CEG8640 : Environmental Organic Analysis

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


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

Practical classes, which will include health and safety considerations, will provide students with hands-on training in the analysis of organic components in soil/sediment and water samples. Data interpretation and data quality are considered during a tutorial workshop.

Outline Of Syllabus

Sampling techniques for organic analytes, choice of analytical techniques appropriate for the chemical and physical properties of the analyte and matrix, solvent and solid phase extraction, spectroscopic techniques, theory of chromatography, theory and practise of liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and hyphenated techniques. Practical classes, which will include health and safety considerations, will apply these approaches for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of natural and pollutant organic components of soil/sediment and water samples.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:309:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion112:0012:00Coursework (report)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30written examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical131:0031:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Data interpretation workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study135:3035:30N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Specialist knowledge and understanding are primarily imparted via lecture classes, supported by computer-hosted reference materials. Subject specific skills are taught through laboratory practical classes, supported by a tutorial.
Students are encouraged and expected to learn through independent reading and subsequent reflection. They are supported in this by the provision of an extensive, but prioritised, reading list. Practical skills are learnt by active participation in the laboratory practical classes.
Key skills are practised during the 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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination602A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M40Practical report (1000 words)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Lab exercise2MHalf-day lab exercise
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The specialist skills, knowledge and understanding imparted during this module are assessed by means of unseen written examination and a single coursework item (a report on the organic geochemical approaches taught in the practical classes and the data generated). The examination paper employs a range of approaches in order to accurately assess student abilities. These may include essay, calculation, data interpretation, and multi-part questions.

Following the introduction of this module last year, strong student feedback said that it was over-assessed and the staff agreed. The oral presentation and one part of the written coursework were therefore dropped but interpretative skills are now gained in a workshop and demonstrated in the subsequent integrated written report.

Reading Lists