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NES2408 : Chemistry of the Atmosphere

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Fabio Cucinotta
  • Lecturer: Dr Toni Carruthers
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


To provide an understanding of atmospheric chemistry, including the basic physical aspects and the chemical dynamics; to explain the dynamics of aerosol formation, transport and optical properties; to provide an understanding of the reaction mechanisms and cycles in the atmosphere; to review selected experimental techniques.

Outline Of Syllabus

Radiative forcing in the atmosphere and impact on climate change, IPCC reports, role of aerosols in the atmosphere, Raoult’s law and the Kelvin effect, aerosol hygroscopicity, super-saturation and cloud formation, optical properties of aerosol, aerosol thermodynamics, kinetics of transformation, aerosol mechanics and transport.

Chemical composition of the atmosphere, photochemical kinetics, stratosphere and troposphere chemistry, radical reactions, ozone chemistry, NOx and VOCs, the chemistry of pollution, airglow and planetary atmospheres.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Course material related to atmospheric chemistry
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Examination revision or alternate online assessment prep in case of no PiP examinations.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00Computer tools relating to the course, calculations and problem solving
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery201:0020:00Office hours: Lecturers available during teaching weeks to discuss student questions individually
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study142:0042:00Independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students acquire knowledge and understanding through attendance to the lectures. They learn to plan and organise their work by way of lecture materials, which also provide the necessary opportunity to practice note-taking.

In workshops, competencies in calculations, problem solving, analysis and elaboration of concepts and results will be taught and learnt.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A100Examination
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MExamples of problems to solve before the final assessment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module. The examination will present students with questions from a selection of topics learnt throughout the semester 2 module content.

Reading Lists