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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM3126 Strategy, Methods and Reaction Technology for Organic Synthesis

10 creditsClass Size: 180

Module manager: Prof Adam Nelson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22


CHEM2121Organic Chemistry: Conformation, Configuration & Reactivity

Module replaces

CHEM3180 Organic synthesis

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module will enable students to understand the value of functional organic molecules, and how the selective synthesis of such molecules may be achieved. Students will work in groups to research and understand the value of specific functional organic molecules, and to communicate their finding effectively to their peers. The module will cover strategies, methods and chemical technologies that can be deployed to address specific challenges associated with the synthesis of functional organic molecules.


On completion of this module, students should:
- be able to work effectively in teams to research, understand and communicate the value of functional organic molecules in addressing major societal problems
- be able to understand and apply more advanced concepts in selective organic synthesis, especially in relation to important functional molecules
- be familiar with the use of protecting groups to enable efficient and selective syntheses
- be familiar with synthetic methods that are widely used to prepare functional organic molecules, including methods for: selective oxidation/reduction, peptide/oligonucleotide synthesis, heterocycle synthesis, (het)arene functionalisation, and transition metal-catalysed cross coupling
- be familiar with chemical technologies that can address specific synthetic challenges including solid phase chemistry, parallel chemistry and flow chemistry

Learning outcomes
1. Capability to work in teams to research, understand and communicate the value of functional organic molecules
2. Ability to analyse and understand how selectivity is achieved in organic synthesis
3. Knowledge of a range of widely-used strategies and methods for the selective synthesis of important classes of functional organic molecules
4. Ability to understand how chemical technologies can be harnessed to address specific synthetic challenges


- Introduction to project management techniques for group projects
- Group work focused on researching, understanding and communicating the value of functional organic molecules
- Methods for the selective introduction and removal of protecting groups
- Synthetic methods including methods for selective oxidation/reduction, heterocycle synthesis, (het)arene functionalisation, and transition metal-catalysed cross-coupling reactions
- Introduction to chemical technologies that can address specific synthetic challenges including: solid phase peptide/oligonucleotide synthesis, flow chemistry and parallel chemistry

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning21.002.00
Group learning21.002.00
Independent online learning hours33.00
Private study hours56.00
Total Contact hours11.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

20 hours – Group work and preparing on-line content with enriched functionality
60 hours – online learning and independent study, preparation for workshops
9 hours - preparation for exam

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

2 x sessions to enable group work
7 x workshops throughout the module

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectOn-line content with enriched functionality20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam2 hr 120 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Exam should be ‘Open notes’ - students allowed to bring 2 sides of A4 notes. If necessary, should be replaced by an OTLA.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 10/08/2021


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