module specification

BC4051 - Chemistry (for Biosciences) (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Chemistry (for Biosciences)
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
120 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 50%   In-Course Assessments
Unseen Examination 50%   exam (1 hour)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Description: The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of naming and drawing chemical formulae, isomerism, moles, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated.

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to introduce students to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of chemical formulae, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are expounded, with emphasis on bonding, molecular structure, and simple reaction mechanisms. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.


The formulae of simple chemical compounds; balancing equations; moles and amounts; introduction to atoms, ions, radicals (illustrated for O-containing species); LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
very brief overview of the chemistry of the first 20 elements of the periodic table
(oxidation states, examples of compounds formed).
States of matter; intermolecular forces; introduction to equilibrium.
Empirical formulae, chemical formulae and structural formulae; calculation of % yield.
Nomenclature, naming and drawing aliphatic and aromatic structures.
Stereochemistry and Isomerism. Geometric isomers (cis/trans, E/Z) and chirality; R and S isomers, the Cahn Ingold Prelog nomenclature.
Introductory concepts of bonding (sigma and pi bonds); hybridisation.
Introductory reaction mechanisms.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include tutorials (12 h), lectures (24 h), an assessed practical and mini-tests and course work with feedback where appropriate.
Tutorials have an emphasis on problem solving based on preset work with student participation and group activities.  Students will be expected to prepare in advance for tutorials  to develop problem-solving skills using worksheets provided.  Feedback from these sessions facilitates the learning process. Lectures are used to set context and to deliver subject material, and are linked to course work, tutorials and mini-tests. Students will be expected to reflect on the learning experience and develop their own understanding of the material.
The ability to undertake scientific and ethical appraisal of data will be encouraged through directed reading and tutorial discussions. Students will be expected to reflect upon taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of the aspects of biochemistry covered in this module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:
1. Write and explain the formulae of simple chemical species, and balance simple chemical reactions.
2. Explain the different states of matter, and how these are influenced by intermolecular forces;
3. Calculate yields of reactions, understand the concepts of functional group and reactive species, and name a variety of organic molecules;
4. Demonstrate an understanding of bonding in organic chemistry; and identify stereoisomers and geometric isomers of organic compounds;
5. Understand the basic structure of organic molecules.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of 4 mini-tests & a reflective statement (50%) – learning outcomes 1-5, a 45-minute exam (50%) – learning outcomes 1-5. Students must pass with an overall mark of 40%.


Burrows, A., Holman, J., Parsons, A., Pilling, G., Price, G., (2017), Chemistry3, Oxford University Press.
Patrick G. (2017) Organic Chemistry; a Short introduction , Oxford