Introductory Analytical and Physical Chemistry

Module code: NT2007

In this module, you'll learn about physical chemistry, the scientific method and analytical chemistry.

Physical chemistry is often referred to as the infrastructure of all of chemistry. It concerns the application of principles from physics - principles that underpin life as we know it on earth - to the study of chemical systems. This module will introduce you to the principles and theories behind physical chemistry - namely thermodynamics and kinetics - which will inform your study and future career as a chemist.

You'll also examine the empirical process of gaining knowledge that has developed as science has progressed, known as the scientific method. You'll look at the different analytical problems posed in science and chemistry, the methods used to solve them, errors connected with each method and how to deal with them. This will give you the ability to select suitable methods to solve problems raised in your future study and career as a chemist.

You'll also explore the associated field of analytical chemistry, which studies and uses instruments and methods to study the separation, identification and quantification of chemical compounds. You'll look at the basic principles of electrochemical, chromatographic and UV/Vis and elemental spectroscopic techniques and discuss their application in qualitative and quantitative analyses. You'll learn the principles and underlying chemistry of titrimetric and gravimetric quantitative methods of analysis, evaluate and interpret the results from qualitative and quantitative analyses and solve problems involving analytical data. You'll also consider the role of ethics in scientific discovery and underlying philosophical principles of science.

Topics covered

  • Ethics and philosophy of science.
  • Analytical problems
  • Spectroscopy
  • Thermodynamics
  • Properties of gases
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Principles of analytical and physical chemistry


  • 62 hours of lectures
  • 8 hours of tutorials
  • 8 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 222 hours of guided independent study


  • Exam, 2 hours (30%)
  • Coursework (70%)