Introduction to Chemistry

Module summary

Module code: CHEM1152
Level: 0
Credits: 30
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Mark Honey



• To provide students with a foundation knowledge of chemistry.
• To introduce students to atomic, ionic and molecular structures; and their applications within the chemical disciplines.
• To explain key chemical concepts and the significance of theoretical models.
• To illustrate how chemical reactions underpin key aspects of physiology, nutrition, forensics and the environment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1 Explain periodic table trends using atomic theory and perform stoichiometric calculations.
2 Outline the key organic compound functional groups and their behaviour.
3 Explain key principles of thermochemistry, chemical kinetics and the pH scale.
4 Describe the principles and roles of modern spectroscopy and spectrometry.
5 Explain how chemistry underpins forensics practices, drug development and the sustainable use of energy and resources.
6 Summarise a range of fundamental techniques used in qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Indicative content

The module will be organised on the basis of selected themes covering various aspects of Chemistry. Illustrations will be drawn from the exemplars indicated below as appropriate for the final award.

1. Inorganic Chemistry: atomic structure, electron arrangements, structure and bonding vs physical properties, orbital shapes, periodic table trends e.g. and ionisation energies and reactivity. Moles and equation balancing. Molarity and stoichiometry-related calculations.

2. Organic Chemistry: bonding at carbon, nomenclature, structural isomerism, functional groups, molecule drawing. Reaction categories. Nucleophile/electrophile. Key mechanisms – Markovnikov’s rule, carbonyl compound reactions. Biomolecule overview.

3. Physical Chemistry: exothermic and endothermic changes, Hess's Law and calculation involving bond enthalpies, enthalpies of combustion and formation, concept of entropy, Gibbs’ free energy. Intermolecular forces overview. Kinetics and catalysis summary. Acid-base concept and equilibria, simple pH and titration calculations.

4. Analytical Chemistry: principles of infra-red spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance; absorbance and the Beer-Lambert law. Techniques of qualitative vs quantitative analysis.

5. Applied Chemistry: Introductory forensic analysis. Overview of drug discovery process. Introduction to energy and resources, atmospheric pollution types. Green chemistry concept and sustainability.