Module FXX-1101:
Foundation of Chemistry 1

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Lorrie Murphy

Overall aims and purpose

The aims of this module are:-

(i) to provide a balanced integrated introduction to Chemistry at a first year undergraduate level for students studying all chemistry programmes,

(ii) to provide a suitable introductory chemistry service module for students (with A2 level or equivalent chemistry background) taking cognate science degree programmes.

Course content

Structure and bonding (12 lectures) - - Breakdown of classical mechanics, Bohr model of the atom, problems with Bohr's model, wave nature of particles, L de Broglie wave/particle duality, particle in a 1D box, extension to 2D, 3D. Born interpretation of the wavefunction, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Hydrogen atom (3 quantum numbers) and inclusion of spin, multi-electron atoms, radial distribution function. Pauli exclusion principle, bonding in diatomics, evaluating dipole moments.

Electronic configuration, Covalent and Ionic bonding, Periodic Table and periodicity, shapes of molecules, and (12 workshops plus pre-workshop self study) -: Electronic configuration, covalent and ionic bonding overview. Periodic properties including atomic and ionic radli, ionization energies, electron gain energies and electronegativities. Review of s, p and d-block chemistry. Shapes of molecules by VSEPR.

Organic chemistry (12 lectures). Nomenclature and functional groups. The structure of organic molecules (chains, rings and three dimensional shapes), Drawing organic structures. Bonding theory and its relationship to the shape of molecules, hybridisation and bonding of alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. Organic acids and bases, Nucleophiles and electrophiles. Synthesis: the nature of a synthetic reaction. Linking theory to practice, maths in organic chemistry. Extractions and separations. An introduction to the chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, polyalkenes, benzene and alkynes.

Course Team: Dr Dr K Hughes (12 h), Dr L Murphy (12 h), Dr P Murphy (12 h), (Employability x 1hr - non credit bearing). RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING 1. Chemistry3 Burrows et al. Publisher Open University Press (OUP) RECOMMENDED READING 1. Inorganic Chemistry, Housecroft and Sharpe, Publisher: Pearson 2. Physical Chemistry P.W. Atkins, and J. De Paula, Publisher: OUP,. 3. Organic Chemistry, J. Claydon, N. Greeves, S. Warren and P. Wothers, Publisher: OUP, 4. Periodic Table at a Glance, M.A. Beckett and A.W.G. Platt, Publishes: Blackwell, 2006 Most Recent editions of these as they are regularly updated. SPECIFIC RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS It is expected that students purchase essential textbooks.

Assessment Criteria


Excellent (>70%). Knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the module. Conceptual understanding is outstanding. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved with efficiency and accuracy; problem-solving procedures are adjusted to the nature of the problem. Performance in transferable skills is generally very good.


Threshold (40%). Knowledge and understanding of the content covered in the course is basic; Problems of a routine nature are generally adequately solved; Transferable skills are at a basic level.


Good (~60%). Knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the module and shows good evidence of enquiry beyond this. Conceptual understanding is good. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved in a logical manner; solutions are generally correct and acceptable. Performance in transferable skills is sound and shows no significant deficiencies.

Learning outcomes

  1. The student should be able to demonstrate a preliminary understanding of the principles of quantum mechanics in the context of atoms, molecules, and elementary understanding of modern molecular orbital theory.

  2. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the difference between covalent and ionic bonding, bonding theory, hybridization and the shapes of simple inorganic and organic covalent molecules.

  3. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of trends in chemical and physical properties in relation to the position of the element within the Periodic Table

  4. The student should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of nomenclature, functional groups, the structure and chemistry of simple organic molecules and simple synthetic principles.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Examination 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 64

The module has 36 hours total contact time (3 hrs per week) plus Employability 2 hrs (non credit bearing). 24 hours are lectures (Physical and organic chemistry),


Flipped Lecture workshops (inorganic chemistry section only)- students are expected to do specified pre-workshop activities via Blackboard before participating in workshops.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: