Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Chemistry
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Mike Grace (Clayton); Dr. Ng Si Ling (Malaysia)


A fundamental understanding of the principles underlying aquatic chemistry and their application in the study of aquatic processes. Includes: equilibria, activity and solubility; acid-base and carbonate equilibria, coordination chemistry and complexation, trace metal speciation, aquatic colloid and surface chemistry, estuarine processes and lake biogeochemistry, physico-chemical features of estuaries, rivers and lakes, light and heat in aquatic systems, major ions in natural waters, redox equilibria, dissolved gases, biogeochemical cycling of nutrients and contaminants, eutrophication. The practical component covers common major analytical techniques and two field excursions.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain the physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic systems;

  1. Understand the fundamental physico-chemical processes operating in aquatic systems;

  1. Discuss, using appropriate local and international examples, current water pollution issues;

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in use of a range of water quality monitoring techniques;

  1. Access relevant data for comparative purposes using modern information technologies;

  1. Prepare, explain and undertake appropriate OHS Risk Assessments associated with laboratory and fieldwork activities;

  1. Prepare laboratory and field trip reports, using appropriate statistical analysis, incorporation of relevant lecture material and additional information from reputable sources.


Examination (2 hours): 50%
Laboratory work: 25%
Assignments: 15%
Online tests: 10%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


6 points level one Chemistry