Introduction to Forensic & Analytical Chemistry


Unit code: CHEM10812
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 1
Teaching period(s): Semester 2
Offered by School of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit?: Y

Requisites

None

Additional Requirements

A-level Chemistry.  Non-Chemistry students are advised to check with the unit co-ordinator before enrolling on the course.

Aims

  • To introduce the importance of rigorous, systematic analysis of chemical systems as a means of obtaining a true and accurate description that will withstand scrutiny.
  • To give a theoretical grounding in the classical methods of analytical chemistry.
  • To learn and apply robust analytical methods to real problems.

Overview

Lectures:

  • Introduction to Forensics & Analytical Chemistry module: learning objectives, structure of content, assessments
  • Evidence control, processing, chain of custody, blood alcohol calculations
  • Analytical measurements: accuracy, precision, and limit of detection
  • Separation methods I: theoretical considerations of chromatography
  • Separation methods II: gas chromatography
  • Separation methods III: liquid chromatography
  • Separation methods IV: thin layer chromatography, electrophoresis
  • Mass spectrometry I
  • Mass spectrometry II
  • Mass spectrometry III
  • Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
  • Pyrolysis as an analytical technique
  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • UV-absorption spectroscopy
  • Atomic absorbance and emission spectroscopy
  • Microscopy including electron microscopy
  • Microscopy continued and X-ray diffraction
  • Latent fingerprinting

Workshops:

  • Analytical measurements: accuracy, precision, limit of detection, statistics/errors
  • Evidence control and blood alcohol calculation
  • Chromatography analysis
  • Mass spectrometry analysis
  • Spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Methods of analyses

Knowledge and understanding

Have a grounding in the classical methods of analytical chemistry and an appreciation of how to apply robust analytical methods to real problems

Intellectual skills

To appreciate the importance of rigorous, systematic analysis of chemical systems as a means of obtaining a true and accurate description that will withstand scrutiny

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Learning by a combination of lectures, workshops and private study. 
  • Problem solving, quantitative and analytical skills

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 70%
  • Set exercise - 30%

Recommended reading

  • Practical Skills in Forensic Science (2005) A. Langford, J. Dean, R. Reed, D. Holmes, J. Weyers & A. Jones. Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry (1995) D.A. Skoog, D.M. West & F.J. Holler. Publisher: Brooks Cole; 7Rev Ed edition
  • Analytical Chemistry (2003) S.P.J. Higson. Publisher: OUP Oxford.

Feedback methods

  • Workshops will be open approx. 1 month after the close of the assessment periods and the students can retake with informative feedback
  • Teaching staff can be approached at any time with questions about the course

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • eAssessment - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 18 hours
  • Independent study hours - 78 hours

Teaching staff

Vasudevan Ramesh - Unit coordinator

▲ Up to the top