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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

Has a suspect been at a crime scene? Has an accelerant been used in a fire incident? These questions can be solved by using modern analytical methods, which can determine trace element patterns or the presence of a compound used to start a fire. The course covers the underlying theory for identification and determination of, for example, drugs of abuse using structure determination by spectroscopic methods like UV, IR, NMR, mass spectrometry and chromatographic separations. Atomic spectrometry is covered for trace metal determination. In practical classes, students get hands-on training with modern analytical instrumentation, with experiments in a forensic context.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Silvia Wehmeier
  • Dr Eva Krupp

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 1 or Programme Level 2

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either CM1020 Chemistry for the Life Sciences 1 (Passed) or CM1021 Chemistry for the Physical Sciences 1 (Passed)
  • One of CM1510 Chemistry 1b: Applications (Passed) or CM1511 Chemistry 1b: Applications (Passed) or CM1512 Chemistry for the Life Sciences 2 (Passed) or CM1513 Chemistry for the Physical Sciences 2 (Passed)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • CM2014 Analytical Methods in Forensic Chemistry (Distance) (Studied)
  • CM2515 Analytical Methods in Forensic Chemistry (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course covers the underlying theory of the identification and determination of, for example, poisons such as pesticides or heavy metals in biological fluids, and of alcohol and drugs of abuse in mixtures of organic compounds including their structure determination by spectroscopic methods. This will involve study of the chemical reactions useful in analytical chemistry such as acid-base, complex formation, precipitation, redox and separation by transfer between phases, and also an introduction to both theory and practical experience of modern instrumental methods of analysis, with particular reference to forensic chemistry, and also to the closely related topic of environmental monitoring.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (60%), laboratory assessment (25%), continuous assessment (15%).
Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment given during tutorial classes and laboratory classes.


Marks for lab experiments and tutorial exercises available as soon as possible after the assessments; feedback on wrong answers provided. Informal discussion with students in lab sessions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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