module specification

CY4081 - Key Principles in Chemistry (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Key Principles in Chemistry
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
95 hours Guided independent study
35 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   2 x mini tests (2 x 20 mins)
Coursework 30%   Practical report (1500 words)
Unseen Examination 40%   Summative exam (1 hour)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module covers inorganic and physical chemistry needed for students studying Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Students will undertake an assessed practical and practice problem solving skills based on the material taught.

The aim of this module is to ensure you will develop key skills and knowledge in:
1. inorganic chemistry, including the p-block, transition metal chemistry and magnetism.
2. essential physical chemistry topics of thermodynamics and electrochemistry
This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and enhancing analytical skills

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? YES


Ionisation energies and trends in the periodic table, illustrated using the chemistry of the p block. 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. (1, 2, 5)
Thermodynamics. Enthalpy, entropy, and Gibbs Free Energy. The first law of thermodynamics. Constant volume and constant pressure systems. Introductory electrochemistry. Half equations and electrodes. Standard electrode potentials. (3, 4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include lectures/tutorials + mini-tests, (31 h) and practicals (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 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. have fundamental understanding of the properties of the elements of groups 2, 17 and the d-block.
2. determine the crystal field stabilisation energy in octahedral and tetrahedral complexes and relate this to magnetism.
3. describe the properties of matter on the macroscopic and atomic scales.
4. comprehend redox chemistry and electrochemistry.
5. undertake routine practical exercises safely and apply appropriate analytical techniques to the data obtained.

Assessment strategy

The module consists of three components: 2 minitests (2 x 20 mins; 30%) – this will allow staff and students to track progress through the module and allows for interventions to be made early to prevent students struggling and is in accordance with best practice for first year courses. Practical report (30%) – this assessment consists of pre-lab questions (500 words) and practical write-up (1000 words). 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; 40%) – this will contain inorganic and physical chemistry. It will require students to amalgamate the knowledge gained across the strands of the module to solve complex problems.
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.