Physical and Process Chemistry

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Physical and Process Chemistry

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    (CHEM 114, 115) or equivalent background

  • 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

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Describing and understanding chemical systems and reactivity is explored through thermodynamics, kinetics and computational chemistry. Optical spectroscopy provides insight into molecular structure and behaviour. The introduction of surfaces or enhanced interactions between molecules modifies chemical reactivity as explored in surface chemistry and electrolyte behaviour. Real-world examples illustrate chemical applications.

    Course content
    We will explore a number of different topics, all aimed at building upon a framework in which we can describe chemical systems. Thermodynamics and kinetics enable us to determine not only whether a transformation (e.g. a reaction) will occur but at what rate the transformation occurs, and if there is a choice of outcomes from the process which one will predominate. Furthermore kinetics describes the dynamics of the system. Computation chemistry is a tool that helps us to understand how and why molecules exist in the forms that they do and to explain their reactivity. This theory is essential in our understanding of chemistry. Each aspect of this course draws upon mathematical concepts, which will be covered at the start of the course. In the course we will also introduce the foundations of optical spectroscopy, enabling us to understand how spectra such as IR and UV/Vis appear as they do. We will also use many of the fundamental concepts introduced in the other sections of the course to explore the areas of surface chemistry.

    Course learning objectives
    Students who pass this course should be able to:

    • Identify and explain fundamental concepts used to understand and explain chemical phenomena.
    • Derive fundamental equations defining chemical phenomena.
    • Calculate parameters, which may be used to describe the behaviour of a chemical system.
    • Analyse practical situations using mathematical concepts.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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