Course Title: Analytical Spectroscopy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Analytical Spectroscopy

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Sylvia Urban

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3376

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 03.02.14

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.

Course Description

Analytical Spectroscopy will enable you to identify the structures of simple organic molecules using chemical tests combined with NMR spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry. 

It also introduces you to methods of elemental analysis using atomic spectroscopy techniques. 

This is a very hands-on course and the material in the lectures and your laboratory work will be closely associated.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is an option course so it is not required to contribute to program learning outcomes (PLOs). However, this course may assist you to achieve the following Program Learning Outcomes:

PLO-2 Scientific knowledge 

PLO-2.1 You will have exhibited depth and breadth of chemistry knowledge by demonstrating 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). On completion of the course you should be able to: 

  1. Gather, synthesize, and critically evaluate information from a range of sources, and then design and plan an investigation;
  2. Select and apply appropriate practical techniques with technical competence in laboratory-based or virtual experiments;
  3. Collect, accurately record, organise, interpret and draw conclusions from scientific data, and communicate results and argument clearly using appropriate language of the field;
  4.  Work effectively individually and in a small team;
  5.  Demonstrate knowledge and application of the theory of Atomic Spectroscopy, 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;
  6. Independently review literature (journal papers) to find and explain applications of NMR in structure elucidation.


Overview of Learning Activities

CHEM1283 consists of two distinct units

  • Unit 1: Organic Structural Elucidation & Intro to Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation
  • Unit 2: Atomic Spectrometry.

Learning activities will vary with the unit. 

Lectures will also incorporate problem-solving tutorial sessions. Practical classes are spent in the laboratory (5.4.3) incorporating relevant tutorial sessions. Tutorial sessions in the lab are designed to introduce you to the software packages to enable you to process NMR data yourself. This will offer you an interactive virtual structure-solving tutorial.


Total Study Hours

Teacher guided hours: 58 hrs/semester Learner directed hours: 62 hrs/semester   This is a theory and laboratory based course, with a combination of face-to-face lectures and in class tutorial problem-solving sessions, supported by online material available through Canvas, and a total of 7 compulsory laboratory assessments. 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 aims to guide you in 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 to enable you to manage your learning.


Overview of Learning Resources

Lecture notes and the laboratory manual will be available via Canvas. You will be able to access all course information and additional learning materials through the Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible internet sites are provided.

Overview of Assessment

This is a theory and laboratory based course and assessment will be a combination of formal examination, a class test, a journal review, laboratory reports and laboratory tests. These will assess your ability to solve higher level problems in chemistry.

Note: 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 tasks

Assessment task 1 - Laboratory reports & practical tests (30%)

Part of this assessment is your laboratory performance.

This assessment task supports CLO’s 1-3

Assessment task 2 -  Test (20%)

This assessment task supports CLO 4

Assessment task 3 -  Written exam (40%)

This assessment task supports CLO’s 5 and 6

Assessment task 4 - Review of a Journal Paper (10%)

This assessment task supports CLO’s 5 and 6 

The Practical assessments are a hurdle for this course, meaning that you must receive more than 50% on the Practical component in order to pass the course. The skills learned in Practical are essential to ensure that you can operate safely as a professional.