Skip to main content



  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Dr Marianne Odlyha
  • Assessment: a 1.5-hour examination (60%) and six pieces of coursework (40%)

Module description

In this module we cover the basic principles of a wide range of different spectroscopic techniques and their application to the determination of complex processes occurring in materials. The lectures and practicals will cover sample preparation and optimising experimental parameters to ensure good measurements. We will also focus on spectral interpretation and case studies involving application of these techniques.

Indicative syllabus

  • Basic principles of spectroscopic techniques IR, UV/VIS (including fluorescence), Raman, NMR, X-rays
  • Experimental configurations used in spectroscopic techniques
  • Sample preparation and setting up experimental parameters for measurements using spectroscopic techniques
  • Problem solving in IR, UV/VIS, Raman, NMR and X-rays
  • State-of-the-art applications of spectroscopic techniques to materials and selected case studies discussed in depth

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • explain the basic principles of spectroscopic techniques IR, UV/VIS (including fluorescence), Raman scattering, atomic emission, X-rays and NMR
  • for the different modes of operation of IR, UV/VIS, NMR, atomic emission, and X-ray instrumentation XRF, XRD, SEM, XPS, explain advantages and disadvantages or limitations of these techniques
  • interpret spectral data from all the spectroscopic techniques IR, UV/VIS, Raman, NMR, atomic emission and X-rays
  • set up measurements in the laboratory on IR, UV/VIS instruments and optimise the measurements
  • give examples of the application of spectroscopic techniques to a range of materials e.g. polymers, collagen-based (bone).