Environmental Chemistry (AGCH3033)


This course provides basic concepts in environmental chemistry underpinning many of the environmental problems humans are faced with, with a focus on agricultural and natural ecosystems.

AGCH3033 is a core unit for the BEnvSys degree and an elective unit suitable for the BScAgr, BResEc and BAnVetBioSc degrees, building on intermediate units in chemistry and biology.

Sources, reactions and fate of chemical species will be investigated in air, water, soil and biota. Case studies about human impacts on the environment will be integrated in the lectures, laboratory classes and field trip.

At the end students have an understanding of chemical concepts that are at the root of many environmental problems in agricultural and natural ecosystems. This unit will provide students with tools to identify and assess the chemistry behind environmental problems and will guide students in developing methods to manage these problems.

Students will enhance their skills in problem definition, assessing sources of information, team-work and effectively communicating environmental issues from a chemical perspective through laboratory reports and oral presentation.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2 lec & 3hr prac/wk


Research Proposal (35%), Prac Reports (50%), Presentation and Peer Review (15%)


Reference Books: Andrews et al. 2004. An Introduction to Environmental Chemistry.
Van Loon and Duffy. 2010. Environmental Chemistry: A Global Perspective.
Hanrahan. 2011. Key Concepts in Environmental Chemistry.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


12 cp Junior Chemistry (CHEM1001 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901) and (CHEM1002 or CHEM1102 or CHEM1902 or AGEN1006)

Assumed knowledge

SOIL2003 and LWSC2002



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.