Bonds, Molecules and Cells

Module code: NS1002

In this module you will explore the structure of microscopic objects from cells to molecules to atoms and begin to appreciate the connection between the structure of matter on the microscale and related macroscopic properties.

For example you will consider how the properties of solids, liquids and gases can be rationalised by considering the behaviour of their constituent particles. At the smallest scale the behaviour of particles is governed by quantum mechanics which controls the properties of atoms and their ability to bond together to form molecules.

Using a problem based on representations of organic processes, you will create a wiki which explains how each concept contributes to the existence of life.

Topics covered

  • Atomic structure
  • Shapes of molecules
  • Hybridisation
  • Molecular orbital theory
  • Proteins, fats and carbohydrates
  • Cell structure and function
  • Isomerism
  • Intermolecular forces
  • Phases of matter
  • Foundations of solid state chemistry
  • Band theory and electrical conductivity
  • Gas laws
  • Kinetic theory and speeds of gases
  • Chemical equilibrium
  • Acids and bases
  • Introduction to quantum mechanics
  • Particle in a box


  • 10 hours of lectures
  • 14 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of tutorials
  • 118 hours of independent study


  • Exam, 1.5 hours (40%)
  • Coursework (60%)