Analytical Methods 1 builds upon the fundamental principles introduced in first year Chemistry studies and introduces students to instrumental analytical chemistry. This unit provides basic training in modern spectroscopic (Infra-Red, UV/Vis, Atomic Absorption and Nuclear magnetic Resonance), chromatographic (Liquid and Gas Chromatography) and spectrometric (Electron impact Mass Spectrometry) methods of analysis as currently used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. Lectures and complementary laboratory exercises will link theory with practice and students gain 'hands-on' experience with modern analytical instruments and associated analytical and physiochemical techniques. Laboratory work includes statistical analysis of analytical data and interpretation of spectroscopic, spectrometric and chromatographic data. For students interested in teaching chemistry, taking the four unit sequence Chemistry 1A, Chemistry 1B, Analytical Methods 1 and Organic Synthesis adequately prepares students to deliver units 1, 2, 3 and of the VCE chemistry curriculum.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RCS1110 or RCS1601 and RCS1120 or RCS1602

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply basic concepts underpinning quantitative and qualitative instrumental chemical analysis;  
  2. Discuss fundamental principles behind chromatography, spectroscopy and spectrometry and diagrammatically present their basic operating principles, clearly expressing ideas and perspectives;  
  3. Interpret various analytical data including chromatographic (liquid and gas), spectroscopic (absorption, emission, infra-red and nuclear magnetic resonance) and spectrometric (electron-impact mass spectrometry) as relevant to given problems;  
  4. Apply standard methodology to the analysis of various real samples (food, pharmaceutical and environmental) including method selection, sample preparation, instrumental operation and data analysis so as to develop current industry specific instrumental competency in collaboration with peers; and  
  5. Evaluate the quality of own analytical data and review team members data and report the findings to peers and demonstrators with initiative and judgement.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Written report (1000 words) 20%
Laboratory Work Portfolio of Laboratory work with summary addressing criteria (1500 words) 40%
Examination Written Exam (2 hours) 40%
Laboratory skills are a critical part of the Learning Outcomes of this Unit and therefore students MUST pass the laboratory component in order to pass the Unit. The laboratory component of this Unit has a minimum attendance requirement of 80% (which equates to missing no more than 2 lab sessions out of 11 sessions) and students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirements may wish to submit a Special Consideration application to the Unit Convenor.

Required reading

Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry 9th ed.
Skoog, D. A., West. D. M., Holler, F. J. and Crouch, S. R., (2014)
Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning

Where to next?

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