Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Chemistry
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn / Summer term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites: Strength in A2 level Chemistry, or equivalent
    Modules excluded: CH1FC1 Fundamental Concepts in Chemistry 1 or CH1FC3 Molecular Studies for the Life Sciences or CH1OR1 Shape, Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry or
    Module version for: 2014/5
    Module Convenor: Dr Andrew Russell
    Summary module description:
    To introduce students to the basic concepts in organic chemistry in order to better appreciate related subjects such as Biochemistry, Biomedical Sciences and Medicinal Chemistry.
    Assessable learning outcomes:
    Students should be able to:
    name simple organic compounds and write molecular formulae from given names; draw diagrams of molecules indicating the hybridisation state of individual atoms, showing the disposition of molecular orbitals; draw curly arrow mechanisms for selected organic reactions; assign the stereochemistry of simple organic compounds; explain the mechanisms of substitution and elimination reactions; perform simple manipulations in the laboratory.
    Additional outcomes:
    Students will gain experience at problem solving during workshops.
    Outline content:
    J E McKendrick (8 lectures) Foundations of Organic Chemistry and Nomenclature
    Atomic structure, orbitals and hybridisation state, electron accounting, drawing structures, representing electron movement, bonding in alkanes, alkenes, alkynes and aromatic molecules, nomenclature.
    A T Russell (5 lectures) Organic Stereochemistry
    This course will continue the discussion of molecular shape and examine the consequence of 2 and 3-dimensional shape upon isomerism to provide a background to the following course on substitution and elimination reactions.
    C. Smith (6 lectures) Substitution and Elimination Reactions
    This course will examine nucleophilic substitution reactions, SN1, SN2 and SNi processes, leaving groups and pKa, and neighbouring group participation. We will discuss how organic molecules can behave as both electrophile and nucleophile in substitution reactions. This course will also consider the synthesis of alkenes via elimination reactions (E1, E2 and E1cB) and will seek to delineate why, in a given situation, elimination or substitution reactions predominate.
    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Two one-hour lectures per week with approximately one workshop/seminar every three weeks. There will be five sessions of practical chemistry. A one-hour revision class in the Summer Term.
    Contact hours:
    Autumn Spring
    Lectures 19
    Seminars 5
    Practicals classes and workshops 20
    Guided independent study 35
    Total hours by term 79.00
    Total hours for module 79.00
    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Method Percentage
    Written exam 75
    Report 25
    Other information on summative assessment:
    Students will attend practical sessions on standard laboratory techniques.
    Relative Percentage of Coursework:
    Practical work and practical report: 25%
    Submission dates: practical reports would normally be submitted the Friday following each Monday practical, detailed instructions will be given by the class leader.
    Formative assessment methods:
    Students will attend workshop/seminars on the material covered in this module. During these, students will work on set problems with members of staff present to give guidance and feedback. Attendance is compulsory.
    The first experiment of the practical course is marked as formative assessment.
    Penalties for late submission:
    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours
    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.
    Reassessment arrangements:
    By re-examination in August only. All practical marks will be carried forward and contribute towards the final resit mark.
    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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