Course Title: Analytical Spectroscopy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Analytical Spectroscopy

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

To participate in any RMIT course in-person activities or assessment, you will need to comply with RMIT vaccination requirements which are applicable during the duration of the course. This RMIT requirement includes being vaccinated against COVID-19 or holding a valid medical exemption. 

Please read this RMIT Enrolment Procedure as it has important information regarding COVID vaccination and your study at RMIT: 

Please read the Student website for additional requirements of in-person attendance: 

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Sylvia Urban

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3376

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.14

Course Coordinator Availability: By email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

To complete this course successfully, you should have a background in university-level theoretical and practical chemistry, and have completed at least one year of study in university chemistry. You are required to have successfully completed the courses CHEM1030 Chemistry of Materials 1 (Theory and Laboratory) as well as CHEM 1031 Chemistry of Materials 2 (Theory and Laboratory) or equivalent courses or provide evidence of equivalent capabilities.

Course Description

This course will enable you to identify the structures of simple organic molecules using chemical tests combined with NMR spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry. This is covered in the unit Organic Spectroscopy. 

The course also introduces you to methods of elemental analysis using Atomic spectrometric techniques in the unit Atomic Spectrometry. 

This is a hands-on course and the material covered in the theory component and your laboratory work will be closely associated. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

PLO-2 Scientific knowledge

  • PLO-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

PLO-3 Inquiry, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking

  • PLO-3.1 You will be able to investigate and solve qualitative and quantitative problems in the chemical sciences, both individually and in teams, by synthesising and evaluating information from a range of sources, including traditional and emerging information technologies and methods
  • PLO-3.2 You will be able to formulate hypotheses, proposals and predictions and design and undertake experiments and projects in a safe and responsible manner

PLO-4 Communication

  • PLO-4.1 You will be able to communicate chemical knowledge by presenting information, articulate arguments and conclusions, in a variety of modes, to diverse audiences, and for a range of purposes

This is a theory and laboratory-based course.  A large portion of this course is associated with Inquiry and Problem Solving (Laboratory component). 

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

On completion of the course you should be able to demonstrate that you:  

  1. can gather, synthesize, and critically evaluate information from a range of sources and then design and plan an investigation.
  2. can select and apply appropriate practical techniques with technical competence in laboratory-based or virtual experiments
  3. can collect, accurately record, organise, interpret and draw conclusions from scientific data.
  4. can effectively work individually, or in a small team and communicate results and argument in writing.
  5. understand the theory of Atomic Spectroscopy and apply this to examples.
  6. are able to understand the principles of NMR Spectroscopy, Mass Spectrometry and Infra-red Spectroscopy and apply this fundamental understanding to deduce the structure of some simple organic compounds. 

Overview of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities is planned for this Course.

CHEM1053 consists of two distinct units:

Unit 1: Organic Spectroscopy consisting of Structural Elucidation & Introduction to Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation and Unit 2: Atomic Spectrometry. 

The learning activities specific to this course are: 

  • participate by listening to on-line recordings of lectures , where syllabus material will be presented and explained, and the course will be illustrated with demonstrations and examples; 
  • completion of tutorial questions designed to give further practice in the application of theory and procedures, and to provide feedback on student progress and understanding; 
  • completion of the laboratory practicals which is required to obtain an integrated understanding of the subject matter covered in the theory component of the course; 
  • private study, working through the course and learning materials, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems 

This is a theory and laboratory-based course. 

Practical classes are undertaken in the laboratory with associated tutorials designed to introduce you to the software packages that will enable you to process NMR data yourself. This will be an interactive virtual structure-solving tutorial. 

Theory component: Recorded lectures and related references/resources will present you with the key concepts and information relevant to the understanding of the two units of Organic Spectroscopy and Atomic Spectrometry. You will be expected to participate in online lectorial sessions that will largely consist of problem-based activities and complete the assessments across the two units.   

Laboratory component: You will be expected to complete the face–to-face laboratory sessions and the associated laboratory assessment component.  

You will be expected to undertake tutorial problems 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 two units covered. 

Self-directed learning: You are expected to undertake self-directed learning activities to develop and consolidate your knowledge across the two units. The activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to better develop independent learning skills to support your commitment to lifelong learning as a science professional and a university graduate. The self-directed learning activities will also support your knowledge of the material covered in the formal learning program and enhance the consolidation and application of that knowledge

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems accessed via your myRMIT site. You will be able to access all learning resources (recorded lectures, tutorials and laboratory information, including a copy of the laboratory manual), all course information and additional learning materials through the Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas for this course. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible internet sites are also provided. 

Overview of Assessment

This is a Theory and Laboratory based course and assessment will involve assessments across both components. Please note that passing the Laboratory component is a hurdle requirement for this course. If you do not pass the Practical component, you do not pass CHEM1053. 

The assessments across both the Theory and Laboratory components of the course will assess your ability to solve higher level problems in chemistry.

Assessment Task 1: Timed problem-based assessments 

Weighting: 35% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 5 and 6 

Assessment Task 2: Laboratory reports 

Weighting: 30% 

This assessment task supports CLOs 1-4 

Assessment Task 3: Assignment 

Weighting: 35% 

This assessment task supports CLO 6