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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Chemistry : Chemistry

Postgraduate Course: Environmental Analysis (CHEM10066)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Chemistry CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryEnvironmental chemistry is the study of the chemical composition and processes in the natural environment. It examines the behaviour of chemical species (whether natural or anthropogenic) in the hydrosphere, pedosphere, atmosphere and biosphere; exploring where these chemicals come from, what they interact with, and their mobility and transport within and between different environmental spheres. An understanding of how the natural environment works on a molecular level allows us to understand the influence of human activities and what can be done to preserve ecosystems and the services they provide. At the heart of topic is analytical chemistry. For example, if asked what will happen if an industrial process puts a chemical into a lake, the environmental chemist needs to understand how to sample the lake, what techniques to use to identify and quantify that chemical, what the fate of the chemical may be and how to put the information in context of the natural processes going on in the lake. This course aims to provide the foundations to sample, analyse and interpret data from our natural environment. The skills and experience gained on this course will enhance career prospects in environmental consultancy, monitoring and various industries.
Course description The course will build on the fundamental theory and practical skills of Analytical Chemistry semester 1 core modules. It will consist of a series of modules on the following topics: environmental sampling and experimental design; biogeochemical cycles and the interactions; fate and mobility of contaminants; atmospheric processes and analysis; soil and sediment profiling and analysis; natural water chemistry and drinking water quality. Course consists of lectures, tutorials and investigative/field work. The course topics are:

- Chemistry of the Earth: Earths spheres, interactions, fluxes, burdens and biogeochemical cycles
- Environmental sampling: sampling design, sample storage, risk management
- Chemistry of Earths atmosphere: basic introduction to the composition and key chemistry of the atmosphere, with focus on tropospheric photochemistry and pollution
- Atmospheric analysis: Sampling and quantification of gases and particles
- Chemistry of Earths hydrosphere: water chemistry, water categories
- Acidification of our natural environment: acid rain and deposition, consequences, monitoring
- Drinking water quality and treatment
- Speciation and metal analysis of soils and waters
- Chemistry of Earths pedosphere: soil properties, types, reactions, organic matter
- Soil profiling and monitoring: soil sampling methods, monitoring protocols, physical characterisation, decomposition, organic matter characterisation
- Monitoring our environment (SEPA)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS2) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Fieldwork Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework/Practical
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Show knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts underlying the chemistry of the natural environment
  2. Describe and apply field-based methodologies and techniques used in collecting, analyzing, presenting environmental data
  3. Justify appropriate techniques for field measurements of selected environment species
  4. Collect, critically analysis and interpret literature-based field surveys to create optimum sampling strategies for specific problems
  5. Collect, analyse and interpret environmental molecular-level data
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Annamaria Lilienkampf
Tel: (0131 6)50 4812
Course secretaryMs Zoe Burger
Tel: (0131 6)50 7546
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