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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM1201 Chemistry 2: Energy, Structure and Transformation

30 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Dr Richard Ansell

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level Chemistry or Equivalent


CHEM1101Chemistry 1: Bonding and Behaviour

Module replaces

CHEM1211 Foundations of Physical ChemistryCHEM1240 Foundations of Inorganic ChemistryCHEM1260 Foundations of Organic Chemistry

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will build upon the introduction to the principles of chemistry introduced in CHEM1101 to provide students with a broad foundation of knowledge across the whole breadth of chemistry.


On completion of this module, students will have an understanding of the principles of the key sub-disciplines of chemistry including:

- Analysis and understanding of the kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical reactions
- molecular energy levels and their origin
- an introduction to molecular spectroscopy
- the crystalline and metallic state;
- descriptive chemistry of main-group elements
- descriptive chemistry of transition-metals including crystal and ligand-field theory.
- the mechanistic basis and application of key organic reactions including, but limited to, nucleophilic and electrophilic substitution and addition reactions, eliminations, oxidation and reduction and key functional group interconversions.

The student will also be able to appreciate how these ideas have relevance to modern society through the medium of selected illustrative examples, and will be able to apply these concepts to a range of problems in a linked programme of workshops and tutorials. Therefore on completion of this modules students should also be able to:

- stimulate and inspire students in Chemistry
- demonstrate links between academia and industry
- give insights into the perception and importance of chemistry

Learning outcomes
Students will be able to explain and apply the principles of:
1. The kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical reactions
2. The original of molecular energy levels and principles of molecular spectroscopy
3. The structure and properties of simple crystalline solids
4. The chemistry of main-group elements
5. The chemistry of transition metals
6. The chemistry of simple organic molecules including redox, substitution, addition and elimination reactions of alkenes, alkynes, aromatic and carbonyl compounds.


Kinetics: Definition of rate and rate equation; elementary vs complex reactions. Mechanisms. Integrated rate equations. Empirical chemical kinetics and experimental methods. Reversible reactions and dynamic equilibria (link to K). Rate determining step, steady state approximation and pre-equilibria. The temperature dependence of reactions: Arrhenius equation, collision theory.

Thermodynamics: Potential energy profiles, transition states and intermediates. Catalysis. Gibbs Energy, Enthalpy and Entropy Thermodynamic origins of equilibrium constants. Kθ, Kc and Kp; Response of equilibria to temperature and pressure; Redox reactions. Electrochemical cells. The Nernst equation.

Molecular Energies: Forms of molecular energy - translational, rotational, vibrational and electronic. Energy levels and the Boltzmann distribution. Molecular spectroscopy.

Metallic and ionic crystal structures; thermodynamics of ionic salts; trends in chemistry of the main group elements; chemistry of transition metal complexes: types and properties, ligand exchange chemistry, crystal and ligand field theories.

Nucleophilic substitution reactions (SN1 and SN2); Elimination reactions (E1 and E2); Alkene chemistry; Electrophilic aromatic substitution; Nucleophilic aromatic substitution; Addition and substitution to carbonyl groups; conjugate addition; reduction and oxidation reactions.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours215.00
Total Contact hours85.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Pre-reading will be expected before lectures. Post-lecture students are expected to review their notes and work independently on problems – 163 h

Further problems will be set for students to prepare for tutorials – 16 h

Completing mid-term online assessment – 7 h

Preparation for exams – 29 h

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have the opportunity to solve problems in workshops and offline, for which model answers will be provided, enabling them to reflect independently on their progress.

Formative exercises will be set ahead of tutorials. Feedback in written form will be provided on some of these. In other cases feedback will be provided generically in the tutorial

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer ExerciseComputer Exercise15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)15.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins42.50
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins42.50
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)85.00

Students to be allowed to take one page of A4 notes into the open-book exam.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 07/08/2020 18:22:56


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