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Module FXX-2105:
Instr & Anal Meth non Chemists

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Enlli Harper

Overall aims and purpose

Pre-Requisites: GCSE Chemistry or GCSE General Science or equivalent qualifications.

The module gives an introduction to instrumental methods used in the analysis of substances and materials of relevance to students on all science based degree courses. The course is structured to provide a basic introduction to instrumentation, analysis and interpretation of analytical data. This is achieved via 'key concepts' lectures which lead into related laboratory sessions. The emphasis is very much on providing practical experience in the use of each of the following analytical methods: UV/Vis, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Thin Layer Chromatography, Gas Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid Chromatography, Basic electrochemistry, Quantification of metals and non metals, X-ray and electron diffraction, Infrared, Mass spectrometry, Nuclear magnetic resonance and using the aforementioned techniques in combination

Aims 1. To gain knowledge of how compounds are separated, isolated and characterised using chromatographic, X-Ray diffraction and spectroscopic techniques listed above.

  1. To give students practical experience of each of the instrumental methods listed above.

  2. To show how each of the techniques can be utilised in a broad range of scientific disciplines.

Course content

Pre-requisites: GCSE Chemistry or GCSE General Science: (There are NO resits for practical modules).

For each topic below the basic theory, instrumentation, hands on experiments and data analysis will be covered.

EXPT1 (Simple Methods of Chromatography) EXPT2 (Elemental Analysis) EXPT3 (Infrared Spectroscopy) EXPT4 (Mass Spectroscopy) EXPT5 (Nuclear Magnetic Structure) EXPT6 (Combined Techniques for Identification) EXPT7 (HPLC) EXPT8 (GCMS) EXPT9 (AAS) EXPT10 (UV Visible Spectroscopy) EXPT11 (X-Ray Diffraction) EXPT12 (Electrochemistry)

Course Team: Dr Enlli Harper, Laboratory & Teaching Academic (Lab Supervision).
Semester 1 Introductory Lectures Dr V Fitzsimmons-Thoss, Dr K Hughes, Dr E Harper, Dr L Murphy, Prof B Paizs Semester 2 Introductroy Lectures Dr J Thomas, Dr V Fitzsimmons-Thoss, Dr K Hughes, Dr C Gwenin, Dr L Murphy

RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING - None RECOMMENDED READING 1. The Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds by Robert M. Silverstein, Francis X. Webster, and David Kiemle -John Wiley & Sons, 2005 2.Analytical Chemistry by Seamus P.J. Higson (2003) – OUP 3.Chemical Instrumentation (Oxford Chemistry Primers) by Richard P. Wayne 4. Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry by Douglas A. Skoog, Donald M. West James F Holler (2003) - Brooks Cole 5.Crystal Structure Determination (Oxford Chemistry Primers) by William Clegg (1998) SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS - None

Assessment Criteria


Threshold (40%). Knowledge and understanding of the content covered in the course is basic; Problems of a routine nature are generally adequately solved; laboratory experiments are usually carried out with reasonable success though significance and limitations of experimental data and/or observations may not be fully recognised; transferable skills are at a basic level.


Good (~60%). Knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the programme and shows good evidence of enquiry beyond this. Conceptual understanding is good. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved in a logical manner; solutions are generally correct and acceptable. Laboratory work is carried out in a reliable and efficient manner, with a good appreciation of data analysis shown in write-ups. Performance in transferable skills is sound and shows no significant deficiencies.


Excellent (>70%). Knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the programme. Conceptual understanding is outstanding. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved with efficiency and accuracy; problem-solving procedures are adjusted to the nature of the problem. Laboratory work are exemplary and show a thorough analysis and appraisal of experimental results, with appropriate suggestions for improvement. Performance in transferable skills is generally very good.

Learning outcomes

  1. Describe the basic principles of each instrumental method listed in the course description.

  2. Perform simple analytical experiments, utilising the instrumental methods listed in the course description, to separate and/or characterise compounds and materials.

  3. Interpret analytical data generated from the instrumental methods listed in the course description.

  4. Write up laboratory reports.

  5. Select which instrumental method or methods may be most appropriate to separate and/or characterise compounds and materials arising from a range of science disciplines.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Simple Methods of Chromatography 8.37
Elemental analysis 8.33
Infrared Spectroscopy 8.33
Mass Spectroscopy 8.33
Nuclear Magnetic Structure 8.33
Combined Techniques for Identification 8.33
HPLC 8.33
GC-MS 8.33
AAS 8.33
UV/Visible Spectroscopy 8.33
X-Ray Diffraction 8.33
Electrochemistry (Fluoride) 8.33

Teaching and Learning Strategy


SEMESTER 1 - Block A Weeks 2, 3, 4. (Laboratory Practical 3 hours per week – class will be divided into sub groups and carry out each of the experiments below on a rotational basis). EXPT1 (Simple Methods of Chromatography), EXPT2 (Elemental Analysis) EXPT3 (Infrared Spectroscopy)

SEMESTER 1 - Block B Weeks 8, 9, 10. (Laboratory Practical 3 hours per week – class will be divided into sub groups). EXPT4 (Mass Spectroscopy) EXPT5 (Nuclear Magnetic Structure) EXPT6 (Combined Techniques for Identification)

SEMESTER 2 - Block C Weeks 16, 17, 18 (Laboratory Practical 3 hours per week – class will be divided into sub groups and carry out each of the experiments below on a rotational basis). EXPT7 (UV Visible Spectroscopy) EXPT8 (X-Ray Diffraction) EXPT9 (Electrochemistry)

SEMESTER 2 - Block D Weeks 22, 23, 24. (Laboratory Practical 3 hours per week – class will be divided into sub groups and carry out each of the experiments below on a rotational basis). EXPT10 (HPLC) EXPT11 (GCMS) EXPT12 (Radiochemistry)


SEMESTER 1 - Block A Week 1: Introductory lecture for EXPT 1, EXPT2, EXPT3

SEMESTER 1 - Block B Week 7 & Week 8: Introductory lectures for EXPT4, EXPT5, EXPT6

SEMESTER 2 - Block C Week 15: Introductory Lectures for EXPT7, EXPT8, EXPT9

SEMESTER 2 - Block D Week 20 & 21: Introductory Lectures for EXPT10, EXPT11, EXPT12

Private study 142

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)

Subject specific skills

  • CC5 Skills in the generation, evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of chemical information and data
  • CC7 Information technology and data-processing skills, relating to chemical information and data.
  • CP1 An ability to determine hazards associated with carrying out chemical experiments in terms of chemical toxicity, chemical stability and chemical reactivity and be able to find information to enable effective risk assessments to be carried out
  • CP2 Skills to handle chemicals safely and carry out experiments and chemical reactions in asafe manner, based on effective risk assessments
  • CP3 Skills required for the conduct of documented laboratory procedures involved in synthesis and analysis, in relation to both inorganic and organic systems
  • CP4 Skills in the monitoring, by observation and measurement, of chemical properties, events or changes, and the systematic and reliable recording and documentation thereof
  • CP5 Skills in the operation of standard chemical instrumentation
  • CP7 The ability to interpret and explain the limits of accuracy of their own experimental data in terms of significance and underlying theory
  • PS2 Skills in the employment of common conventions and standards in scientific writing, data presentation, and referencing literature
  • PS3 Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
  • PS4 Numeracy and mathematical skills, including handling data, algebra, functions, trigonometry, calculus, vectors and complex numbers, alongside error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, systematic use of scientific units and different types of data presentation
  • PS8 Time management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective ways of working
  • PS11 Problem-solving skills including the demonstration of self-direction, initiative and originality
  • SK2 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of fundamental physicochemical principles with the ability to apply that knowledge to the solution of theoretical and practical problems
  • SK3 Gain knowledge of a range of inorganic and organic materials
  • SK5 Demonstrate an understanding of the qualitative and quantitative aspects of chemical metrology and the importance of traceability
  • SK6 Develop an awareness of issues within chemistry that overlap with other related subjects
  • SK8 Develop an understanding of safe working practice, in terms of managing chemical toxicity, chemical stability andchemical reactivity, through knowledge-based risk assessments
  • CC1 the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts,concepts,principles and theories relating to theSubject areasCovered in theirProgramme
  • CC2 the ability to applysuch knowledge and understanding to thesolution of qualitative and quantitativeProblems that are mostly of a familiar nature

Courses including this module