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: A./Prof. Graeme Allinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3561

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Room 3.2.23

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email for (an online) appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have gained a second-year-level knowledge of basic aquatic and soil chemistry and related physical, inorganic and organic chemistry by completing the courses CHEM1058 Environmental Chemistry 2A and CHEM1059 Environmental Chemistry 2B or equivalent tertiary studies.

You may be able to demonstrate that you already have the skills and knowledge gained in Environmental Chemistry 3A. 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

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 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 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. 

Overview of Assessment

Note: There are no hurdle requirements for this course.

Assessment for this course consists of:


Practical Work Assessment 

Weighting: 40% 

Addresses CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6.  


Environmental Analytical Chemistry Module Authentic Assessment 

Weighting: 30% 

Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 4 & 5. 


Soil Chemistry Module Authentic in class Assessment 

Weighting: 30% 

Addresses CLOs 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6.