Forensic and Environmental Chemistry (CHEM2404)


The identification of chemical species and quantitative determination of how much of each species is present are the essential first steps in solving all chemical puzzles. In this course students learn analytical techniques and chemical problem solving in the context of forensic and environmental chemistry. The lectures on environmental chemistry cover atmospheric chemistry (including air pollution, global warming and ozone depletion), and water/soil chemistry (including bio-geochemical cycling, chemical speciation, catalysis and green chemistry). The forensic component of the course examines the gathering and analysis of evidence, using a variety of chemical techniques, and the development of specialised forensic techniques in the analysis of trace evidence. Students will also study forensic analyses of inorganic, organic and biological materials (dust, soil, inks, paints, documents, etc) in police, customs and insurance investigations and learn how a wide range of techniques are used to examine forensic evidence.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Three 1-hour lectures per week, six 1-hour tutorials and five 4-hour practical sessions per semester


Quizzes, lab reports and final examination (100%)



Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903) and (CHEM1102 or CHEM1902 or CHEM1904), 6 credit points of Junior Mathematics


CHEM3107 or CHEM3197 or AGCH3033

Additional Information

To enrol in Senior Chemistry students are required to have completed (CHEM2401 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915) and (CHEM2402 or CHEM2912 or CHEM2916). Students are advised that combinations of Intermediate Chemistry units that do not meet this requirement will generally not allow progression to Senior Chemistry.
Students who have passed CHEM1001 and CHEM1002 may enrol in this unit after completing the Supplementary Course in Chemistry ( and then seeking Departmental permission, with completion certificate as evidence.

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.