Course Title: Instrumental and Environmental Analysis

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Instrumental and Environmental Analysis

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please note that this course may have compulsory in-person attendance requirements for some teaching activities. 

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 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Professor Adam Lee

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2623

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 3.2.10E

Course Coordinator Availability: email for an appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have completed one year of first-year, university level courses in theoretical and practical chemistry, typically by completing one of:

CHEM1014 Environmental Chemistry 1A, CHEM1242 Chemistry Principles or, CHEM1030 Chemistry of Materials 1,

and one of: CHEM1015 Environmental Chemistry 1B, CHEM1239 Chemistry for Life Sciences or, CHEM1031 Chemistry of Materials 2

or equivalent tertiary studies in chemistry. 

You may be able to demonstrate that you already have the skills and knowledge gained in Instrumental and Environmental Analysis. Contact the course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to Recognition of prior learning (RPL) in Higher Education.

Course Description

This course aims to extend your knowledge of instrumental analytical chemistry in an environmental context. Practical work is designed to develop your skills in using a range of instrumentation and to illustrate the practical application of the relevant theoretical principles. 

Formal topics covered typically include: flow injection analysis; solvent extraction; gas chromatography; ion selective electrodes; ion exchange and ion chromatography. The practical work incorporates sample digestion, on-campus or virtual experience using all of the abovementioned instrumentation and statistical data analyses.

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

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of analytical chemistry and instrumental methods of analysis, including gas chromatography, ion chromatography, flow injection analysis and ion selective electrodes ;
  2. draw conclusions from analytical data using appropriate statistical analyses in conventional chemical and mathematical notation after collecting, recording, validating, interpretation of analytical data;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicateresults, information or arguments effectively in written analytical reports;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to learn independently and self-direct your learning;
  5. apply teamwork skills by working effectively, responsibly, ethically and safely in an individual or team context.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course offers you the following learning opportunities:

  • lectorials, where syllabus material will be presented, explained and illustrated with examples and exercises;
  • participation in practical work, where you will gain hands-on and/or virtual experience using a range of analytical instrumentation;
  • completion of written structured laboratory reports
  • private study, working through the coursework and other learning materials and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems.

These activities will help enhance your employability by further developing your knowledge and skills set, teamwork, oral and written communication and independent learning skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

The course Canvas site will give you easy access to learning materials such as theory notes, laboratory safety guide and practical manual, assessment task details and electronic submission folders.

The library has subject guides for Environmental Science and for Chemistry.

The recommended textbook for this course is:

Harris DC (2016) Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 9th Edition Freeman (McMillan). The 8th or 7th editions are also fine.

You will require a clean, white laboratory coat free of any graffiti, a pair of safety glasses or safety over-glasses and a laboratory note book for all practical sessions.

Overview of Assessment

Note that:

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).

Assessment for this course consists of three parts:

Assessment 1: Practical Work (Hurdle) - including laboratory performance and reports
Weighting (40%)
This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4 & 5.

Assessment 2: Topic Assessment 1
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Assessment 3: Topic Assessment 2
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4.

Assessment 4: Topic Assessment 3
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4.