PSC2031 - Analytical methods - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr Ben Capuano

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Previously coded PSC2021


Analytical Methods lays a foundation of knowledge for the analytical identification and quantitation of chemical entities used in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries (eg polymers, cosmetics & paints). The subject provides the participant with basic principles and concepts of chemical equilibria, classical (titrimetric) methods of analysis, atomic and molecular spectroscopy (spectrochemical methods of analysis) and separation (chromatographic) methodologies.

This will involve:

  • chemical equilibria
  • classical methods of analysis
  • spectrochemical methods of analysis
  • analytical separations


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the chemical compositions of aqueous solutions, apply the effects of electrolytes on chemical equilibria and solve equilibrium calculations for simple and complex systems;
  2. Apply the basic principles underlying gravimetric and titrimetric methods of analysis (including precipitation titrations, neutralization titrations, complex acid/base systems, complexation reactions and titrations and non-aqueous titrations) and analyse chemical equilibria to determine the concentrations of species of interest;
  3. Evaluate the basic properties of electromagnetic radiation and the interactions between radiation and matter on an atomic and molecular level and calculate specific spectrochemical descriptors (energy, frequency, wavelength, % transmittance and absorbance);
  4. Understand and apply the functions of instrumental components used in optical spectrophotometry;
  5. Understand and apply the basic principles of molecular absorption, molecular fluorescence and atomic absorption/emission spectroscopy to practical scenarios;
  6. Understand basic separations and chromatographic theory and apply this knowledge in predicting the separation, identification and quantitation of compounds;
  7. Acquire knowledge of commonly used instrumental techniques, namely GLC and HPLC, and apply these principles to the qualitative and quantitative analysis of compounds;
  8. Identify troubleshooting strategies for commonly encountered problems in liquid chromatography.


Final exam (3 hour): 60%; quizzes: 5%; active learning modules: 5%; practical experiments: 20%; practical exam: 10%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty eight 1-hour lectures
  • Six 1-hour tutorials
  • One 2-hour HPLC workshop
  • Eight 4-hour practicals
  • One 4-hour practical exam

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PSC1031 Physical chemistry I

PSC1032 Physical chemistry II

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: