Soil Science and Chemistry


This module provides an introduction to basic inorganic, physical and organic chemistry. The arrangement of elements in the Periodic Table and the naming system for simple compounds and ions is explained. The concept of the mole is introduced and applied to chemical reactions and to solution concentration. The theory of acids and bases is introduced. The structure and naming system for simple organic functional groups is outlined. Soil structure and soil chemistry are covered. Practical skills relevant to the practise of chemistry are developed in the laboratory.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Calculate and report the concentration of a solution using appropriate units.

  2. Name simple ionic and covalent compounds.

  3. Name, identify or draw structures for small organic molecules.

  4. Carry out volumetric analyses, and use laboratory apparatus for basic inorganic and organic chemistry reactions.

  5. List the components of soil and soil classes

  6. Illustrate and discuss the nature and functions of soil colloids in relation to the availability of nutrients to plant roots.

  7. Discuss the importance of soil pH in nutrient availability and discuss the important soil elements of nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorous and potassium

  8. Perform a range of chemical tests on soils

% Coursework 75%
% Final Exam 25%