Module Overview

Natural Organic Chemistry

This modules builds on foundation chemistry modules to develop a better knowledge of organic chemistry as it relates to the physiochemical properties and naturally occurring reactions of importance in the food, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. While explaining why chemistry is an integral activity for addressing social, economic, and environmental problems in these sectors. 

Module Code

CHEM 2027

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

 Review of the structure and bonding of biologically important functional groups: carboxylic acids, alcohols, esters, amines, Z and E alkenes, aldehydes, ketones, aromatics 2 Physiochemical properties of biomolecules Intermolecular interactions of functional groups: H-bonding, electrostatic, pistacking/aromatic/charge transfer, hydrophobic interactions boiling properties/vapour pressure (molecular weight and intermolecular interactions) solubility properties of molecules colloids/emulsions/surface tension membrane formation (lipid bylayers: intermolecular interactions, hydrophobic vs hydrophilic) crystallisation (polymorphs) optical activity/chirality (polarisation) conjugation 3 Chemical reactivity Reaction mechanisms (substitution and elimination) Rates of reaction, catalysis including enzyme. 3 Natural chemical reactions of biomolecules Condensation and hydrolysis reactions and relationship: ester, amide, glycoside Saponification reaction Free radical/chain reactions Organic oxidation and reduction polymerisation (polysaccharides) Chelation Green Chemistry Philosophy, concepts and tools of green and sustainable chemistry.  12 principles of green chemistry. 

Indicative Labs:

The Synthesis of Paracetamol

Stereochemistry worksheet

Sodium Borohydride reduction of

Addition of A Halogen To An Alkene – Synthesis of Stilbene Dibromide

Synthesis and isolation of Benzocaine



Formal lectures using all available visual aids eg. Virtual Learning Environment, whiteboard, overheads, and Powerpoint and also practical demonstrations where possible. These lectures will be supplemented by tutorial,

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40