Surrey University Stag


Module code: CHEM039

Module Overview

The module is designed to develop an advanced understanding of specific areas of inorganic chemistry that have not yet been investigated. This includes aspects of organometallic chemistry, transition and main group chemistries. Emphasis is on applications in homogeneous catalysis.

Module provider


Module Leader

TURNER Scott (Chm Proc Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 4

Guided Learning: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • relationship between organic and inorganic chemistry through the isolobal principle. Basic concepts such as hapticity. 18 electron rule and deviation from the rule, an MO approach to bonding.

  • occurrence, reactivity, preparation and structures of transition metal carbonyls. Modes of coordination. Phosphine ligands and Tolman plots. The effect and evidence for backbonding in metal complexes with ligands that coorindate in a similar fashion to CO e.g alkenes, alkynes, phosphines, hydrogen.

  • synthesis and structure of complexes containing alkene and alkyne, allyl and butadiene ligands. Carbene complexes. Metathesis reactions.

  • structure, synthesis and bonding in complexes of cyclo-pentadienyl and related cyclic ligands

  • metal complexes as homogeneous catalysts. Discussion of processes such as alkene hydrogenation, oxidative addition, reductive ellimination, hydroformylation, Tennesee-Eastmen acetic anhydride process, Fischer-Tropsch, Monsanto and Cativa process.

  • extension of isolobal theory and Wades rules towards polyhedral electron counting schemes to rationalize structures.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 20
Examination Online ONLINE OPEN BOOK 4 hour EXAM 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

achievement in the defined learning outcomes with specific emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking in a field at the forefront of modern inorganic chemistry research.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework problem set (20%) addressing LO1-LO6

  • Open book online examination (80%) addressing LO1-LO6


Formative assessment

Tutorials and revision classes where students can complete specific seen and unseen tutorial problems, integrated discussion and questions in lectures to consolidate knowledge, in-class exercises and examples are discussed throughout the module. Directed reading and in class discussion of research articles.



Detailed individual feedback is given on coursework problem sets, during workshops and lecture discussions.

Module aims

  • Introduce content from the fundamentals to advanced aspects of transition metal and main group organometallic chemistry
  • Illustrate the reactivity of selected organometallic compounds and show how these may be used as a tool for the synthesis of complex molecules
  • Through extra assigned reading to enable a deeper understanding of structures, reactivity patterns and spectroscopy of organometallic chemistry.
  • Fully develop the various electron counting schemes that facilitate the rationalization of structures.
  • To explore modern developments in homogeneous catalysis.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss and explain theories of metal-ligand bonding in transition metal organometallic compounds (LO1, C, K) KC
002 Review the nature and role of organometallic compounds in the synthesis of important organic compounds (LO2, C, K) KC
003 Use electron counting models to rationalize the structure of metal organic clusters (LO3, C, K) KC
004 Apply appropriate critical, original, analytical and cognitive skills in solving problems (LO4, T, P). PT
005 Critically evaluate aspects of current research in organometallic and inorganic materials chemistry (LO5, C, K, T, P) KCPT
006 Discuss the use of TM and main group organometallic as homogeneous catalysts (LO6, C, K) KC

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:

Provide a critical understanding of the links between inorganic and organic chemistry though the topic of organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis. Encourage learners to apply their knowledge to solve problems in synthesis and structure elucidation.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Revision classes

  • 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: CHEM039

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry MChem 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation MChem 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2022/3 academic year.