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The University of Southampton

CHEM1057 Analytical chemistry

Module Overview

Analytical Chemistry is a measurement science consisting of a set of powerful ideas and methods that provide qualitative or quantitative information about the chemical composition of a sample. Analytical measurements are required in a wide range of fields beyond the chemical industry such as biochemistry and the pharmaceutical industry, environmental sciences, forensic sciences, and the food industry amongst others. The module will provide an introduction into the fundamentals of chemical analysis, including an understanding of sample preparation, chromatographic separations, and some of the most important analytical techniques today, including fluorescence, IR, NMR, Raman and UV-visible spectroscopies, and mass spectrometry.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Explain the principles of a range of analytical techniques including florescence, IR, NMR, Raman and UV-visible spectroscopies and mass spectrometry.
  • Describe the principles and selection of sample preparation methods including preparation of standard solutions, liquid and solid phase extraction, and chromatographic separations.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Select the appropriate analytical methods to evaluate a sample.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Select, use, and evaluate data sets using appropriate statistical methods.
  • Interpret and evaluate data from a variety of analytical chemistry techniques


Introduction – setting analytical chemistry in context Introduction to analytical methods and statistics, methods of sampling, qualitative and quantitative analysis, precision and accuracy, standard deviation, least squares, limit of detection and limit of quantification. Quantitative spectroscopic methods – UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopies and their use in the identification of compounds and quantitative analysis. Sample preparation and chemical separations – standard solutions and errors in their preparation, partitioning between phases, liquid extraction, solid phase extraction, chromatographic separations (TLC, HPLC (reverse and normal phase), and GC), height equivalent theoretical plates and separation efficiency, detectors universal and specific. Mass spectrometry and coupling these to chromatographic techniques – introduction to mass spectrometry, soft and hard ionisation, API interface, low resolution and high-resolution modes, precise molecular weights, resolution and isotopes, introduction to EI and fragmentation and interpretation. Spectroscopic techniques for chemical identification – IR, Raman, and NMR. Instrumentation, data collection, and interpretation in an analytical chemistry context. Case studies – examples from research and industrial laboratories.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, problem-solving workshops, and online exercises.

Preparation for scheduled sessions34
Wider reading or practice46
Follow-up work36
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Analysis and report  () 40%
Assessment tasks 20%
Case study report 40%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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