Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Advanced Organic Chemistry 2 (Synthetic Organic Chemistry)

Course summary

Course code: CHEM1103
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Pharm, Chemical and Envi Science
Course Coordinator(s): Adrian Dobbs


Pre and co requisites



To extend student’s knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry
- To acquaint students with the synthon-disconnection approach to organic synthesis
- To provide students with a fundamental understanding of stereochemical control in organic synthesis and the methods of synthesising chiral target molecules
- To provide students with the retrosynthetic strategies needed to devise routes for the synthesis of complex acyclic, carbocyclic and heterocyclic target compounds
- To extend student knowledge of organometallic reagents and protecting groups and their strategic use in synthesis

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

Learning Outcome
1 Analyse target compounds by retrosynthetic strategy to devise suitable anionic, cationic and radical synthons.
2 Recognise the relationship between synthons and the appropriate chemical reagents used in the laboratory.
3 Utilise organometallic chemistry and protecting group strategy in planning the synthesis of complex target compounds.
4 Understand the methods of stereochemical control used in the synthesis of a range of chiral target compounds.
5 Devise routes for the synthesis of industrially important acyclic, carbocyclic and heterocyclic target compounds.
6 Appreciate the role of the synthetic organic chemist in pharmaceutical and agricultural research and development.

Indicative content

Topics will be SELECTED from the following areas and will be developed on the foundation of previous studies:

- Synthon-disconnection approach : retrosynthetic steps, disconnections, functional group interconversion, synthons, synthetic equivalents. Photochemical and free radical reactions. Protecting groups. Organometallic reagents and catalysts.
- General strategy for synthesis of monofunctional and difunctional target compounds, carbocyclic molecules, heterocycles, peptides. Linear and convergent routes. Stereochemical control in synthesis.
- Case studies : retrosynthetic analysis of appropriate target molecules from the field of natural products and commercially important pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught largely through lectures and tutorials. The basic principles will be explained in the lectures, whilst the tutorials will establish the understanding of these principles by the study of their application in problem-solving exercises, in addition to consideration of student-centred problems.


Coursework - 40%
Outcome 1-6
One problem solving assessments.
CW1 Hand in Term 2.

Examination - 60%
Outcome 1-6
2 hour paper.

Pass mark - 40%