotometry)
  6. Instrumental methods - plasma based (ICP-OES and ICP-MS)
  7. Ion chromatography
  8. Laser ablation
  9. Ion/electron methods - XRF, XRD, EMPA, Ion beam methods

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Analytical data, calibration procedures and quality assurance all require the use of appropriate mathematical and statistical methods.
Communication Laboratory report writing ? to different target audiences Project report writing Oral presentation skills
Improving own Learning and Performance Time management will be developed through a rigid set of deadlines for laboratory reports.
Information Technology Use of appropriate graphical/statistical and presentation packages will be developed through the group project work.
Personal Development and Career planning Emphasis will be given to the use of the techniques to solve real environmental problems
Problem solving Logistics of sampling and analysis of project site Selection of appropriate analytical methods
Research skills Exercise to select appropriate analytical method for selected samples Selection of appropriate quality control and assurance procedures
Subject Specific Skills The range of techniques that the students will use during this module will enhance their employability.
Team work Group project work will develop this key skill

Reading List

Recommended Text
Gill R (ed) (1997) Modern analytical geochemistry: An introduction to quantitative chemical analysis techniques for earth, environmental and materials scientists Longman Geochemistry Primo search Harris, D.C. (2002) Quantitative Chemical Analysis W H Freeman Primo search Mendham, J. et al. (1999) Vogel's Textbook of Quantitative Chemical Analysis. Longman Primo search Potts, P.J. (1987) A handbook of silicate rock analysis Kluwer Academic Publishers; Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7