module specification

CY4005 - Concepts in Chemistry (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Concepts in Chemistry
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
42 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
192 hours Guided independent study
66 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 40%   Minitests
Unseen Examination 10%   Progress test (30 min)
Coursework 25%   Practical exercise (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 25%   Summative exam (1 hour)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning

Module summary

Description: This module is a companion module to CY4002 (General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry). It covers the fundamentals of inorganic and physical chemistry needed for students of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science. Students will undertake practical exercises and practice problem solving skills based on the material taught.

Prior learning requirements

CY4001 and CY4002 (pre- or co-requisites)


Inorganic chemistry
Balancing simple chemical equations. Oxidation and reduction and the use of redox to balance equations.
Atomic orbitals. Radial distribution functions. Atomic numbers. Aufbau principle and Pauli exclusion principle. Ionic, covalent, metallic and coordinative bonding. Molecular orbital theory, as applied to first row diatomics.
Valence shell electron pair repulsion theory.
Ionisation energies and trends in the periodic table, illustrated using the chemistry of the s- and p-blocks.
The chemistry of the d-block. Coordination and ligands, splitting of the d-orbitals in octahedral and tetrahedral fields, CFSE and magnetism. High and low-spin complexes. Trends in oxidation state across the first row of the d-block.
Applications of inorganic chemistry in medicine, including metallodrugs and imaging agents. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO6

Physical chemistry
Phases of matter, their properties and interconversions.
Thermodynamics. Enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs Free Energy. The first law of thermodynamics. Constant volume and constant pressure systems.
The kinetics of simple (bio)chemical reactions.
Introductory electrochemistry. Half equations and electrodes. Standard electrode potentials.
Mathematical concepts. Algebra. Simple differentiation and integration. LO1,LO3,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include tutorials + mini-tests (20 h), lectures (38 h) and practicals (8 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 and practicals. 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. Explain structure and bonding in chemistry using fundamental theories;
2. Demonstrate knowledge of trends in the periodic table;
3. Describe the properties of matter on the macroscopic and atomic scales;
4. Comprehend redox chemistry and electrochemistry;
5. Perform simple mathematical manipulations;
6. Undertake routine practical exercises safely, and apply appropriate analytical techniques to the data obtained.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will comprise four components:
• 5 minitests (40 %), these will cover inorganic, physical chemistry as well as mathematics. Minitests will take place roughly monthly, and will allow staff and students to track progress through the course. This allows interventions to be made early to prevent students struggling, and is in accordance with best practice for first year courses.
• Progress test (30 min test in January (10%)). This will cover inorganic, physical chemistry as well as mathematics not covered in the minitest component.
• A practical exercise (25%), of which the assessment has three elements: pre-lab questions (500 words; 7%), practical performance (3%) and practical write-up (1000 words; 15 %). This will encourage students to reflect on their practical work, and require them to relate their observations to the theoretical background material studied.
• A summative exam (1 h; 25 %). This will contain inorganic and physical chemistry. It will require students to integrate the knowledge gained across the strands of the course to solve more complex problems, enabling epistemological competences to be combined in an interdisciplinary manner.

To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.


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

Other Texts: Atkins, P. and De Paula, J. (2016) Elements of Physical Chemistry. 5th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Atkins, P., De Paula, J. and Keeler, J. (2017) Atkins' Physical Chemistry. 11th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Atkins, P. and De Paula, J. (2010) Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Weller, M., Overton, T., Rourke, J. and Armstrong, F. (2018) Inorganic Chemistry. 7th Edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Huheey, J. E., Keiter, E. A. and Keiter, R. L. (1993) Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity. 4th Edition. New York: HarperCollins.
Miessler, G. L., Fischer, P. J. and Tarr, D. A. (2014) Inorganic Chemistry. 5th Edition. New York: Prentice Hall.
Monk, P. and Munro, L. J. (2010) Maths for Chemistry: A chemist's toolkit of calculations. 2nd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cockett, M. and Doggert, G. (2012) Maths for Chemists. 2nd Edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.

Maths for Chemists:
The Oxford Virtual Chemistry Laboratory: