Analytical Methods 1 builds upon the fundamental principles introduced in first-year chemistry studies and introduces students to instrumental analytical chemistry. This unit (NPU2101) provides basic training in modern spectroscopic (infra-red, UV/Visible, atomic absorption) and chromatographic (liquid and gas chromatography) methods of analysis as currently used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. 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 4 of the VCE chemistry curriculum.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


RCS1601 - Chemistry 1A and

RCS1602 - Chemistry 1B

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Apply basic concepts underpinning quantitative and qualitative instrumental chemical analysis via designed laboratory experiments across the range of instruments;  
  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. Optimise standard methodologies 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
Test Tests (3) 30%
Presentation Group Presentation 20%
Laboratory Work Reports (6) 50%
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 10 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?

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.