Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Chemistry
OfferedGippsland First semester 2013 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Sunway Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Toby Bell (Clayton); Professor Sam Adeloju (Gippsland); Associate Professor Lim Yau Yan (Sunway)


This unit covers the theory and instrumentation behind common physical and analytical instrumental techniques such as infra-red, Raman, UV/Vis absorption and fluorescence and atomic spectroscopies, mass spectrometry, chromatography and electroanalytical chemistry. A knowledge of the physical chemistry of gases and liquids is an important precursor to the understanding of chromatographic and electroanalytical chemistry. The application of these techniques in forensic analysis is examined using examples such as the detection of accelerants at arson scenes, drug detection in sport and identification of microsamples at crime scenes. Practical exercises will provide problem solving in physical and forensic analytical chemistry. A "Moot Court" team exercise and guest lecturers are an integral part of the subject.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Comprehend concepts in instrumental analysis, including accuracy and precision, sensitivity, selectivity, detection limit and dynamic range;

  1. Describe the principles and applications of spectroscopic techniques such as infra-red, Raman, UV/Visible absorption and fluorescence, and atomic mass spectrometry;

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of electrochemical techniques for chemical analysis;

  1. Distinguish the need for, and uses of, separation techniques such as gas and liquid chromatography;

  1. Evaluate a range of instrumental methods and how different instruments operate;

  1. Compare and contrast a number of case studies illustrating the many and varied uses of chemical instrumentation for solving analytical and forensic problems;

  1. Use database searching and retrieval for compound identification;

  1. Demonstrate expertise in the manipulation of chemicals, the use of chemical analysis techniques, risk assessment and the use of modern information technologies and data analysis;

  1. Work in small groups and be competent in the written and oral presentation of scientific data, including in the context of a Moot-court scenario.


Examination (2 hours): 40%
Mid semester test (1 hour): 20%
Computer test/Assignments: 10%
Laboratory reports: 30%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials and the equivalent of 3 hours laboratory activity per week


CHM1011 or CHM1051, plus CHM1022 or CHM1052. Students without these should consult the second year coordinator.