module specification

CY4002 - General and Organic Chemistry (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title General and Organic Chemistry
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
45 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
186 hours Guided independent study
69 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 25%   Minitests
Unseen Examination 25%   Progress test (1 hour)
Coursework 25%   Practical report (1000 words)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical attendance
Unseen Examination 25%   Unseen written exam (1 hour)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year 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 second half of the module is concerned with the fundamentals. It introduces basic chemical concepts within the context of Organic Chemistry, and starts to develop the more specialist knowledge of organic reactions required for later modules of organic chemistry.


General Chemistry
The formulae of simple chemical compounds; balancing equations; moles and amounts; introduction to atoms, ions, radicals (illustrated for O-containing species);
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 LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Organic Chemistry
Simple oxidation and reduction reactions.
Acids and bases, pKa, pKb. Nucleophiles and electrophiles,
Substitution and Elimination reactions - stereochemistry and mechanism in substitution and elimination reactions.
The reactivity and simple electrophilic addition to alkenes.
An introduction to carbonyl and carboxyl chemistry
Synthesis and hydrolysis of esters and amides.
Concepts in aromaticity. Aromatic and anti-aromatic species, with examples.
Electrophilic reaction mechanisms of simple aromatic species. o-, m- and p-directing substituents.
Heterocyclic systems and their nomenclature. LO6,LO7,LO8,LO9,L10

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include tutorials + mini-tests (25 h), lectures/workshops (40 h), practical (4 h) with feedback where appropriate.
Tutorials have an emphasis on problem solving based on pre-set 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 tutorials, mini-tests, practicals and problem sessions. Students will be expected to reflect on the learning experience and develop their own understanding of the material.

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.
6. Identify structures of unknown compounds.
7. Understand the relationship between structure and reactivity.
8. Understand and explain the basics of reaction mechanisms.
9. Elucidate core features of the chemistry of aromatic species.
10. Understand the basic concepts of organic synthesis and synthesis design. Students should be able to propose a reaction scheme for synthesising a simple compound and suggest a mechanism using “curly arrow notation”.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of 5 mini-tests (25%) – learning outcomes 1-5, a 60-minute progress exam (25%) – learning outcomes 1-5, a practical report (25%) – learning outcomes 7, 8 and 10, and a 1 hour unseen written exam (25%) – learning outcomes 6-10. The students must pass with an overall mark of 40%.


Core Text: Burrows, A., Parsons, A., Price, G., Pilling, G. and Holman, J. (2017) Chemistry3. 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other Texts: Cox, B. G. (2013) Acids and Bases: Solvent Effects on Acid-Base Strength. Oxford University Press.
McMurry, J. E. (2016) Organic Chemistry 9th Edition. Brooks/Cole: Cengage learning
Vollhardt, P., Schore, N. (2014) Organic Chemistry: Structure and Function 7th Edition. Freeman.
Hornby, M., Peach, J. (2001). Foundations of Organic Chemistry: Worked Examples. Oxford Chemistry Primers 87, OUP.
Maskill, H. (1996) Mechanisms of Organic Reactions. Oxford Chemistry Primers 45, OUP.
Scudder, P. H., (2013) Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry: A Decision-Based Guide to Organic Mechanisms. John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Websites: Specific links to websites will be given on Weblearn including links from