SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3F121844
Module Leader Kaitlin Ramsay
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Chemical Science
  • A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

M2F124502 Physical Chemistry, M2F121837 Organic Chemistry 1, M2F424484 Inorganic Chemistry

Summary of Content

The student will study the chemical and physical mechanisms which govern the distribution of chemical species in the atmosphere, aquatic environments and the soil. Also the importance of environmental forensics will be emphasised, especially with respect to hazardous chemicals in the workplace and the outdoor environment. The module will also introduce the student to a study of the hazards and risk analysis associated with the manufacture, storage, transporation and use of chemical products.


Environmental Chemistry and Chemical Hazards Fundamentals of environmental chemistry of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere. Environmental pollution in air, water and soil; sources and consequences. Hazmat classification, transportation and waste disposal strategies, e.g. landfill, incineration, recycling. Illegal activities, e.g. fly-tipping. Emergency planning and hazard assessment. This 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 completion of this module the student should be able to:1 demonstrate a knowledge of environmental chemistry of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and geosphere;2 demonstrate a knowledge in environmental forensics with respect to waste management, and illegal dumping activities;3 demonstrate a knowledge in assessment methods for hazardous chemicals and emergency planning regimen;4 understand the principles of environmental protection legislation;5 present orally and in written report to the appropriate standard.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be taught by an integrated package of lectures reinforced by practical work and tutorials. Students will study and solve real world environmental problems encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning and leading to an appreciation of the forensic nature of environmental crime. Students will take part in practical laboratory work which will enhance data acquisition and manipulation skills for a forensic crime investigation, individual and group working skills, technical report writing skills and communication skills in general. The case study in particular combines group work with a focuses on a particular environmental forensic type exercise in an industrial crime setting. Use of state of the art equipment 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 external application notes 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.

Indicative Reading

1 Environmental Chemistry, 10th edition, Stanley E Manahan, 2017, Blackwell, ISBN -10:- 1498776930 2 Pollution- Causes, Effects and Control, 4th edition R M Harrison, 2001, RSC, ISBN 0854046216

Transferrable Skills

The students will enhance their problem solving and deductive skills in dealing with a variety of substances which they are required to identify and, in some cases, quantify. This process will additionally reinforce their practical manipulative skills. The case study will bring together theoretical, practical and deductive skills and will be an excellent preparation for the Forensic Project in the Honours year.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 132.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
EX1 2.00 60.00 35% 3 questions from 5 (learning outcomes 1,2,3,4)
CW2 n/a 20.00 35% Case Study/Group Work (learning outcomes 3,4,5)
CW1 n/a 20.00 35% Lab Exercise (learning outcomes 1,2,3,5)