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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM2152 Chemical Kinetics and Thermodynamics

10 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Professor Dwayne Heard

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 1 in Chemistry or equivalent

Module replaces

CHEM2350 (a two-semester module to be replaced by two one-semester modules, of which this is the first)

This module is not approved as a discovery module


To provide students with an underpinning understanding of the foundations of physical chemistry through a study of chemical kinetics and thermodynamics

Learning outcomes
- Demonstrate an understanding of both the possibilities for and the rates of chemical and physical change, and of the thermodynamic and kinetic concepts that are most relevant for chemists;
- Understand how energy is stored and distributed in atoms and molecules;
- Understand the relationship between kinetics and thermodynamics;
- Analyse the kinetics of elementary and complex reactions and use kinetic information to understand the mechanisms of chemical reactions;
- Understand the use of chemical potential as a general criterion for phase and chemical equilibrium and be able to calculate the composition of equilibrium mixtures under ideal and non-ideal thermodynamic conditions.


The links between kinetics and equilibria. Experimental methods to study kinetics, in particular for fast reactions. Theories of bimolecular reactions: collision theory and transition state theory. Pressure dependence of unimolecular and recombination reactions. Kinetics of reactions in solution. Kinetics of complex reactions: Chain reactions, polymerisation, explosions and enzyme reactions.

The chemical potential and the criteria for chemical and phase equilibria. Molecular partition functions, Maxwell relations, Ideal and non-ideal systems, activity coefficients, solutes and solvent conventions. Chemical equilibrium, calculation of yields. Phase equilibrium, Clausius-Clapeyron. Colligative properties, osmotic pressure.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Problem Based Learning101.0010.00
Private study hours68.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

40 hours - reading (2 hours per lecture)
10 hours - computer-based learning
8 hours - tutorial preparation
10 hours - preparation for the examination

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Two tutorials (one focusing on chemical kinetics, one focusing on chemical thermodynamics)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Tutorial PerformanceMarks awarded only for written answers12.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)12.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S1)2 hr 00 mins88.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)88.00

School of Chemistry Data & Formula booklet to be provided

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/11/2019 08:50:07


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