Module code: CHE3043

Module provider


Module Leader

CUNNINGHAM ID Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 30%
Examination EXAM 1.5 HOURS 70%

Alternative Assessment

Normally none, but a piece of (standard-style) CW might replace the assessed workshop/ICT portion of the CW

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Module overview

This module in organic chemistry moves from the predominantly functional group approach of Introductory beyond the skeletal construction approach of Intermediate, to deal with modern and more conceptually challenging reaction. These are the reactions that are commonly used in contemporary organic chemistry.

Module aims

To provide students with the appropriate advanced material in organic chemistry to allow them to describe and methodically rationalize a representative range of standard reactions/syntheses

To identify compounds by spectroscopy.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Demonstrate a conceptual understanding of modern advanced organic reactions (including their scope), including abstract ones (combinatorial)
Explain chemo-, regio- and stereo-selectivity in given reactions
Analyse a chemical structure in terms of the retrosynthetic approach to synthesis
Solve problems of structure using a range of spectroscopic techniques,  particularly NMR
Show critical evaluation of different approaches to specific problems in synthesis  

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Revision of organic reactions: Revision of mechanisms
Retrosynthetic Analysis: Terms, definitions and basic concepts; Retrosynthetic Analysis: Aromatic compounds; Retrosynthetic Analysis: Alcohols and carbonyl compounds; Retrosynthetic Analysis: 1,2, 1,3, 1,4 and 1,5dicarbonyl compounds; a,b-unsaturated and 1,3dihydroxy compounds; Retrosynthetic Analysis: Carbocyclic and heterocyclic; compounds
Modern reactions: Polar reactions in synthesis, Radical reactions in synthesis, Pericyclic reactions in synthesis, Asymmetric synthesis – an introduction
Catalytic reactions in organic chemistry: Concept of catalysis. Mechanistic implications: creating a catalytic cycle; Reactions using metal catalysis; Palladium-catalysed cross-coupling reactions: Heck, Sonogashira, Stille and Suzuki reactions; PausonKhand reaction. Small organic molecules as catalysts; BaylisHillman; reaction; Olefin metathesis
Multicomponent reactions: Solid-phase synthesis and combinatorial chemistry


Spectroscopy: Workshop 1: Introductory revision problems using 1D NMR (1H, 13C), MS, IR, UV. Use of the coupling constant, Karplus equation, coupling in aromatic systems and long range coupling; Workshop 2: Use of COSY, HSQC, DEPT, HMBC and NOESY spectra in structure determination with worked examples; Workshops 3 & 4: Structural determination of compounds using natural products and synthetic compounds (terpenoids; oxygen heterocyclics (chalcones, flavonoids); alkaloids) as examples


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

give the student a good high level knowledge base, but also but the analytical and problem-solving skills to solve unseen (but related), and to attempt some new concepts; all within the context of current practice in organic synthesis


The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures (2 per week x 10 = 20 L)

Problem-solving CW based on the lectures (18 h over 8 weeks)

Spectroscopy workshop (Contact =4 x 2 h over 8 weeks, plus self-study time ca. 18 h, plus ICT/assessed w/shop 2 h)



Assessment Strategy

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

Examination and coursework: Assimilation of knowledge and its application to problems in modern organic chemistry [LOs 1-5, a]
ICT/assessed workshop on spectroscopy: Ability assign structure based on spectra [LOs 4, a]


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Coursework: Problem solving on aspects of the course (15%, 18 h over 8 weeks) [LOs assessed 1-3, 5, a]
ICT/assessed workshop on spectroscopy: (15%,  2 h ICT) [LOs 4, a]
Examination: 1.5 hours, closed book [LOs assessed 1-5, a]


Formative assessment Formal formative assessment is in mainly in the spectroscopy workshops.  Formal formative assessment is in the form of example problems posted to SurreyLearn for students to attempt and receive written or verbal feedback; also students can opt for informal informative formative assessment (submission of specimen exams, past papers, etc.) which will be marked and annotated.


Feedback: Occasionally following enquiries during/after lectures.  Feedback is also provided optionally on the formative practice problems.  CW is marked and returned with feedback in time for the revision period


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.