Module FXX-1103:
Foundation of Chemistry 2

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Leigh Jones

Overall aims and purpose

To provide a balanced integrated introduction to Chemistry (as a follow on from Chemistry 1) at a first year undergraduate level for students studying all chemistry programmes.

Course content

Transition metal chemistry: (12h) Introduction to complexes and ligand types, coordination geometries and isomerism. Reactivity of aqua ions with NH3, OH-, and Cl-. Stability and formation constants. Qualitative description of complexes as labile or inert. The chelate effect (qualitative as an entropic effect) and polydentate ligands. Crystal field theory and ligand field theory applied to octahedral, square planar and tetrahedral complexes. OSSE. Consequences of spliting of d-orbitals - magnetic and optical properties. High spin and low spin complexes. Paramagnetism and spin-only formula. Colour of complexes and the spectrochemical series.

Solid state structures: (12h) Packing of solids (close packed and non-closed packed structures). Metallic structures - ccp, hcp, bcc. Crystal structures of simple ionic compounds AB (ZnS, NaCl, CsCl) and AB2 (CaF2, TiO2,SiO2) systems. Radius ratio rule. Miller indices, crystal planes, and Bragg's Law. Polarizabilty of ions (Fajan's Rules) and giant covalent structures.

Thermodynamics: (18h) Gas laws, expansion of gases under reversible and irreversible conditions. First law of thermodynamics, heat capacities, enthalpy, Derive expressions for thermodynamic (TD) quantities under reversible, irreversible, isothermal and adiabatic conditions. Thermochemistry Spontaneity and Entropy -> 2nd law of TD. Derive expressions for entropy under reversible, irreversible, isothermal and adiabatic conditions. 3rd law of TD, free energy - Gibbs and Helmholtz. Relationship between TD quantities, Gibbs energy changes with pressure, temperature, Define chemical potential. Chemical potential for multi-component and open systems, chemical equilibrium, Phase transformations, Mixtures.

Kinetics: (6h) Relation to TD, definitions - reaction rate, reaction order, rate constant, molecularity. Derivation of 0th, 1st and 2nd order rate laws. Pseudo-1st order rns. Half lifes - 1st order and 2nd order. Temperature dependence of rate constant - Arrhenious expression, collision theory of bimolecular gas phase reactions. Extensions of the approach - steric effects, harpoon mechanism. Liquid phase processes.

Organic chemistry 2 ( (24h)

Dr. Patrick Murphy (12 hrs): Organic reaction mechanisms. Substitution and elimination reactions. Core carbonyl chemistry, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and their derivatives. Functional group interconversions. Structure and bonding, properties, reactions acidity, enols and enolates, bromination, esterification, Grignard reactions.

Dr. Martina Lahmann (18 hrs): Revision of basic bonding concepts in organic chemistry and functional groups. Reaction mechanisms (including curly arrow mechanisms), classification of organic reactions (SN1, SN2, E1 and E2, addition, oxidation, reduction, electrophilic aromatic substitution) and substance classes (halogenalkanes, alkenes, alkynes and simple aromatic compounds) will be discussed. Stereochemistry of organic reactions. Isomerism and stereochemistry. Terminology (isomers, configuration and conformation). Cylcohexane (drawing) and other cyclic conformers. Cis-trans and E/Z. One stereogenic centre, optical rotation, ee. CIP-rules, enantiomers, racemates, diastereoisomers, meso compounds. Diastereoselective reactions, Fischer projections. Compulsory reading: Chapter 18-22, Chemistry3 (3rd edition or equivalent chapters in any other edition).

Course Team: Dr M A Beckett (12 lectures), Dr K Hughes (12 lectures), Dr J Thomas (12 lectures), Dr P J Murphy (6 lectures), Dr M Lahmann (18 Lectures), Dr L Jones (12 lectures), Employability (1 lecture - non credit bearing). RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS ESSENTIAL READING 1. Chemistry3 Burrows et al. Publisher Open University Press (OUP) 2. Periodic Table at a Glance, M.A. Beckett and A.W.G. Platt, Publishes: Blackwell, 2006 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, 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


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. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of some illustrative organic reaction mechanisms discussed, including the ability to produce a curly arrow mechanism, the ability to classify reactions as additions, nucleophilic substitution (SN1 vs SN2), elimination (E1 vs E2), oxidation, reduction, electrophilic aromatic substitution and elimination reactions, an the ability to use some basic functional group interconversions in a prompted situation.

  2. The student should be able to demonstrate knowledge of ligand substitution and acidity reactions of transition metal aqua ions and a more detailed understanding of the origin of the magnetic and optical properties of transition-metals

  3. The student should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the concepts of 3D solid state structures, including packing of spheres, and the ability to relate this to the structures adopted by metals and simple ionic compounds.

  4. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of isomerism and basic stereochemistry, recognise basic functional groups, and start using introduced terminology in the correct context (e.g. nucleophile, electrophile, substitution, elimination etc).

  5. The student should be able to demonstrate the capability to interpret chemical and physical phenomena encountered in everyday life using the principles of thermodynamics.

  6. The module the student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the effects of temperature and concentration of reactants on reaction rates and to be able to write and use simple rate equations.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Examination 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy


The module has 72 hours of lectures scheduled at 6 hours per week. Contact time 72 hours

Private study

Private study 128 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
  • SK4 Demonstrate, with supporting evidence, their understanding of synthesis, including related isolation, purification and characterisation techniques
  • SK6 Develop an awareness of issues within chemistry that overlap with other related subjects
  • 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

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module