Module code: CHE2042

Module Overview

The module covers intermediate aspects of inorganic chemistry including bonding, structure and reactivity of p-, d-and f-block elements and an introduction to molecular symmetry. The module includes a laboratory component as coursework.

Module provider


Module Leader

RIDDLESTONE Ian (Chemistry)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 79

Lecture Hours: 27

Tutorial Hours: 2

Laboratory Hours: 42

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Molecular compounds formed by and / or between p-block elements. Boranes and carboranes – the basis and use of Wades Rules. Closo-, nido-, arachno- cages. Interhalogens and related ions. The inert pair effect. Electron deficient bonding models. Metal-metal bonding in trasnsition metal chemistry.

• Molecular shape. Symmetry in inorganic chemistry. Symmetry operations and elements. Point groups and their assignment. Symmetry labels, as applied to orbitals. Construction of character tables. Tanabe-Sugano and Orgel diagrams.

• Molecular orbital diagrams of heterodiatomics and small molecules e.g. H2O.

• Further transition metal chemistry. Crystal-field theory vs molecular orbital appoach. The Spectrochemical series linked to molecular orbital and pi-donor or acceptor ligands. Reaction mechanisms for ligand substitution (associative, dissociative, A/D) and electron transfer (outer sphere, inner sphere) in transition metal chemistry. Simple magnetochemistry.

• Introduction to f-block chemistry. Lanthanide contraction. Prevalence of the +3 oxidation state, and exceptions. Comparisons to d-block. Simple magnetochemistry. Oxidation states in oxides and aqueous chemistry.

• Laboratory experiments on the synthesis, quantitative and qualitative analyses on topics in main group, d-block and solid state chemistry.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Laboratory portfolio 20
Examination 1.5 hour examination 80

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 successful achievement of the learning outcomes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 1.5 hour examination (80%) addressing LO1-LO4

  • Laboratory portfolio (20%) addressing LO1-LO4

Formative assessment

2 hours of tutorial sessions addressing LO1-LO4 through set problems Laboratory portfolio consists of both formative and summative experiments addressing LO4


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

  • To show how the fundamentals of structure, bonding, substitution and redox reactions and spectroscopy are linked. How these may be applied to explain the chemistry and properties of selected p-. d- and f-block elements.
  • To introduce concepts in molecular symmetry – from the definition of symmetry operations to the anatomy of character tables.
  • To introduce electron counting theories through the introduction to Borane chemistry and Wades rules, as expained through a molecular orbital approach.
  • To expand on d-block transition metal chemistry to include a review of crystal field theory and its link to molecular orbital theory. Thus, explain the Spectrochemical series.
  • To review the reaction mechanisms of transition metal complexes for ligand exchange and redox.
  • To introduce the chemistry of the f-block with an emphasis on the differences between d- and f-block chemistry, trends and reactivity.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Determine the point group of small molecules and understand how the molecule’s symmetry relates to its character table. CK
002 Explain the differences between a crystal field theory and molecular orbital approach to transition metal complexes. How the latter can be used to explain different trends and experimental observations CK
003 Understand the importance of thermodynamic and kinetic controls to impact on the nature and reactivity of complexes in solution and be able to interpret the values and significance of stability and rate constants CK
004 Demonstrate appropriate analytical and cognitive skills in solving problems and practical skills in carrying out more advanced experimental work. 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, and encourage students to understand and further investigate key aspects of inorganic chemistry in terms of the nature, structure, bonding, reactivity of selected p-, d- and f-block elements and compounds.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2 or 3 hours of lectures per week – total 25 hours

  • Two 1 hour revison classes

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

  • 2 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: CHE2042

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
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 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
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
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 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 2020/1 academic year.