module specification

CY5070 - Organic Unsaturated Molecules (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Organic Unsaturated Molecules
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
96 hours Guided independent study
34 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Practical Report (1200 words)
Coursework 60%   Portfolio of quizzes (3 x 20 mins)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module relates the physical and chemical behaviour of polyfunctional acyclic organic compounds and biomolecules to their structures and electronic properties. Taught classes will be reinforced by practical exercises and spectroscopic problems

Prior learning requirements


Available for Study Abroad? YES


Acidity/Basicity and the comparison with electrophilic and nucleophilic behaviour. The effect of structure on the acidity of carbonyl compounds; tautomerism and enolate anions, carbocation and carbanion chemistry. Carbonyl compounds, their chemical behaviour, keto-enol tautomerism. Compounds studied include conjugated dienes, enamines, unsaturated carbonyl compounds, diols and hydroxy-carbonyl compounds.

Mechanistic comparisons of the SN1, SN2, E1 and E2 reactions, factors influencing one pathway over another. Polyfunctional aliphatic compounds - physical and chemical properties. (1-3)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include lectures//workshops, tutorials, practical classes 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, minitests, the practical 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. Classify different organic reactions in terms of their mechanisms and outcomes;
  2. Interpret and predict the physical and chemical behaviour of aliphatic compounds containing more than one functional group;
  3. Perform selected synthetic and purification techniques and relate to the lecture material.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of a portfolio of quizzes (60%) and a practical report (40%) - a 1200-word lab report based on taught material.
The students must pass with an overall mark of 40%.