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.

Module Code

CHEM 1009

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)

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

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

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination80
Other Assessment(s)20