Advanced Synthetic Methods

Module code: CH7002

Module co-ordinator: Dr Sandeep Handa

In this module you will learn how to propose a synthetic plan for any molecule. We will examine the need for selectivity and the approaches by which it can be introduced into the synthesis of target molecules. We will discuss major landmarks in the field of organic synthesis and revise the major synthetically useful reactions in organic chemistry.

Topics covered

  • Functional group reactivity of organic molecules.
  • Regioselectivity, diastereoselectivity and enantioselectivity; how these relate to the design of synthetic routes.
  • Chemo-, regio-, diastereo- and enantio-selective reactions in the synthesis of molecules.
  • Disconnection of target molecules to simply building blocks using retrosynthetic analysis; forward syntheses of target molecules that are both efficient and selective.
  • Possible synthetic routes to almost any molecule.
  • Disconnections based on the carbonyl group as a foundation for synthetic planning.
  • Common atom approach, functional group addition and the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds.


  • 26 one-hour lectures


  • Exam, 3 hours (70%)
  • Individual and group directed learning assessments (30%)