Course Title: Environmental Analytical and Soil Chemistry

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Environmental Analytical and Soil Chemistry

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
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,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: James Tardio

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required Prior Study

You should have satisfactorily completed following course/s before you commence this course.

Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate the required skills and knowledge before you start this course.

Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning.

Course Description

The course aims to give you further understanding of fundamental chemical and physical processes occurring in aquatic and soil environments and of the chemistry underlying anthropogenic impacts on these environments. Topics covered typically include:

Environmental Analytical Chemistry: This component of CHEM1085 will cover the use of sample separation techniques and advanced chemical analytical instrumentation to explore the fate, behaviour and impact of trace organic chemicals (TrOCs) in environmental systems in a way that establishes chemical principles within a contextual framework. This module will use real-world examples to explore how we separate TroCs for environmental matrices, and then to explain how we measure very, very, very low levels of contaminants using advanced chemical instrumentation.

Soil Chemistry: This component of CHEM1085 is drawn from the Soil Chemistry curriculum required for accreditation with Soil Science Australia as a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. Topics include: Basic concepts of soil chemistry; Solid Phase; Mineral Weathering; Solid/Solution Equilibria; Ion Exchange; Sorption and Precipitation Reactions; Acidity; Oxidation-Reduction Reactions; Alkaline and Salt Affected soils.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the School of Applied Science Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) at AQF level 7, specifically:

  • PLO2 Scientific Knowledge
  • PLO3 Inquiry and Problem Solving
  • PLO4 Communication
  • PLO5 Personal and Professional Practice


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

  1. Demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge and understanding of environmental analytical chemistry and soil chemistry;
  2. Gather, synthesise and critically evaluate information from a range of sources;
  3. Collect, record, interpret, and draw conclusions from scientific data;
  4. Communicate results, information or arguments in environmental analytical and soil chemistry, in oral presentation form and in writing;
  5. Be an independent and self-directed learner;
  6. Work 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 and in class work; 
  • participation in authentic in-class assessment tasks 
  • completion of written structured laboratory and other 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 skill set, teamwork, oral and written communication and independent learning skills. 

Overview of Learning Resources

The recommended textbook for the Soil Chemistry module of this course is “The Nature and Properties of Soils” (Weil and Brady). 

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. 

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Practical Work Assessment
Weighting 40%
Addresses CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Environmental Analytical Chemistry Module Authentic Assessment 
Weighting 30%
Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 3: Soil Chemistry Module Authentic in class Assessment
Weighting 30%
Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6 

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.