Introductory Organic and Inorganic Chemistry

Module code: NT2008

Organic materials and compounds all contain carbon atoms. They comprise most known chemicals, form the basis for all life on Earth and have a huge amount of commercial applications. This module will introduce you to the basic principles and theories behind organic chemistry, such as:

  • How to recognise functional groups, anticipate their reactivity and interconversions, and the reagents required for these transformations
  • Identifying and explaining the relationships between isomers and conformers of organic molecules.
  • Rationalising and predicting reactivity based on curly arrow mechanisms and diagrams
  • How structure and bonding control the outcome and rate of organic reactions
  • The differences between a variety of reaction mechanisms including nucleophilic substitution, elimination reactions, reactions of alkenes, reactions of carbonyls and electrophilic aromatic substitution
  • Predicting and interpreting spectroscopic data for organic molecules whose structures are known; deduce structures of molecules using spectroscopic and analytical data

Additionally, during this module, you'll explore inorganic chemistry, which deals with inorganic compounds; namely, those not based on carbon. It incorporates key studies of the properties and reactivities of the majority of elements and the functions of metals in biological systems. This module will introduce you to some of the core principles and theories behind inorganic chemistry. These fundamental ideas will be used in future modules to, amongst other things: explore the industrial applications of inorganic compounds as catalysts for use in both the petrochemical and pharmaceutical sectors, understand the role they play in biology, and explore both their therapeutic and diagnostic applications in modern medicine.

Topics covered

  • Functional groups and their reactivity.
  • Isomers and conformers of organic molecules
  • How structure and bonding controls of outcomes and rates of organic reactions
  • Mechanisms of chemical reactions
  • Molecule structure prediction from spectroscopic data
  • Oxidation states of metals
  • Bonding in transition metal complexes
  • Geometry of complexes
  • Solid state structures

Learning

  • 64 hours of lectures
  • 12 hours of tutorials
  • 10 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 214 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • 2 exams, 2 hours each (60%)
  • Coursework (40%)