SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2F124501
Module Leader Moyra McNaughtan
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Chemical Science
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

M1F121832 Chemistry, M1F424469 Introduction to Forensic Investigation, M1G308810 Mathematics and Statistics for Experimentation

Summary of Content

Students will be introduced to classical and instrumental methods of analysis which will underpin a more in-depth study at level 3. The practical element will emphasise the importance of accurate data acquisition and introduce concepts of chemical quality assurance.


UV/visible Spectrometry: Beer-Lambert Law, transmittance, absorbance, spectrophotometers. Introduction to Chromatography: principles of separation science, thin layer chromatography (TLC) Wet chemical and reagent-based techniques: pH, buffers, acid-base & compleximetric titrations, gravimetric analysis. Principles of Chemical Quality Assurance: Terms used in Measurement, Systematic and Random errors, Normal distribution and its application, Guide to Uncertainty in Measurement. N.B. The syllabus consists of a list of topics normally covered within the module. Each topic may not be dealt with in the same detail.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1 Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of theoretical aspects of fundamental analytical techniques, e.g. UV/vis spectrometry, thin-layer chromatography, titration, gravimetry.2 Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the principles of measurement within a forensic context.3 Carry out chemical analysis of a range of sample types.4 Apply principles of chemical quality assurance to analyse and present data.5 Accurately record and report data in a laboratory log book.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A combination of lectures and tutorials will be complemented by a substantial element of practical exercises, carried out individually or in small groups as appropriate. Students will study and solve real world analytical problems encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning. The practical laboratory work will enhance data acquisition and manipulation skills, individual and group working skills, technical report writing skills and communication skills in general. Development of practical laboratory skills and procedures will enhance their employability. Through the use of the managed learning environment GCU Learn, students will become more engaged, flexible and independent in their learning as there will be a wide range of learning resources available on line. In addition to the core module content, links to relevant examples and videos from sources around the world will be made available. Students will receive individualised feedback on their performance through one-to-one contact with tutors at tutorials and through the timely return of marked coursework, which will reinforce the students' learning. Oral and written communication skills of the student are developed through group working, and report writing.

Indicative Reading

Exploring Chemical Analysis; Daniel C Harris, 5 th Edition, Freeman 2012, ISBN 978-1429295765 Analytical Chemistry; Seamus P Higson, 1 st Edition, Oxford 2004, ISBN 978-0-19-850289-0 Skoog & West's Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry; Stanley Crouch, Donald West, F Holler, Douglas Skoog, Cengage Learning 2013, ISBN 978-1408093733

Transferrable Skills

Students will further develop practical laboratory skills, numeracy, problem solving and written communication skills. The laboratory exercises will require IT skills in presentation and in literature searching in combination with practical expertise and group working skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 126.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
CW1 n/a 50.00 35% Lab Portfolio, Learning Outcomes 1,2,3,4,5
TS1 1.50 50.00 35% Class Test. Learning Outcomes 1,2.