CHEM19085 - Environmental Chemistry

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit examines • air pollution: ozone depletion, sulfur oxides, photochemical smog and greenhouse effects; • water pollution; • inorganic and organic pollutants, surfactants and detergents; • hazardous wastes: classification, treatment, disposal; • pollution monitoring: sampling procedures, analytical methods and modelling techniques. You will be presented with the ecological and health effects of chemical pollution and these will be discussed. Renewable energy and energy utilisation is investigated. If you are a Distance education student, you will be required to attend a residential school for this unit.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


CHEM11044 Chemical Reactions OR permission from Head of Course

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2022

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 2 - 2022

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 30%
2. Practical and Written Assessment 50%
3. Online Test 20%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4.4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 41.67% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Have Your Say
The Moodle page was easily accessible and well laid out.
A comprehensively detailed Moodle platform will be continued.
Action Taken
The Moodle platform was reorganised into the CQURenew-compliant tiled format. This allowed centralisation of resources like assessments and easier weekly navigation. Naturally, the tiled format will be continued.
Source: Have Your Say
Some lectures had poor audio.
The lectures for the unit were recorded in the office and it was found rather late that wired headsets tend to pick up a lot of noise from the wire constantly making contact with the device. To address these, the use of wireless headsets with mics in subsequent lecture recordings has been successful. These headsets will continue to used for future desk-based recordings. Live lectures remain an option for the next offering too, and these may address some of the issues.
Action Taken
As anticipated, by using privately-sourced wireless headsets, the sound issue has been addressed. Therefore, this practice shall be continued.
Source: Have Your Say
Better interaction with students would be good.
In a normal term, by the time the feedback was open, there would have been a successful residential school, and a lot of positive interactions tend to happen from this point onward. The past feedback specifically supports this observation, so it is hoped that we can give students positive experiences in the residential school and it contributes to a more positive experience.
Action Taken
A field excursion always elevates camaraderie among cohorts and with staff. It appears to be one of the reasons why interactions were positive within the group this year. Not having to worry about uncertainty arising from global pandemics also contributed, undoubtedly to students being able to focus on their study as they would have intended,
Source: Have Your Say
I feel that if the importance about something was explained before the details, it would be helpful in our understanding. E.g. Carbonate chemistry calculations preceded why we need to know about Carbonate chemistry
This is a good suggestion. The carbonate chemistry lecture sequencing will be relooked at to ensure that calculations come after the importance of carbonates is presented. The sequencing of all other topics will also be re-checked at the same time.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Understand the chemical principles relating to the chemistry of the different spheres of the environment: atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere
  2. Use laboratory skills to make reliable analytical measurements to assess the quality of water, air, soil and food sources
  3. Be familiar with the important environment regulating authority and environmental guidelines
  4. Use research skills to obtain information relating to environmental chemical concepts, environmental issues and current approaches to solve these.


Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Online Test
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
8 - Ethical practice
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Practical and Written Assessment
3 - Online Test