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Unit information: Chemistry for Life Scientists in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Chemistry for Life Scientists
Unit code CHEM10700
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Chris Russell
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10600 Introductory Chemistry



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science


his unit builds on fundamental themes introduced in Introductory Chemistry (CHEM10600) particularly in the area of synthesis and reactivity and largely features organic and inorganic chemistry. Key themes include reactions and synthesis using carbonyl compounds, the chemistry of carbon-carbon double bonds, basic reactions and functional groups, reactivity in transition metal chemistry and stereochemistry. The content provides a foundation for students going on to take chemistry in the second year and life science students who are not but who nevertheless require a good knowledge of these aspects of chemistry.

This unit aims to provide students with a foundation in reactions that, for those who continue with chemistry, will be developed throughout their studies. The relevance of these fundamental reactions are illustrated with real world examples to set them in context in the modern scientific world.

" To provide students with an appreciation of key reactions in organic and inorganic chemistry.

" To develop in students fundamental practical skills.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of functional group interconversions.
  • Knowledge of the carbonyl functional groups.
  • An understanding of the reactivity and relative reactivity of carbonyl functional groups.
  • Ability to predict the product, or non-reaction, of carbonyl compounds.
  • Recognition of reactions which are redox in nature.
  • Understanding of ligand lability and its relation to electronic configuration.
  • Familiarity with octahedral metal complexes and the influences of ligands.
  • Appreciation of conformation versus configuration.
  • An ability to use simple laboratory apparatus, follow instructions and operate in a safe manner.
  • An appreciation of interrelationship between all branches of chemistry and between theory and applications.

Teaching details

Lectures, medium group tutorials, laboratory sessions and independent study. The Dynamic Laboratory Manual provides important e-learning resource in advance of (and during) the laboratory sessions. A small amount pre-tutorial online material will be provided to assist students with tutorial work. Self test MCQs.

2.5 lectures per week for 14 weeks @ 3 hours per lecture 105 hours

9 practicals @ 5.5 hours 50 hours

7 tutorials @ 3 hours 21 hours

3 self-study MCQs @ 2 hours 6 hours

TOTAL 182 hours

Assessment Details

Students will be continuously assessed in laboratory work (summative and formative)(15%). Students will be assessed on this unit by a single 2-hour written exam (summative, 85%).

Reading and References

Essential reading will be from the following books:

Organic Chemistry, 2nd Edition, J Clayden, N. Greeves, S Warren, Oxford University Press, 2012 .

Inorganic Chemistry 6th Edition, M Weller, T Overton, J Rourke and F Armstrong, Oxford University Press 2014 .

Further reading from Periodicity in the s- and p-block Elements, N C Norman, Oxford Primer, 1997.