module specification

CY4051 - General Chemistry (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title General Chemistry
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
30 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
83 hours Guided independent study
37 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 50%   Minitests
Unseen Examination 50%   Progress test (1 hour)
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

Description: The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualification. The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of naming and drawing chemical formulae, organic bonding, differing types of isomerism, moles, reaction processes, states of matter, and interactions between particles are enumerated. Students will undertake regular tests based on the material taught.


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 mechanism LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include tutorials + mini-tests (15 h) and lectures/workshops (22 h) 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 tutorials, mini-tests 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.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of 5 mini-tests (50%) – learning outcomes 1-5, a 60-minute progress exam (50%) – learning outcomes 1-5. The students must pass with an overall mark of at least 40%.


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

Other Texts: 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

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