Module code: CHE1041

Module Overview

Provision of a basic grounding in the canon of organic chemistry, both conceptual and practical.

Module provider


Module Leader

CUNNINGHAM ID Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: F160

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
Structure & bonding
• 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
Aliphatic chemistry
• 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
Natural product chemistry
• The chemistry of aminoacids
• The chemistry of carbohydrates
Aromatic chemistry
• 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, Hückel’s rule
• Multistep reaction examples
• Problem-solving session
Practical organic chemistry (Integrated into the module are basics of organic spectroscopy) comprising a selection of organic experiments such as:
• Hydrolysis of tolunitrile
• Reduction reactions: reduction of 3-nitroacetophenone
• Preparation of cyclohexene by dehydration of cyclohexanol
• Nitration of methylbenzoate
• Preparation of a diazonium salt: Sandmeyer Reaction

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Examination (1.5 hours) 70
Coursework Coursework – Laboratory Portfolio 30

Alternative Assessment

Failure in the laboratory component may require reassessment through a defined practical examination.

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 1-3]
• Practicals: Ability carry out basic organic chemistry reactions, and to interpret and analyse them in manner appropriate to the discipline [LOs 1, 2, 4]

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• Examination: closed book (70%, 1.5 h)
• Laboratory portfolio: Five stand-alone practicals with 6-7 h in the lab (30%, 35 h plus ca. 10 h write-up

Formative assessment
Tutorials: Ability to explain basic principles and to extend these to a wider range of organic chemistry [LOs 1-3].

Formal feedback is provided on tutorial work, optionally on past exam papers and explicitly provided on all aspects of the practical work.

Module aims

  • To provide an introduction to organic chemistry; introducing general concepts of bonding, structure, and reactivity as applied to standard functional groups. In addition it will provide training in, and practice of, basic laboratory procedures.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Recognise basic concepts of structure, bonding and reactivity K
002 Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts by application to specific problems CK
003 Demonstrate an ability to apply concepts to novel situations C
004 Apply basic laboratory techniques to prepare and analyse organic compounds and to report upon it CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 86

Lecture Hours: 25

Tutorial Hours: 4

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
facilitate systematic assimilation of a large volume of information by emphasising atomic/molecular and then mechanistic approaches. This process 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 (35 hours)
• Tutorials (4 hours)
• General self-study

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry MChem 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2018/9 academic year.