Module Overview

Introduction to Chemistry

This module is comprised of both general and organic chemistry at an introductory level. The module objectives are to give an understanding of fundamental principles and theories of chemistry. This includes an introduction to matter, molecules, atomic theory, stoichiometry, volumetric analysis, redox chemistry, intermolecular forces and solids, as well as electrochemistry and equilibrium chemistry. The organic chemistry component incorporates a systematic examination of the physical properties and reactivity of simple organic compounds (hydrocarbons, alcohols, amines, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives) and stereochemistry as well as hybridisation of carbon and the mechanisms for halogenation of methane and electrophilic addition reactions of alkenes. The module introduces safety and the basic techniques used in the chemistry laboratory. The material covered in the lecture is reinforced in the laboratory practicals.

Module Code

CHEM 1007

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

General chemistry:

SI units, matter and fundamental particles. An overview of Atomic Theory: Atomic theory, electronic configuration (including 1st row transition series), Pauli’s exclusion principle, the Aufbau principle and Hund's rule. Chemical Reactions. The mole, nomenclature of inorganic compounds, chemical reactions, balancing reactions, stoichiometry, limiting reagents, percentage yields and molarity. Periodicity and periodic trends, including atomic size, ionisation potential, electron affinity and electronegativity. Bonding, intermolecular forces and structure of solids, VSEPR. Volumetric analysis of acid/ base and redox reactions calculations. Oxidation and reduction processes, oxidising and reducing agents and balancing redox reactions. Equilibrium – concept, pH scale calculating [H+] and [OH-], Henderson Hasselbach Equation



Organic chemistry:

Examples of applications of organic chemistry to the contexts of programmes students are studying. Introduction to organic chemistry and classification of organic compounds, definitions for homologous series and functional groups. IUPAC nomenclature. Hybridisation in organic compounds, including methane, ethene, ethyne and benzene. Chemical reactions, physical properties and applications of simple organic molecules including the alkanes and alkenes.  Structural isomers. Intermolecular forces and their effect on melting and boiling points of organic compounds. Stereochemistry of organic compounds – conformers and geometric isomers.

Introduction to reaction mechanisms – mechanism for free radical halogenations and for electrophilic addition.

Chemistry, physical properties, reactions, applications and IUPAC nomenclature of alkynes and simple aromatic compounds.

Functional group chemistry, IUPAC nomenclature, physical properties, applications and reactions of compounds containing each of the following functional groups: alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and derivatives, amines and derivatives and haloalkanes.

Optical isomers (polarimeter, chirality, enantiomers (one chiral centre only) and racemic mixture. Biological significance of optical isomerism)

Laboratory Programme:

A selection of the following practicals (or an appropriate alternative) will be carried out.

Video (General introduction and balance, pipette and burette use), Safety Talk

  • Introductory Maths Worksheet.
  • Pipette Error and Burette Barrelling Effect
  • Sand and Salt Separation
  • Gravimetric Analysis of Copper
  • Coffee Distillation (Incorporating Boiling Point Determination)
  • Qualitative Analysis - Inorganic Knowns – Cation Tests
  • Qualitative Analysis - Inorganic Unknowns – Cation tests
  • Video (Pipette, burette and titration) and Volumetric Analysis Maths Lab
  • Standardisation of NaOH Solution
  • Standardisation of HCl with NaOH
  • Analysis of the sodium hydrogen carbonate in baking powder with standardised HCl
  • Analysis of the sodium carbonate in washing soda
  • Determination of the number of water molecules of crystallisation in iron (II) sulphate by volumetric analysis.
  • Recrystallisation and melting points
  • Chemistry of the Alkanes
  • Chemistry of the Alkenes
  • Thin Layer Chromatography of analgesic drugs
  • Preparation of soap (or an alternative reflux set-up)
  • Chemistry of the alcohols and the aldehydes and ketones
  • Revision session for laboratory exam (titrations and cation tests)
  • Determination of heats of neutralisation
  • Preparing a buffer solution

Laboratory Exam

Students will learn through lectures, use of computer based learning software (including online quizzes / problem solving), tutorials (in the form of problem solving workshops) and laboratory practicals.

Self directed learning is encouraged using tutorial questions, use of on-line resources and quizzes

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50