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Advanced Experimental Tools in Chemistry, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Avancerade experimentella kemiska verktyg

This syllabus is valid: 2021-08-23 and until further notice

Course code: 5KE175

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Chemistry: Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Chemistry

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2021-08-29


Advanced experimental and instrumental chemical techniques play a decisive role for studies of molecules and their interaction with their surroundings. Chemists are supposed to possess the ability to both produce completely new substances and to study these with the help of suitable tools - a combination of knowledge that is central within many natural scientific, medical and technological disciplines within both academia and industry. The course addresses theoretical and practical aspects of modern techniques for producing, isolating and characterising various types of chemical substances that are important within the life and environmental sciences. The course encompasses four modules that address tools for (i) synthesis and isolation, (ii) separation, (iii) identification and quantification, (iv) structure-characterisation. The course focuses on liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, infrared and Raman spectroscopy, and techniques for x-ray spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The course's laboratory experiments cover organic synthesis work and practical work with advanced chemical instrumentation. They are closely connected with ongoing research at Umeå University within the fields of protein, medicinal and environmental chemistry.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, students shall be able to:
  • describe and compare choices of applicable techniques within organic synthesis
  • explain the theoretical and practical conditions that enable or limit usage of the chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques addressed by the course.
  • decide how the chemical and physical qualities of a chemical compound, and how the technical design of the measuring instrument, affect performance parameters such as signal intensity, signal profile, detectability and selectivity, as well as the occurrence and correction of interferences.
  • assess which type of information can be extracted from experiments using the spectroscopic techniques addressed on the course, and how such information can provide background knowledge regarding chemical structure, speciation and a substance's redox state.
  • independently analyse data from a selection of spectroscopic experiments addressed on the course. 
  • argue for choice of suitable separation and analysis techniques for a specific chemical problem.
  • plan and conduct laboratory work in accordance with a scientific way of working, including risk assessment, and document laboratory work in a correct and reliable manner.
  • present and discuss the results received in English in the form of a poster, for various groups
  • critically discuss fundamental problems issues associated with scientific theory and standpoints, from a societal perspective.

Required Knowledge

90 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits are in the main area of chemistry including the course in Biophysical Chemical Concepts (5KE145/5KE174), or the equivalent and English B/6.

Form of instruction

The teaching is given as lectures, lessons, tutorials, self-tuition and laboratory experiments. The laboratory experiments and associated group exercises are mandatory.

Examination modes

Examinations are conducted through a written examination and through written and verbal reports of laboratory experiments, the latter also through a poster presentation. For the laboratory experiments, the following grades are awarded: Fail (U), or Pass (G). For written examinations, the grades Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG) are awarded. For the whole course, the grades Fail (U), Pass (G) or Pass with distinction (VG) are awarded. For the grade Pass (G) is required that all examinations have been awarded with at least the grade Pass (G). For the grade Pass with distinction (VG) is in addition required that the written examination have been awarded the grade Pass with distinction (VG). If either examination is awarded with the grade Fail (U), the whole course is awarded with the grade Fail (U) provided that the student has performed each examination of the course. Those who pass an examination may not take the same examination again with the aim of achieving a higher grade. A student who has taken two examinations for a course or a part of a course, without passing either examination, has the right to have another examiner appointed, if there are no specific reasons for not doing so (Chapter 6, Section 22, HEA). Requests for a different examiner are to be made to the Head of the Department of Chemistry.

Credit transfers
Students are entitled to an assessment of whether previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in professional experience can be accredited for equivalent studies at Umeå University. Applications for credit transfers must be sent to Student Services/Degree Evaluation Office. More information on credit transfers can be found on Umeå University's student web,, and in the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). Rejected applications for credit transfers can be appealed (Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12) to the Higher Education Appeals Board. This applies whether the rejection relates to all or parts of the credit transfer application.

Other regulations

​In the case the ciourse syllabus is cancelled or is sibjected to major revisions, the student is guranteed at least three examination occassions (including the regular examination occassion) according to the regulations in the course syllabus the student was originally registered to during a time period of maximum two years from the course syllabus is invaluid or the course is cancelled.


The literature list is not available through the web. Please contact the faculty.