Chemistry (CHEM) 311

Analytical Chemistry I (Revision 1)

CHEM 311

Delivery Mode: Individualized study with a 2.5-4 day compulsory supervised lab. No lab exemption is allowed.

Check dates and locations of supervised lab prior to registering for the course. This course is charged a lab fee.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Science

Prerequisite: CHEM 217 and CHEM 218, or other courses equivalent to six credits of first-year university general chemistry.

Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology

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CHEM 311 is not available for challenge.

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Chemistry 311, the first of Athabasca University’s two courses in analytical chemistry, provides an introduction to commonly used “wet chemical” analytical methods. An emphasis is placed on the background theory of the techniques, combined with applications of the techniques in the laboratory. Topics covered in the course include a discussion of the analytical process, experimental measurement and tools used by an analytical chemist. We also discuss the basic statistical methods used by analytical chemists, and methods of determining and expressing experimental error, and we consider some of the basic concepts of quality control and quality insurance. As a background to many of the wet chemical methods, we include a review of chemical equilibrium, including the concept of activity. We cover the common titration methods (gravimetric, acid-base, oxidation-reduction and complexometric) in the context of specific applications. We present the theory of oxidation reactions as a background to oxidation reduction titrations, and we discuss gravimetric analytical methods.

The compulsory laboratory component of CHEM 311 is designed to teach student to prepare solutions for use in analytical procedures, perform analytical experiments based on specified procedures and equipment, perform statistical calculations on data (including determination of mean, range and standard deviation), write laboratory reports designed for a specific target audience and work safely in a chemical laboratory.


CHEM 311 comprises the following ten units.

  • Unit 1: Introduction, Measurement and Tools of the Trade
  • Unit 2: Experimental Error
  • Unit 3: Statistics
  • Unit 4: Quality Assurance and Calibration
  • Unit 5: Chemical Equilibrium
  • Unit 6: Activity and Equilibrium
  • Unit 7: Acid-Base Equilibria and Titrations
  • Unit 8: Complexometric Titrations—EDTA
  • Unit 9: Fundamentals of Electrochemistry and Redox Titrations
  • Unit 10: Gravimetric and Combustion Analysis


To receive credit for CHEM 311, you must achieve a course composite grade of at least a “D” (50 percent). You must achieve a minimum grade of 50 per cent on each examination, a weighted average mark of at least 60 per cent on the assignments, and a weighted average mark of at least 60 per cent on the laboratory work. The weighting of the components that comprise the composite grade is as follows:

Tutor-marked Assignment 1 Tutor-marked Assignment 2 Tutor-marked Assignment 3 Tutor-marked Assignment 4 Midterm Exam Final Exam Laboratory Work Total
4% 4% 4% 3% 25% 35% 25% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Harris, Daniel C. (2010). Quantitative Chemical Analysis (8th ed). New York: W. H. Freeman.

Harris, Daniel C. (2011). Solutions Manual for Quantitative Chemical Analysis (8th ed). New York: W. H. Freeman.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a study guide, a student manual, a laboratory manual and an assignment manual.

Special Instructional Features

CHEM 311 has a compulsory laboratory component that requires students to complete about 25 hours of laboratory work. For more information please contact

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, May 17, 2011.

Updated July 07 2016 by Student & Academic Services