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CEG8641 : Environmental Inorganic Analysis

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Neil Gray
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the theory and practice of inorganic environmental analysis using modern instrumental techniques.

Original Summary:
The lectures in this module introduce the theoretical and practical aspects of the sampling of environmental media such as water soil and sediment. Basic analytical concepts are covered, with particular emphasis on the monitoring and interpretation of data quality. Lastly, the operation of analytical techniques such ICP-OES and ICP-MS, XRF, XRD, IC are explained, along with the shortcomings of each approach.

Field trips and practical classes allow you to collect and analyse a set of samples from a local site and thus to put what you have learned into practice.

Data interpretation and data quality are considered during tutorials and will form the basis of a written report

Outline Of Syllabus

The nature of geochemical research projects Approaches to sampling: judgmental, systematic and random Sampling water Sampling soil and sediment Sample preservation and storage Analytical concepts: accuracy, precision and detection limits Monitoring data quality Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Optical Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-OES), ICP-MS and other analytical approaches

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion131:0013:00Data analysis and paper writing
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials53:0015:00Online via Canvas - A combination of short recordings of lecture material and guided reading
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion26:0012:00Presentation preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00PiP - Houston Lab Practical Session with group taken to the Devonshire Metals analysis lab in Rota
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00Data analysis sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork16:006:00PiP - Sampling at a near by field site
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study401:0040:00Lecture, workshop and practical review and follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time12:002:00Presentations and peer marking
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Specialist knowledge and understanding are primarily imparted via online lecture classes, supported by computer-hosted reference materials. Subject specific skills are taught through field and laboratory practical classes, supported by tutorials. Students are encouraged and expected to learn through independent reading and subsequent reflection. They are supported in this by the provision of a module specific reading list.. Practical skills are learnt by active participation in the field and laboratory practical classes. Key skills are practised during the planning and implementation of a geochemical study, and in the communication of the results of the study.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M100Practical Report (2,500 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1M15 minute group presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The specialist skills, knowledge and understanding imparted during this module are assessed by means of coursework which will prepare students for the deliverables they will be required to produce in a career in environmental consulting.

The coursework items are a report and a presentation summarizing the field and laboratory analysis along with the geochemical investigation of a local site or facility. The actual topic may vary but examples include: (i) an investigation of the effectiveness of water treatment interventions Accomb, or (ii) a study of metal pollution in the North Pennines.

Reading Lists