CHEM 3600 - Environmental and Analytical Chemistry III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

Chemical analysis - both quantitation and speciation - is one of the most valuable employment skills carried by trained chemists. This course aims to apply environmental and analytical chemistry concepts and techniques to chemical variations in the environment. A sound physical understanding of the techniques used to determine chemical composition and analyse for trace compounds is core. A central theme of the course is the complex intersection of the energy and resources needs of our society with the need to maintain environmental sustainability. The course will address how chemists can provide vital and trustworthy risk assessment data to inform decision making on this front, limiting industrial emission to the environment or helping to remediate past contamination events.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM 3600
    Course Environmental and Analytical Chemistry III
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact up to 9 hour per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites CHEM 2530 or equivalent; high-achieving students without pre-requisite may be granted exemption on application to Head of Chemistry
    Assessment Assignments, practical reports, final examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor David Huang

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1 demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of the principles of quantitative analysis and the underlying principles of the sustainable use of chemicals in a variety of quantitative chemical contexts.
    2 develop analytical solutions to a variety of chemical problems identified from application contexts; critically analyse and evaluate quantitative & qualitative chemical information.
    3 as part of a team or individually, design, conduct, analyse and interpret results of an experiment, and effectively communicate these in written reports and other formats.
    4 describe and explain how chemical analysis has allowed/continues to allow humankind to understand and mitigate its impact on the natural world where it must survive.
    5 gain an advanced understanding and appreciation for how fundamental analytical chemistry impacts on life, environmental and industrial processes.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    There is no prescribed text for this course. All required course material will be provided by the course instructor(s).
    Recommended Resources
    • Harris, Quantitative Chemical Analysis (W.H. Freeman)
    • Baird and Cann, Environmental Chemistry (W.H. Freeman)
    • Miller, Miller, and Miller, Statistics and Chemometrics for Analytical Chemistry (Pearson)
    All of these texts are available for loan from the Barr Smith library. References to other material and recent literature will be given in lectures.
    Online Learning
    Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course consists of the following components:
    • Lectures/Tutorials: 12 x 3 hours per week (timetabled as "Workshops")
    • Practicals: 7 x 5.5-hour sessions with one session per week
    • Workshop: 3 x 5.5-hour sessions run during a Practical timeslot

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Course material will cover the following topics:
    • Industrial Contamination, Risk Assessment and Remediation
    • Environmental and Human Toxicity of Heavy Metals
    • Nuclear and Radiation Chemistry
    • Chemometrics and Multivariate Statistics in the Context of Environmental Chemistry
    Professional Analytical Chemistry Workshop
    This workshop will provide students with “hands on” experience of collating chemical analysis data into a report style suitable for reporting to government agencies or professional bodies. The report for the workshop will build upon the theoretical concepts covered in the lectures.

    Practical exercises will provide students with "hands on" experience in the quantitative use of various analytical methods. In addition, students will be involved in the analysis of "real world" chemical samples.

    Tutorials will be used to reinforce the concepts introduced in lectures through a combination of quantitative problem solving (what is present, and in what quantity), a discussion of the operational principles, including the strengths and weaknesses of various quantitative chemical methods, and consideration of appropriate possible solutions to chemical problems that have been identified through quantitative chemical analysis.
    Specific Course Requirements
    Attendance is compulsory at all scheduled chemistry practical sessions. The learning outcomes for this course are substantially dependent on laboratory experience and practice. Therefore, missing any practical class or failing to submit a reasonable attempt at any practical report in a semester will result in a grade of FAIL being recorded for the course. Students with medical or compassionate reasons for non-attendance will be given an opportunity to make up missed practical sessions.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Hurdle
    Yes/ No
    Learning Outcome Approximate timing of

    Summative Assignments Formative & Summative


    No 1,2,3 Weeks 3,6,9,12
    Professional Analytical Chemistry Workshop Assignment Formative & Summative 10% No 1,4,5 Week 10
    Practical Reports Formative & Summative 30% No 1,2,4 Week 5-12
    Examination Summative 50% Yes
    1,2,3 Exam period
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Item % needed to meet course requirement Additional Assessment

    45% Yes - RAA Exam;
    a grade of at least 45% must obtained 
    Practical work is compulsory Satisfactory completion of all practicals, including attendance of ALL practical sessions and reasonable attempt at ALL practical reports Missed practicals can be made up
    Assessment Detail
    Summative Assignments
    Students will complete an assignment on each of the four lectures topics, with each worth 2.5%. Each assignment will consist of a series of short and/or multiple-choice questions.

    Professional Analytical Chemistry Workshop Assignment
    Students undertake the PAC workshop during three of the normal lab sessions spread across the semester. They will submit a report that is worth 10% of the assessment, in which the students contextualise and communicate the methods, key findings and importance of an environmental or other professional study that relies upon chemical analysis.

    Practical Reports
    Students will complete a set of 6 experiments and submit an assessable report on completion of 3 of these experiments (8% for each report). Students will be provided with sample reports or rubrics with guidelines on report structure and approximate length. One of the experiments will involve sampling in the field followed by analysis in the laboratory in the following session; this leads to a total of 7 practical sessions for the semester. The remainder of the experiments will be assessed on the basis of demonstration of skills proficiency in the laboratory, e.g. by successful determination of concentration of an unknown analyte (2% per experiment).

    The end-of-semester 3-hour examination will be based primarily on lecture/tutorial/workshop/practical material and may consist of any combination of a series of short-answer and/or multiple-choice questions.
    Submission of Assigned Work
    Coversheets must be completed and attached to all submitted work. Coversheets can be obtained from the School Office (room G33 Physics) or from MyUNI. Work should be submitted via the assignment drop box at the School Office or via MyUni as instructed.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from:

    Late Submission of Assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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