Course Title: Analytical Science

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Analytical Science

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr Oliver Jones

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2632

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.20

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by e-mail (office hours ar 9am-5pm Monday to Friday)

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no enforced pre-requisites or co-requisites for this course. It is assumed however, that you will have acquired the knowledge and capabilities normally developed in year-12 VCE (or equivalent level) chemistry or that you will be able to provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

Analytical science is the study of the determination of the chemical composition of natural and artificial materials using both classical and modern instrumental techniques. This course examines what analytical scientists ’actually do’ using lectures and practical work based on case-study material. You will gain a deep understanding of chemical principles, especially those relevant to the chemistry of chemical analysis.

Analytical Science covers the following areas: The analytical and scientific processes; sample preparation; volumetry; gravimetric analysis; calibration methods; vibrational spectroscopic analysis (FT-IR and Raman); fluorescence spectroscopy; separation science; and data analysis and treatment. There is also a laboratory program designed to extend aspects of the theory and introduce basic chemical laboratory techniques.



Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On successful completion of this course, you will have a thorough understanding of university level Chemistry suitable as a foundation for learning and understanding the theory and applications of analytical chemistry.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:(PLOs)

2.1 You will have exhibited depth and breadth of chemistry knowledge by demonstrating a knowledge of, and applying the principles and concepts of chemistry.

3.1 You will be able to investigate and solve qualitative and quantitative problems in the chemical sciences, both individually and in teams, by synthesizing and evaluating information from a range of sources, including traditional and emerging information technologies and methods.


The objectives of this course are to develop your knowledge and capabilities in areas of chemistry that are particularly relevant to the analysis of a range of sample types. Upon completion of this course you should be able to:


  1. Understand the physical principles of a range of quantitative spectroscopic techniques.
  2. Perform chemical calculations involving the measurement of amount, methods of expressing the concentration of solutions and the stoichiometry of reactions.
  3. Describe the use of appropriate calibration models for quantitative analysis and apply basic statistical techniques to analyse analytical data and extract useful information
  4. Apply appropriate critical and analytical thought in a scientific manner and extend your appreciation of the fundamental principles of chemistry into areas of major importance in which analytical science plays a significant role; such as forensic science, environmental and/or pharmaceutical analysis, food chemistry and laboratory medicine.

 The laboratory component will further develop your practical capabilities. You will:


  1. Be able to safely and efficiently perform simple laboratory processes related to analytical chemistry;
  2. Compare and describe the results of the practical experiments and activities via post practical reports



Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities included in this course are:


  1. Attendance at lectures where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the subject will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples;
  2. Laboratory exercises, to give you experience of fundamental chemical practical techniques; and
  3. Completion of written assignments based on the practical work and consisting of numerical and other problems requiring an integrated understanding of the subject matter;

Private study, working through the course as presented in classes and via online learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems, many of which require an integrated understanding of the subject matter.

Total Study Hours

Teacher guided hours: 60 hrs/semester

Learner directed hours: 60 hrs/semester

This is a theory and laboratory based course, with a combination of face-to-face lectures, work tasks, supported by printed and online material (available through myRMIT, also known as the Learning Hub). You will be expected to undertake tutorial problems and past examination papers to assist with the development of logical thinking and problem solving skills: this activity will guide you with the accumulation of a suitable body of knowledge in the topic area, and provide you with an indication of your understanding of the lecture material.





Overview of Learning Resources

Many good references on Analytical Chemistry at 1st year university level are available in the RMIT Library. The common text book for RMIT 1st year chemistry is

- Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille, Chemistry, 3rd Edition, Wiley

You will also be able to access course information and additional learning materials (including lecture notes, presentations, past exams, recorded lectures and tutorial sheets) will be made available via myRMIT site under the myStudies CHEM1257 Analytical Science (also known as Blackboard or the Learning Hub).

Lists of relevant reference texts, online learning material and freely accessible internet sites will also be placed on the Learning Hub/myRMIT CHEM1257 site.

Laboratory Practical Manuals will be provided to you.

You are also expected to make their own notes in lectures and make use of the extra learning material provided during the course.


Overview of Assessment

This is a theory and laboratory based course and assessment will be a combination of a formal examination at the end of semester, and your practical reports.

 Note that:

[X] All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

 To pass CHEM1257, you must pass the laboratory/practical component of this course; this is a hurdle requirement that you must get over to pass the course overall. If you do not pass prac then you do not pass CHEM1257. You must also have a final composite mark of 50% or above to pass the course

Assessment tasks

 Assessment 1: Practical Reports (x6)

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 5-6

 Assessment 2: Examination (x1)

Weighting 50%

This assessment supports CLOs 1-4