AP0414 - Elements of Physical Chemistry

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the physical aspects of chemistry through a study of topics in

• the gas laws,
• equilibrium,
• acids and bases reactions,
• electrochemistry,
• phase equilibria,
• basic reaction kinetics,
• thermodynamics
• atomic spectroscopy.

Because much of this material requires a solid mathematical understanding it will be supported by the treatment of the essential numerical methods (units, statistics, algebra, trigonometry, geometry and calculus).

You will also extend your learning in physical chemistry through physical chemistry practical laboratory experiments around the general theme of weak acids. These experiments will involve spectrophotometry and conductivity/pH measurements. You will apply aspects of the physical chemistry theory and numerical methods to the handling and interpretation of data that you obtain from these experiments.

How will I learn on this module?

Lecture sessions will be devoted to explaining and expanding upon pre-lecture material and working through numerical problems. Time outside of the class will be devoted to further problem solving exercises. Laboratory work will be based upon aspects of the lecture material in physical chemistry and will apply your enhanced numeracy skills to the treatment of experimental data.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

All lecture materials will be made available on the e-learning portal. The problem solving exercises will be an integral part of the learning on this module and you will be taken through examples in class and given exercises to do during class time with guidance as well as independently outside of the teaching sessions.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1.You will be expected to understand and apply physical chemistry principles to predict behaviour and properties through problem solving exercises and laboratory experiments.
2.Your numeracy skills will be developed to enable you to deal confidently with experimental data and understand aspects of the ‘language’ of physical chemistry at higher levels.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3.Your scientific numeracy skills will be developed as well as your knowledge of physical chemistry and its applications.
4.You will learn to work accurately and safely in the laboratory.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: (continuous 75%) open book tests (x 5) throughout the two semesters which will be a combination of multiple choice/on-line/written format. MLO 1-3

Component 2: Laboratory reports x 3 (25%). The MLOs will be assessed specifically in relation to laboratory experiments and treatment/analysis of data obtained in this way. MLO 1-4.

Feedback will be provided either instantly by electronic assessment or at the next scheduled class when the answers to a test will be discussed. Laboratory reports will be returned electronically within the usual period.


A-level standard chemistry



Module abstract

This module will develop your understanding of physical Chemistry through lectures, problem solving and laboratory work. This will be supported by the development of mathematical and numeracy skills. All material will be placed on the e-Learning Portal (eLP) and assessment will be primarily done via the eLP. Competence in numeracy and the ability to work accurately and safely in the lab is an attractive prospect for an employer and this module will develop your skills in this area.

Course info

UCAS Code F101

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years Full Time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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