SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3F124481
Module Leader Moyra McNaughtan
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Chemical Science
  • A (September start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

M2F121837 Organic Chemistry 1, M2F124502 Physical Chemistry, M2F124501 Chemical Analysis.

Summary of Content

The module is concerned with developing the students' theoretical understanding of instrumental methods of analysis that will enable the selection and justification of practical procedures in response to analytical problems. Chromatographic techniques include: HPLC - with various detection systems GC - with various detection systems Spectroscopic techniques include: Fluorescence Raman spectroscopy. Atomic Spectroscopy - absorbance and Inductively Coupled Plasma.


Chromatography Explaining chromatographic separations. Parameters describing retention, resolution and selectivity. The separation process and column efficiency. The Van Deemter equation and band broadening process. Gas Chromatography. Instrumentation: carrier gases; sample injection systems; columns; stationary phases, oven temperature programming versus isothermal; detectors-operation and applications. Introduction to GC mass spectrometry. High performance liquid chromatography HPLC modes of separation: normal phase, reversed phase, ion exchange and size exclusion. Instrumentation: sample introduction; methods; pumping systems; isocratic and gradient elution; detectors-operations and applications. Spectroscopy Electromagnetic spectrum, energy levels, emission & absorption, Beer Lambert Law. Atomic absorption, flame and graphite furnace atomisation, optics and instrumentation, background correction interferences. Plasma spectrometry, detection of elements by optical and mass spectrometry, sequential and simultaneous determinations Molecular Spectroscopy: Fluorescence Jablonski Diagram, Frank-Condon Principle, Quantum Yield, Excitation and Emission Spectra, Fluorescence Lifetime, Rate constants, Solvent effects, Fluorescence quenching, Instruments used in fluorescence spectroscopy. Raman Stokes and Anti-Stokes Scattering, Raman Theory, Polarisability Ellipsoid, Resonance Raman, Raman spectra of simple molecules, Raman spectrometers (Dispersive, FT-Raman) 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 the module students should be able to critically evaluate and select the appropriate analytical technique for the analysis of a real sample using the following techniques:1. chromatographic techniques 2. atomic spectrometric techniques 3. molecular spectrometric techniquesAdditionally the student should be able to demonstrate skills in:4. accurate and methodical laboratory practice5. data analysis and report writing.

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 analytical problems encouraging divergent thinking and broader, deeper learning. Students will take part in practical laboratory work which will enhance data acquisition and manipulation skills, individual and group working skills, technical report writing skills and communication skills in general. 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. Students will be supported by use of the managed learning environment GCULearn. Where appropriate there will be group working activities.

Indicative Reading

1. Principles of Instrumental Analysis, D. Skoog, S.R. Crouch & F.J. Holler, Cengage, 7th Edition, 2016, ISBN 978-1305577213 2. Quantitative Chemical Analysis, D.C. Harris, W.H. Freeman, 9th Edition, 2015, ISBN 978-1464135385 3. Analytical Chemistry, S. P. J. Higson, Oxford University Press, 1st Edition, 2004, ISBN 978-0198502890 4. Analytical Chemistry, G Christian, P K Dasgupta, K Schug, Wiley, 7th Edition, 2013, ISBN 978-0470887578.

Transferrable Skills

The coursework will develop logistic and problem-solving skills and involve the candidate being able to explain the theoretical basis of a number of analytical techniques. Students will develop practical laboratory skills and will gain experience of using high-end laboratory instrumentation which will enhance their employability. 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
Lectures (FT) 30.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
CW1 n/a 40.00 35% Laboratory Portfolio Learning outcomes 1,2,3,4,5
EX1 2.00 60.00 35% Unseen examination, choice of 3 questions from 5, 20 marks each. Learning Outcomes 1,2,3.