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Unit information: Foundations of Chemistry in 2018/19

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 Foundations of Chemistry
Unit code CHEM00001
Credit points 40
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Charmant
Open unit status Not open

IELTS minimum 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5 in writing and 4.5 in all other components or equivalent

Students should have the appropriate qualifications in Science and Mathematics at the equivalent of QCA level 2



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science


The unit is intended to provide students with a broad understanding of the fundamental principles of chemistry and experience of practical techniques, as a pre-requisite for entry or progression onto undergraduate degree programmes in science. Concepts will be illustrated with examples taken from across the full breadth of chemistry, although there will be a particular emphasis on applications within the life sciences.

Concepts covered will include:

  • Structure & Bonding
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry
  • Reactions and Stoichiometry
  • Structure Determination and Analysis
  • Chemical Equilibrium
  • Metals
  • States of Matter
  • Further Organic Chemistry
  • Reaction Kinetics
  • Biological Macromolecules

Intended learning outcomes

Subject-specific Intended Learning Outcomes


  • develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of chemistry
  • develop a background knowledge of fundamental and applied chemistry
  • develop competence and confidence in a range of fundamental practical techniques used in chemistry
  • develop an ability to solve elementary problems in chemistry

sufficient to allow students to be admitted to, or progress to, degree programmes in Chemistry and other scientific disciplines.

Teaching details

Students will be provided with directed reading and exercises. Students will be supported in the development of their understanding through twice weekly seminars and weekly tutorials. Experimental skills will be developed through practical classes.


  • 48 x 1-hour seminars
  • 22 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 11 x 3-hour practical classes

Assessment Details

Assessment for learning/Formative Assessment

Weekly worksheets with feedback provided in small-group tutorials

Assessment of learning/Summative Assessment

Continuously assessed laboratory practicals, including, as appropriate, pre-laboratory, in-laboratory and post-laboratory work: 20%

1-hour multiple-choice progress examination to assess only material covered in the first teaching block: 10%

2-hour multiple-choice end-of-unit examination to assess all of the material covered throughout the year: 70%

Reading and References

Essential Reading

Chemistry, 2nd Edition, Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino, Wille, Blackman, 2012