Module code: CHE1042

Module Overview

The module provides and introduction to aspects of Inorganic Chemistry. The lecture based theory is supported by laboratory classes that explore practical skills, and by tutorials that consolidate learning through problem sets.
The starting point is basic quantum chemistry which leads to the concepts of orbitals and their electron occupation. This leads to the structure of the periodic table and periodic trends in the physical properties and chemical reactivity of the elements. The discussion progresses onto the fundamental structure and reactivity of main group and d-block elements. The chemical information is underpinned by a review and extension of bonding theories, culminating in molecular orbital theory as applied to the homonuclear diatomics H2 to F2.

Module provider


Module Leader

RIDDLESTONE Ian (Chemistry)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 86

Lecture Hours: 25

Tutorial Hours: 4

Laboratory Hours: 35

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
• Origin and shape of s, p, d and f orbitals. Rules for orbital occupation, leading to atomic electron configurations: Aufbau principle, Hund’s rule of maximum multiplicity and Pauli exclusion principle. Relationship to the periodic table.
• Brief review of trends in ionisation energies, electron affinity, electronegativity. Trends and definition of atomic, ionic, covalent and van der Waals radii. Oxidation states and redox reactions.
• Introduction to chemistry of s- and p-block elements and compounds. Link to periodicity.
• Bonding models including ‘valence shell expansion’, ionic, covalent and metallic bonding. Lewis structures and resonance, VSEPR theory, the concept of hybridisation. Lattice energy leading to Born-Haber cycles, Born-Lande equation. Madelung constant and Kapustinski equation. Radius ratio rules.
• Introduction to molecular orbital theory, construction of molecular orbital diagrams, sigma / pi / u / g / antibonding * nomenclature in relation to symmetry. Molecular orbital diagrams of homodiatomics from H2 to F2 and corresponding ions.
• Introduction to chemistry of the d-block elements and complexes. Trends and variation in oxidation state, nomenclature, structure and isomerism. Crystal field theory.
• Laboratory experiments on the synthesis, characterisation and determination of purity of p-block and d-block compounds. Gravimetric and thermal analysis, different methods of titration, crystallisation, reflux. Use of FTIR, uv/vis spectroscopies.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination 1.5 hour examination 70
Practical based assessment Lab portfolio Summative Expt A 15
Practical based assessment Lab portfolio Summative Expt B 15

Alternative Assessment

Failure in the laboratory may require re-assessment through a defined practical examination

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate understanding of fundamental aspects of periodicity, bonding, reactivity and structure of the main group and d-block elements and compounds.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• 1.5 hour examination (70%) addressing LO1-LO7
• Laboratory portfolio (30%) addressing LO7

Formative assessment
4 hours of tutorial sessions addressing LO1-LO7 through set problems
Laboratory portfolio consists of both formative and summative experiments addressing LO7

Feedback on problem sets is provided in each tutorial
2 revision classes provide feedback on student’s approach to past examination problems
Feedback on laboratory performance is provided in each pre-lab session – 1 per week before each laboratory session

Module aims

  • describe the electronic structure of atoms and relate this to the construction of the Periodic Table and the resultant periodicity
  • give an overview of the structure and reactivity of the main group elements and compounds
  • give an overview of the structure and reactivity of d-block complexes including crystal field theory, oxidation states, nomenclature and isomerism
  • review simple bonding models and introduce molecular orbital theory for homodiatomics
  • couple the theory with practical laboratory classes related to the synthesis, characterisation and purification of main group and d-block compounds.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the origin of the periodic table starting from atomic orbitals, their electron occupation and the rules that underpin this understanding CK
002 Explain atomic and ionic trends with respect to periodicity CK
003 Discuss the typical reactivity of main group elements CK
004 Discuss the structure and bonding in main group compounds CK
005 Discuss trends in the properties of d-block elements CK
006 Discuss structure, bonding and nomenclature in d-block complexes CK
007 Apply selected practical techniques for the synthesis and characterisation of p- and d-block compounds CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: Transfer and embed knowledge, theories and concepts relevant to inorganic chemistry. This is achieved through lectures supported by smaller group tutorial sessions and laboratory classes. The learning and teaching methods include:

• 2 or 3 hours of lectures per week

• Two 1 hour revison classes

• 5 laboratory classes, each with a 1 hour pre-lab session

• 4 hours of tutorials

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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: CHE1042

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 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 2020/1 academic year.