Basic Chemistry for Life Science

Module summary

Module code: CHEM0571
Level: 4
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Dionysios Douroumis / Nikos Katsaros



To provide students with the basic chemical concepts essential for the life sciences.
To introduce students to the principles of chemical bonding and intermolecular interactions.
To provide students with a basic knowledge of organic chemistry, chemical reactions and equilibria, visible spectroscopy and chromatography.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Distinguish between types of chemical bonding and describe common geometries of simple covalent molecules;
2. Identify functional groups of organic molecules and recognise the occurrence of isomerism;
3. Suggest appropriate separative methods for a range of simple mixtures;
4. Predict changes in reactions at equilibrium;

Skills Learning Outcomes:

1. Ability to integrate knowledge and understanding from a variety of sources to identify or propose solutions for human health and well-being.
2. Show time management skills by working to deadlines;
3. Use the library and internet resources effectively and develop independent study skills and be able to critically evaluate these sources;
4. Use, present and interpret numerical data;
5. Demonstrate effective communication, both written and verbal.

Indicative content

• Quantitative Chemistry: Stoichiometry, moles, RMM. Concentration of solutions. Dilutions. Relation to quantitative analyses.
• Atomic structure, Chemical Bonding, Electronegativity, Ionic bonding, Covalent bonding, Molecule Polarity, Non-bonding electrons, Shapes of simple molecules.
• Intermolecular Forces: Dipoles, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobicity.
• Organic Chemistry: Carbon skeletons, functional groups, isomerism. Introduction to organic reactions.
• Spectroscopy: Electromagnetic spectrum overview, UV/visible spectroscopy.
• Separation: Introduction to chromatography

Teaching and learning activity

This broad, introductory one-semester chemistry module is delivered as a series of weekly 2-hour classes, each of which involves a period of lecturing for the delivery of new content, typically with one key topic area covered each week. Most classes also include a significant period of interactive tutorial during which problems related to the lecture are covered and students can ask for help (teaching assistants usually present) and get the opportunity to present their solutions to the large group. Additional support classes are periodically offered to support the weakest student.


MCQ (Online): 60% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: All.
Outline Details: Weekly question sheets (via Moodle).

Online tests allow 2 attempts - 1st result returned with feedback (Formative) before summative 2nd attempt.

Exam: 40% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: All.
Outline Details: 2 hour exam.