Spectrophotometric Methods of Analysis 3.1


This module focuses on the application of spectrophotometric methods to the identification and quantification of pharmaceutical substances. Atomic absorption and emission techniques as well as molecular absorption and emission techniques are studied in the context of providing quality control methods for drug substances and drug products. Structural techniques such as IR and NMR are also examined as tools to aid in identification of active ingredients as well as impurities or degradants. The analysis of various pharmaceuticals is carried out in the laboratory to practically illustrate the theory and enable the student to develop their analytical laboratory skills.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and explain the operation of flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption as well as associated methods such as the hydride or cold vapour method.

  2. Discuss emission methods such as ICP, and outline sample preparation methods for either absorption or emission analysis.

  3. Identify common chromophores in pharmaceutical substances and discuss the use of UV/VIS spectrophotometry for calculation of drug concentrations, drug release, drug solubility etc. in either single or multicomponent formulations.

  4. Explain the relationship between molecular structure and fluorescence and use data from fluorimetric measurements for quantitative pharmaceutical analysis.

  5. Discuss the role of both mid IR and NIR in quality control of pharmaceutical substances.

  6. Discuss the use of NMR and MS in the characterisation of structures of pharmaceutical substances.

  7. Set up and use spectrophotometric instruments to examine a variety of pharmaceutical substances and use data obtained for either qualitative or quantitative analysis of such substances.

% Coursework 60%
% Final Exam 40%