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Chemistry for Natural Sciences V: Organic Synthesis & Inorganic Chemistry - CHE00025I

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Glenn Hurst
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

The purpose of this Year 2 module is to extend students’ understanding of key concepts of structure, bonding, chemical reactivity, equilibrium and change through a blend of lectures, practicals, tutorials and workshops. The module dips down to material taught to chemists at Stage 1, marrying the reactivity of haloalkanes/alkenes/alkynes, and solid state chemistry together with including more advanced topics such as catalysis, vibrational spectroscopy and excited states. The students will also carry out integrated chemistry practical projects, which will provide them with skills in project planning, development, execution and presentation of results. Carried out during a 2-week period (after the exam period), this project provides students with their first real insight into life as a research scientist.

Module learning outcomes

  • Students will gain an understanding of catalysis.
  • Students gain an understanding of the chemistry of haloalkanes, alkenes and alkynes, focussing on a mechanistic understanding of the reactions of this class of molecule, such as electrophilic addition. Students should be able to apply their knowledge to predict the solution of unseen problems, as well as rationalising the reactivity of these molecules in three-dimensional space.
  • Students will gain a detailed insight into the bonding models applied within solid materials. In particular they will learn how to apply the ionic model in order to rationalise and predict crystal-packing structures and perform simple calculations of lattice energies.
  • Students will obtain a good understanding of the terminology used to describe the electronic states of atoms and diatomic molecules. This will include in particular the treatment of the coupling of different types of angular momenta associated with orbital and spin motion of the electrons.
  • Students will achieve an understanding of the principles of infrared and Raman spectroscopy, their application to diatomic molecules, and the group theoretical treatment of vibrations in polyatomic molecules. Students will learn to apply group theory to derive vibrational selection rules and to deduce the forms of normal mode vibrations.
  • The integrated chemistry practical project will allow students to plan, execute and troubleshoot a longer project-like experiment. In this way they will start to develop important practical research skills, and begin to move away from the format of simply following instructions. Students will also develop transferable skills of team working and presentation of results.

Module content

Module Structure



8 lectures


Haloalkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes


9 lectures


Solid State

MAB 6 lectures Tutorial

Vibrational Spectroscopy

MCRC 6 lectures 1x 2h Central Workshop

Excited States and Photochemistry

JNM 6 lectures Tutorial

Integrated Chemistry Practical





Task Length % of module mark
24 hour open exam
Chemistry for Natural Sciences V, Paper I
N/A 35
24 hour open exam
Chemistry for Natural Sciences V, Paper II
N/A 50
Integrated Chemistry Practical
1.5 hours 15

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Two closed examinations. For paper 1, 2 from 2 questions should be answered containing the following topics: 'Solid State' and 'Haloalkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes'. For paper 2, 2 from 2 questions should be answered containing the following topics: 'Excited States and Photochemistry' and 'Catalysis'.

One 1.5 h assessed workshop on 'Vibrational Spectroscopy' 

The Integrated Chemistry Practicals consist of lab sessions in Summer weeks 8 and 9, with additional group work sessions, finishing with a group presentation in Summer week 10.


Task Length % of module mark
24 hour open exam
Chemistry for Natural Sciences V, Paper I
N/A 35
24 hour open exam
Chemistry for Natural Sciences V, Paper II
N/A 50

Module feedback

Written feedback will be given for tutorial work within a week. Written and/or oral feedback for workshops will be given either during the sessions or within a week. Feedback will be provided on all summative practical work within 20 working days. Closed exam results with per-question breakdown are returned to the students via supervisors within 5 weeks (as per special approval by the University Teaching Committee). Outline answers are made available via the Chemistry web pages when the students receive their marks, so that they can assess their own detailed progress/achievement. The examiners’ reports for each question are made available to the students via the Chemistry web pages

Indicative reading

"Chemistry3: Introducing Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry, 2nd edition" by Burrows, Parsons, Price, Holman and Pilling (published by Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-969185-2)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students