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MEng Chemical Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Engineering Chemistry

Unit code CHEN10022
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

Part A - General Chemistry.

 - Electronic structure of the atom and periodicity.

- Chemical Bonding (including Lewis notation and VSEPR theory)

- Molecular Structure and Geometry

- Intermolecular Interactions

- Spectroscopy Basics

- Electrochemistry (including corrosion)

- Acid-Base Reactions (including titrations)


Part B - Organic Chemistry.

Fundamental aspects of structural organic chemistry including:

    - Organic chemistry and the chemical industry

    - Bonding in Carbon

    - Drawing and Naming Organic Molecules

    - Functional Groups

    - X-Ray diffraction and molecular structure

    - Isomerism

    - Conjugation, electron delocalisation and resonance structures

    - Intermolecular interactions and physical properties of organic substances


Fundamental aspects of organic chemical reactions including:

    - General aspects of chemical reactions

               - Nucleophilic substitution reactions and mechanisms (SN1 and SN2)

               - Elimination reactions and mechanisms (E1 and E2)

  - General aspects of chemical reactions



The unit aims to:

To build a basic understanding on general chemistry (part A) and organic chemistry (part B) relevant to Chemical Engineering processes. The unit has particular emphasis on atomic and molecular structure, molecular shape, and chemical bonding. An understanding is built up of organic chemistry and organic reaction mechanisms with an appreciation for the influence of acids, bases, redox reactions and pH.

Learning outcomes


Students will be able to:

ILO 1.Derive the electronic structure of atoms and use Lewis notation and VSEPR theory to predict electron arrangement and molecular shape.

ILO 2.Demonstrate understanding of the basics of IR spectroscopy, electrochemical and acid/base reactions.

ILO 3.Use the pKa scale of relative acidities of various acids and the basicity of bases to predict the outcome of simple proton transfer processes.

ILO 4.Name and draw, using various different representations, various organic molecules and their isomers.

ILO 5.Draw, recognise and name 3D structures and isomers of organic molecules.

ILO 6.Predict the effects of polarisation, resonance, conformation, steric interaction and ring-strain on simple organic molecules.

ILO 7.Describe and predict the mechanisms for nucleophilic substitution reactions and elimination reactions and use curly arrows.


Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is by a combination of lectures augmented by problem solving sessions. All the material will be available on Blackboard. Extra e-learning material is available to the students through Blackboard. Quizzes and practice examples as well as discussion forums are available on Blackboard.

Intellectual skills

Linking the ideas from the electronic structure of the atom through to reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry.

Practical skills

Derive and calculate molecular properties and pH values.

Draw and name organic molecules and their isomers.

Predict the outcome of organic reactions.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Participation in the problem solving sessions and a lively discussion of the problems set will help to develops team working skills.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 30%
Written exam 70%

Recommended reading

All reading lists now must be managed through the library tool at:

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 16
Tutorials 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 76

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Aurora Cruz Cabeza Unit coordinator
Christopher Hardacre Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 20/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

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