ENVB30140 Analysis of Environmental Materials

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module will be delivered using a blended learning approach. Lectures will be made available online and there will be a number of on-campus workshops and online discussion fora to discuss the lecture and practical material. The practicals will be delivered on-campus. The students will be presented with a case study dealing with surface water that is suspected of being polluted. They will be instructed in the composition of various environmental media, the nature of potential pollutants and guided through the selection of the media that need to be analysed to identify the contaminants, sampling locations and the appropriate chemical analyses to address the problem posed. They will then organise the collection of the relevant media (soil, water, etc.) and will be trained in their chemical analyses in the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, School of Biology & Environmental Science. The results generated will be analysed with respect to available thresholds/regulations for the various contaminants and students will write a report on the full investigation process. Assessment will be based on continuous assessment of the practical work and assignments. An online, open-book written exams will be held towards the end of the trimester.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
- Describe the chemical composition of key environmental media such as soils, freshwater and seawater;
- Identify the need for and range of chemical analyses required for environmental investigations;
- Appreciate and demonstrate an understanding of the methodologies and instrumentation used for a range of chemical analyses;
- Describe the principle of selected analytical procedures;
- Identify and deal with sources of error in the analytical techniques;
- Undertake chemical analyses of various materials;
- Analyse chemical data with respect to thresholds and other environmental standards or regulations;
- Source information to help interpret the data;
- Write a report on the results of the chemical analysis;
- Engage in informed group discussions.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Active/task-based learning; peer and group work; lectures; reflective learning; lab work; enquiry & problem-based learning and case-based learning 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Water Quality Report Week 10 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Continuous Assessment: Laboratory Notebook Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Examination: < Description >Open-book online exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam Yes Graded No


Assignment: Presentation on Instrumentation Week 6 n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Elizabeth Conroy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Olaf Schmidt Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Sean Storey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 11, 12 Mon 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 Mon 09:00 - 09:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 5, 8 Mon 09:00 - 09:50
Workshop Offering 1 Week(s) - 7 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Field Trip Offering 1 Week(s) - 9 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Laboratory Offering 1 Week(s) - 1 Fri 09:00 - 09:50
Laboratory Offering 2 Week(s) - 1 Fri 10:00 - 10:50
Laboratory Offering 3 Week(s) - 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Laboratory Offering 4 Week(s) - 10 Fri 09:00 - 10:50
Laboratory Offering 4 Week(s) - 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 Fri 09:00 - 10:50
Workshop Offering 7 Week(s) - 9 Mon 09:00 - 09:50