Module code: CHE1032

Module provider


Module Leader

TURNER SS Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 83

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 4

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAM 1.5 HOURS 60%
Practical based assessment COURSEWORK PRACTICAL WORK AND REPORTS 30%

Alternative Assessment

No alternative to Examination and tutorial exercises Failure of practical unit of assessment will be required to attend during the Late Summer Assessment period and complete a defined practical course.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

The module provides lectures on fundamental aspects of inorganic chemistry, with tutorial sessions that consolidate the information with problem sets. The lectures are coupled with practical laboratory classes that broadly relate to the lecture-based theory. The starting point is the periodic table: its construction is described in terms of concepts from quantum chemistry, leading to the existence and electron occupation of orbitals. This leads to periodic trends in the physical and chemical properties, followed by discussion of the reactivity of main group and d-block elements. The module also explores the solid state structure of various ionically bonded compounds and fundamentals of bonding theories such as molecular orbital theory for the homodiatomics of H, He, Li and Be.

Module aims

To describe the electronic structure of atoms and trends within the Periodic Table

To review concepts of molecular structure and bonding

To give a very brief introduction to molecular orbital theory

Provide electron configurations for the 1st row transition metals, identify oxidation states, fully name complexes and deduce their structure from name of formula

Explain isomerism in transition metal complexes

To understand the fundamental principles of solid state chemistry in terms of the description of crystal structures and relationship to physical properties

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Understand the construction of the periodic table starting from atomic orbitals as representations of electron wave functions and electronic configurations, together with the rules that underpin this understanding
Explain trends in atomic and ionic properties such as ionisation energy and electron affinity with reference to periodicity
Discuss fundamental aspects of d-block and s/p block chemistry, including trends in oxidation states, structure, nomenclature, isomerism, basic crystal field theory and Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory
Explain the principles behind the packing of atoms and ions to form simple compound structures and how the formation of these structures is explained by simple bonding models
Understand and employ selected techniques for the synthesis of d- and p-block complexes and the analysis of these complexes using a variety of methods such as gravimetric, thermal, titration and spectroscopic means

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Orbital energies, the Aufbau principle and Hund’s rule of maximum multiplicity. Relationship to the periodic table in its modern form. Atomic electron configurations and group/periodic trends: Ionisation energies, electron affinity, electronegativity, atomic and covalent radii. Oxidation state and redox reactions. Ionic electron configurations. Nomenclature of compounds in inorganic chemistry. Basic radioactivity.
Introduction to chemistry of s- and p-block elements, with emphasis on the link between reactivity and periodicity. Alkali metals and alkaline earth metals. The chemistry of the p-block. “Valence shell expansion”. Ionic, covalent and metallic bonding. Lewis structures: electron pair covalent bonding model. The VSEPR model and molecular shape. Introduction to molecular orbital theory: for H2, He2, Li2, Be2 and corresponding ions.
Introduction to the chemistry of d-block elements. Variations in oxidation states for transition metals in their compounds. Characteristic chemistry of transition metal compounds. Nomenclature, structure, isomerism for coordination compounds. The basic premise of crystal field theory and overview of its impact on properties of metal complexes.
Introduction to solid state chemistry. The Born-Haber cycle and other applications of Hess’ Law. Ionic radius. The ionic model, considering the Rock Salt structure as an illustrative example. The Born-Lande equation and the empirical Kapustinskii equation. Simple structures for ionic compounds of AX and AX2 types. Radius ratio rules.

Laboratory: Experimental work on topics involving reactions of transition metal complexes, inorganic preparations, solid state syntheses, product analysis, determination of purity.

Tutorials: 4 tutorials over the semseter. Students will be given problem–sets and will complete the problems before discussion at the tutorial.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to transfer and embed fundamental knowledge of inorganic chemistry through standard lectures which are supported by a series of smaller tutorial sessions and practical laboratory session. This is to underpin the higher level modules in inorganic chemistry at levels 5, 6 and 7.


The learning and teaching methods include:

2 or 3 h of lectures per week for 11 weeks;

2 h for a revision class in revision week covering practice problems and discussion of past examination papers.

5 laboratory classes with integrated pre-lab sessions to provide experience of experimental techniques, analysis methods, synthesis and exposure to risk assessment in terms of health and safety

Total 4h of tutorials in which problems sets are discussed and related to the lecture material.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to embed fundamental knowledge of inorganic chemistry, which will be required for subsequent levels 5, 6 and 7. For example, this module gives an overview of bonding models and molecular orbital theory which are subsequently used in future modules across the chemistry programme. For the most part at level 4 examination problems have been previously discussed with a small number of unseen problems. Tutorials are more varied with more unseen problems that encourage reading around the subject, since students have more time (~1 week) to complete answers to these problems. The laboratory classes have summative assessment through written reports, but instruction and formative feedback is given in all laboratory sessions on experimental technique.


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Exam: 60%, 1.5 h (addresses learning outcomes 1-4).
2 tutorial problem sheets: 10% (addresses learning outcomes 1-4)
1 “full” laboratory write up and 3 proforma write-ups: 30% (address learning outcome 5)


Formative assessment

2 of the 4 tutorial problem sheets are formative

1 full practical write-up and 1 proforma wrote-up is formative

Revision class will look through past examination papers



The students are given feedback on all submitted tutorial work and weekly feedback on laboratory work. The laboratory feedback is a mixture of oral and written. The pre-lab sessions are designed to review the previous weeks laboratory session e.g. pointing out issues with experiments, discussing learning points, issues with write-up etc

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.