Module code: CHE1035

Module provider


Module Leader

CUNNINGHAM ID Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 2

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 83

Lecture Hours: 31

Tutorial Hours: 4

Laboratory Hours: 40

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PRACTICAL LABS 30%
Coursework TUTORIAL WORK 10%
Examination EXAM - 1.5 HOURS 60%

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

This module delivers the basics of organic chemistry; the focus is on structure and bonding, and general aspects of reactivity to provide a systematic approach to the wide range of reactions that comprise Introductory Organic Chemistry.  This is backed-up by tutorials.  In parallel are developed the basic laboratory skills of organic chemistry.

Module aims

To introduce the organic chemistry of aliphatic and aromatic functional groups, and simple natural products, with the emphasis on structure, bonding and mechanism

To introduce basic laboratory skills in organic chemistry

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Explain structure and reactivity in terms of orbitals and bonding
Understand the range of simple functional group transformations
Discuss specific aspects of simple organic chemistry in terms of underlying principles
Use knowledge of simple transformations to evaluate analogous, but ‘unseen', problems
Undertake, and present the results of, experimental work in organic chemistry

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:



Bonding in carbon compounds: the C atom, bonds as MOs,

Energy, Electrons and the covalent bond (σ and p bonds)

Bonding in carbon compounds: hybridisation, sp3, sp2, sp, other atoms, polarization, MOs from ‘filled’ orbitals

Stereochemistry and conformation

Reactivity and mechanism: general types, reaction arrows, stabilization of ions and radicals



Alkenes: structure and reactivity

Alkenes: additions

Haloalkanes: nucleophilic substitution and elimination

The chemistry of alcohols

Alkanes: free radical halogenation

The carbonyl group in aldehydes and ketones, nucleophilic addition

The carbonyl group, α-carbon reactions

The chemistry of the amines

The chemistry of the carboxylic acids

Carboxylic acid derivatives (esters, amides, acid chlorides, acid anhydrides, nitriles)

The Grignard and related organometallic reactions



The chemistry of aminoacids

The chemistry of carbohydrates



Structure and properties of benzene, introduction to aromaticity, nomenclature of aromatic compounds

Electrophilic aromatic substitution

Electrophilic aromatic substitution: directing effects,

Reactions at the benzylic position

Aromatic nucleophilic substitution

Other aromatic systems: naphthalene, heterocyclic aromatic systems, Huckel’s rule

Multistep reaction examples

Problem-solving session



A selection of organic experiments to include:

Hydrolysis of toluonitrile

Reduction reactions: reduction of onitroacetophenone

Preparation of Cyclohexene by dehydration of cyclohexanol

Nitration of methylbenzoate

Preparation of a diazonium salt: Sandmeyer Reaction:

Integrated into the module are basics of organic spectroscopy


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

facilitate assimilation of a large volume of information by emphasising atomic/molecular and then mechanistic approaches; this offers a systematic approach to assimilation.  The same approach is designed to allow application to new, but related examples, and is emphasised in the tutorials.  The practicals develop skill in basic techniques as well as giving relevance to the lectures. 

The learning and teaching methods include:

Formal lectures (25 hours)

Practical sessions (38 hours)

Tutorials (4 hours)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

Examination: Application of knowledge to archetypal organic chemistry explanation; and extension of knowledge to a wider range of organic chemistry [LOs 1-4, a]
Tutorials: Ability to explain basic principles and to extend these to a wider range of organic chemistry  [LOs 1-4, a]
Practicals: Ability carry out basic organic chemistry reactions, and to interpret and analyse them in manner appropriate to the discipline [LOs 1, 3, 5, b, c]


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Examination: closed book (60%, 1.5 h)
Tutorials: Problems that are simple extensions of the lecture material (10%, 4 h plus 8 h pre-study  
Practicals: (30%, 35 h plus ca. 10 h write-up


Formative assessment

2 of the 4 tutorial problem sheets are formative

Revision class will look through past examination papers



Occasionally following enquiries during/after lectures on demand.  Informal informative formative feedback is also provided optionally on past exam papers. Feedback is explicitly provided (general and student-specific) on all aspects of the practical work.  

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.