CH0NUI-Fundamental Chemistry

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Available only to students on the BSc Applied Chemistry programme at the NUIST—Reading Academy
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr David Nutt


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The aim of this module is to lay a basic foundation of the key aspects of inorganic, physical and organic chemistry for BSc Applied Chemistry students at the NUIST—Reading Academy.


The aim of this module is to lay a basic foundation of the key aspects of inorganic, physical and organic chemistry for BSc Applied Chemistry students at the NUIST—Reading Academy

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students should be able to:

  • Describe, discuss and explain the subject matter of the module

  • Critically analyse and solve workshop and tutorial questions, as well as numerical problems based on the module content.

Additional outcomes:

The students should be able to develop and sharpen their critical analysis, deductive reasoning and mathematical problem solving skills.

Outline content:

Inorganic Chemistry:  Atomic structure, arrangement of electrons in orbitals, build-up of periodic table. Periodicity and properties: Atomic and ionic radius, ionization energies, electronegativity. Variation down groups in the periodic table and across rows. Ionic and covalent bonding, inter and intra-molecular forces and impact on properties of molecules.

Physical Chemistry: Gas, liquid and solid states: Ideal gases and gas laws. Thermodynamics: State and path functions, first law of thermodynamics. Energy profile of a reaction. Endo and exothermic reactions, enthalpies of formation, reaction, atomisation, hydration. Measuring enthalpy changes by calorimetry. Hess’s law. Chemical equilibrium: Reactions that reach equilibrium, the dynamic nature of equilibria. Equilibrium constant, Le Ch?telier’s principle and factors that affect equilibrium and equilibrium constant, acid base equilibria. pH. Strong and weak acids and bases.  Chemical kinetics: rate equation, rate constant. Dependence of rate on concentration. Reaction order and half-life of zero, first and second order reactions. Dependence of rate on temperature, activation energy and Arrhenius equation.

Organic Chemistry: Introduction or organic chemistry: structural formulae, Lewis structures, functional groups and types of molecules. Covalent bonding in organic compounds. Dot and cross structures. Pi and sigma bonds. Hybridisation (sp3, sp2 and sp) and how hybridisation determines shape. Nomenclature: common names, systematic nomenclature for organic compounds and abbreviations. Conformation and stereochemistry: isomers, enantiomers, diastereomers, racemates, and meso-compounds. Drawing molecules with the appropriate stereochemistry. Z/E notation for alkenes, Cahn-Ingold-Prelog rules for chirality (R/S). Understanding organic compounds: Electronegativities, polar bonds and molecular dipoles. Resonance effects. Van der Waals and hydrogen-bonding interactions. Using curly arrows to represent electron movement in the cleavage and formation of bonds. Energy profiles for reactions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module is mainly carried out by lectures. Tutorials and workshops will be provided to help students put the theory into practice. Each lecture or tutorial or workshop is a 2-hour session.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 50
Guided independent study 150
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Portfolio 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

1x 2 hour examination at the end of Semester 2

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Subject to confirmation by the NUIST—Reading Academy

Formative assessment methods:

Students will gain experience of putting their knowledge into practice and receive informal feedback on their progress in workshop and tutorial sessions.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 29 January 2019


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