CH1PH2-Physical Processes for Biologists

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Strength in A2 level Chemistry, or equivalent
Modules excluded: CH1FC1 Fundamental Concepts in Chemistry 1 or CH1FC3 Molecular Studies for the Life Sciences or CH1PH1 Physical Processes and Molecular Organisation
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Joanne Elliott


Summary module description:

The module aims to provide students having a biological background with an understanding of the fundamental principles of Physical Chemistry as applied to biochemistry and biological systems.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should achieve a sound understanding of the principles of chemical equilibria in the gas and solution phases. They should be able to assess quantitatively basic thermodynamic and kinetic data and describe basic concepts.

Additional outcomes:
Work in this module will lead to improved numeracy and descriptive abilities.

Outline content:
J M Elliott (5 lectures) - Chemistry in the Balance - Equilibrium.
The importance of equilibrium in chemistry and life. Equilibrium law; dynamic nature; gaseous and solution equilibria; acid-base equilibria; heterogeneous equilibria. The effect of temperature and a variety of simple calculations.

A M Squires (5 lectures) - Chemical Kinetics
The rate equation; order, rate constant and integrated rate equations; kinetics and mechanism; Arrhenius equation; more complex reactions and enzymic catalysis

I W Hamley (5 lectures) - What makes Reactions go? Chemistry and Energy.
Forms of energy; enthalpy, Hess's Law, qualitative approach to entropy and free energy, 2nd and 3rd laws of thermodynamics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Two one-hour lectures per week with approximately seven workshop/seminars on related material.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15 4
Seminars 7
Guided independent study 74
Total hours by term 96.00 4.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Class test administered by School 25

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will attend workshop/seminars on the material covered in this module. Attendance is compulsory. Workshop problems will form the basis of the test held at the end of the term.

One one hour test at the end of the spring term (week 29) based on workshop material 25%.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (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.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hrs

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment will be held in August 2016 and will be by examination only worth 100%.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: Required text books:
    •'Chemistry' by Catherine E. Houscroft and Edwin C. Constable. ISBN-10: 0273733087, £70
    •'Foundations of Physical Chemistry' by Charles Lawrence, Alison Rodger and Richard Compton. ISBN-10: 0198559046, £41.99
    •Chemistry Data Book, 2nd Edition in SI, by JG Stark and HG Wallace. ISBN-10: 071953951X, £18.99

    2) Specialist equipment or materials: Scientific Calculator (non-programmable), £10.00
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

    Things to do now