Module code: CHE3039

Module Overview

This module builds on fundamental concepts introduced to students in Level 5 (CHE2036 Applied Organic Spectroscopy). This is a high level, problem solving, module in structure determination using one and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. Structural determination problems from synthetic organic chemistry and natural products chemistry will be undertaken.  This module is to be undertaken as a distance learning module during the first part of semester 5 (teaching weeks 1 to 8) and has two units of assessment; assisted (20%) and unassisted (80%) distance learning coursework.

Failure to submit as described above will invoke the deadline penalty, resulting in a 10% reduction per day in the overall mark awarded for each 24 hour period after the deadline, up to and including the third day after submission (30%). The mark recorded for assessed work submitted after the next 24 hour period (72 hours) or not submitted at all, will be zero. Any student in a position whereby they cannot submit assignments by the due deadline and believe they have valid ground for Extenuating Circumstances must submit to their Programme Administrator an Application for the Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances form along with supporting documentation. Please refer to Section F of the University Regulations http://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality_enhancement/regulations/index.htm for further information.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

MULHOLLAND Dulcie (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 113

Guided Learning: 35

Captured Content: 2

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Part 1: Introductory revision problems using 1D NMR (1H, 13C), MS, IR, UV. An understanding of the use of the coupling constant, Karplus equation, coupling in aromatic systems and long range coupling.

Part 2: Use of COSY, HSQC, DEPT, HMBC and NOESY spectra.

Part 3: Industrial examples.

Part 4: Structural determination of compounds using natural products and synthetic compounds (terpenoids; oxygen heterocyclics (chalcones, flavonoids); alkaloids) as examples.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: their problem solving abilities and their ability to use a combination of NMR and other instrumental techniques (MS, IR) to determine the structures of molecules.


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

two pieces of coursework assisted (20%) and unassisted (80%). In the assisted coursework, students may request guidance on how to proceed and share progress with the lecturer.


Formative assessment

The course consists of eleven problem-solving Tasks. Tasks 1-6 and 8-10 are formative. Students work on these problems independently, the lecturer is available to answer questions, and full sets of detailed model answers are available on Surrey Learn



Detailed, individual and group feedback for the assisted and unassisted coursework is provided

Module aims

  • Provide the fundamental concepts of Fourier Transform NMR spectroscopy and their use in simple one- and two-dimensional experiments
  • Highlight the strategies to use 2D NMR techniques to determine the structures of molecules
  • Provide an understanding of the use of spectrometric methods in studying organic molecules
  • Highlight the use of a combination of techniques (NMR, IR, UV, M) in structure determination

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the background to Fourier transform NMR and simple 1D and 2D NMR techniques KCP
002 Determine the structures of fairly complex molecules using 1D and 2D NMR techniques KCP
003 Understand the concepts behind 2D NMR spectra and be able to choose the appropriate NMR experiment(s) to solve a structure KCPT
004 Predict the appearance of NMR spectra for a complex organic molecule KCP
005 Identify the products of organic reactions from their NMR spectra KCPT
006 Combine information from a variety of spectra to determine structures KCP

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:

Strengthen problem solving abilities and to enable students to use a range of appropriate information to determine structures of compounds.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Distance learning module: the lecturer will communicate with candidates guiding them through the module by means of directed reading and problem solving (assessed as coursework) on SurreyLearn.

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: CHE3039

Other information

  Other Information: 


Each student will gain an awareness of Sustainability concepts through discussions on future potential problems in helium supply for NMR spectrometers. The spectroscopy content contributes to student awareness of Digital Capabilities due to discussions about and use of Fourier transformed spectra and needing to download problem spectra from SurreyLearn. This advanced course could lead to Employability in the pharmaceutical and other sectors in the chemical industry. 

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
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
Medicinal Chemistry MChem 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 2023/4 academic year.