AP0403 - Principles of Chemical Structure

What will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn about the theoretical building blocks of structural chemistry and the tools and rules that enable us to predict structure and reactivity in chemical compounds. This is the keystone for much for the language and understanding of chemistry required at a higher level where structural chemistry informs the properties and behaviours of more complex chemical systems such as drugs and medicine, materials and plastics, and many more. The learning journey for this module starts at the atomic level and moves through to the molecular level taking in the following broad topics and their related competencies.

• Atomic and electronic structure, isotopes, electron configurations, the periodic table and the importance of valence electrons
• Bonding theories, covalent and ionic bonding, ionic and covalent structures
• Lewis and VSEPR approaches to structure prediction for main group compounds
• Acid and base chemistry
• Coordination chemistry of the metals, structures and geometries, isomerism, basic reactions
• Organic structures, isomerism and nomenclature
• Organic stereochemistry, geometric and optical isomerism, Cahn-Ingold-Prelog rules and definitions, chirality and the language of stereochemistry.
• Electron movement and structural consequences, resonance and tautomerism
• Basics of structural transformation in organic systems, intro to organic mechanism and curly arrows, electrophiles, nucleophiles and common reaction types and functional groups transformations
• Introduction to organic synthesis, oxidation and reduction, common reagents and pathways.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of scheduled lectures, associated problem solving sessions/tutorials involving the completion and group review of formative tests, through directed and independent study and through the preparation for and the completion of summative assessment tasks based on exam formats. You will be directed towards a variety of learning resources (including e-books) to support your study as well as teaching materials and practice assessments located on the electronic learning platform, Blackboard Ultra.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during and outside lectures and workshops sessions. In addition tutors will respond to questions via the module’s discussion board (or email) at the University’s eLearning Portal (Blackboard Ultra) so that the whole group can benefit.

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 demonstrate the construction, shape and properties of molecules starting from an electronic and atomic perspective.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. You will be expected to demonstrate competency in the application of theoretical knowledge and rules to the solution of problems in structural chemistry.

How will I be assessed?

Please give details of all formative and summative assessment process indicating which MLOs will be addressed and how feedback will be provided.

You will be assessed summatively by two examinations
1) Sem 1 online exam multiple choice questions/answers 1 hour (50%) MLO1.
2) Sem 1 short answer written exam 1.5 hours (50%) MLO 1, 2.

Feedback on component 1 will be electronically and virtually immediate, for component 2 the written and marked/annotated exam paper will be returned with tutor comment following the internal moderation process.

Formative assessment will be staged by means of short practise problem solving/competency checking exercises in the teaching throughout the module. These will be reviewed by the lecturer and discussed in class and students can self-mark their own to establish and reflect on their progress.





Module abstract

This popular module will provide the foundations for an understanding of the structural basis of chemical compounds and the rules that dictate their structure, shape and properties. You will learn and explore the wide variety of chemical structures that exist (or might yet exist) and the rules (and limitations) of their construction to assemble more complex chemical systems that have beneficial uses and application in the real world, for example drugs and medicines, commercial materials, industrial catalysts and reagents, flavourings and additives, and many more. The module will prepare you in the essential language, understanding and theoretical competencies that are required to tackle modules at a higher level and that are a cornerstone of the scientific community, and thus it will empower you in the development of your academic and employability skill sets. The main strand of delivery will be lectures and problem solving workshops/practice and you will be assessed by 2 short examinations (one online multiple choice 50%) half way through this module and a second short answer written exam (50%) at its conclusion. Preparation for these exams will be assisted by regular formative in-class exercises and directed study. This module is a key core feature of the accreditation requirements of the Chemistry programmes it is taken within.

Course info

UCAS Code F410

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time 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 starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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