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Module FXX-0010:
Essential Chemistry

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Lorrie Murphy

Overall aims and purpose

To give students a sufficient chemical background to enable them to confidently study their main chosen subject area.

Course content

This course comprises a balanced introduction to chemistry underpinning to Environmental/Ocean Sciences. Topics covered in the lectures include: atomic structure and bonding, moles and mole calculations, chemical equilibria, acids, bases and pH and buffers, rate of reaction and basic organic chemistry (introduction to functional groups and some important reactions, isomerism, and nomenclature). The course is backed up by problem solving classes.

Dr L Murphy (24 lectures)

RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING - Specified sections of Chemistry: Atoms First Free PDF Text Book From OpenStax

RECOMMENDED READING: Chemistry: human activity, chemical reactivity by Peter Mahaffy et al.

OPTIONAL READING: Chemistry (Palgrave Foundations Series): By Rhobert Lewis and Wynne Evans


Assessment Criteria


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 programme 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.


Excellent (>70%). Knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the programme. 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

Learning outcomes

  1. Students should be able to demonstrate the use of 'the mole' in chemistry.

  2. Students should be able to name organic compounds using IUPAC nomenclature; draw chemical structures using full, condensed and skeletal style, identify main functional groups in organic compounds, and demonstrate knowledge of basic chemical reactions associated with important organic functional groups

  3. Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of acids, bases and salts and measurement of pH

  4. Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of reaction rates

  5. Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of atomic structure, the forms of interactions between atoms and molecules

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private study 76 hours


The module has 24 one-hour lecture slots scheduled at 2 lectures a week and these will contain some problem solving classes. Contact time 24 hours.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy

Subject specific skills

  • PS3 Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
  • SK2 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of fundamental physicochemical principles with the ability to apply that knowledge to the solution of theoretical and practical problems
  • SK3 Gain knowledge of a range of inorganic and organic materials
  • PS16 The ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multi-skilled teams
  • CC1 the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts,concepts,principles and theories relating to theSubject areasCovered in theirProgramme
  • CC2 the ability to applysuch knowledge and understanding to thesolution of qualitative and quantitativeProblems that are mostly of a familiar nature

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: