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BSc Molecular Biology with a Modern Language / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 22/23 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact. Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.
CHEM10021 provides a description of: atomic structure and molecular structure using various models for chemical bonding; the structure and properties of aromatic and heteroaromatic molecules; the phenomena of electron delocalisation (resonance); to explain aspects of conformation, isomerism and chirality within molecules; to provide an introduction to the thermodynamics of solutions; to cover key concepts in chemical reaction kinetics and redox processes.
Students taking this unit should have A-Level Chemistry, or an A-grade in Chemistry at AS level as a minimum.
The unit aims to outline the basic principles of chemistry that will be relevant to an understanding of key biological molecules and biochemical processes. The unit continues in semester 2 (see CHEM10022).
On successful completion of the course students should be able to:
Describe and explain:
• the nature of matter and the formation of chemical bonds
• how the nature of molecular and hybrid orbitals in molecules dictates the shape and chemical properties of the molecules
• the significance of the various types of isomerism possible within molecular structures
• the different models for chemical bonding
• aromaticity and the properties of aromatic and heteroaromatic compounds
• chemical kinetic concepts such as reaction rates, rate laws, rate constants and activation energies.
• the significance of electron delocalisation (resonance) on the chemical properties of simple molecules
• and apply the laws of thermodynamics
• the significance of oxidation and reduction processes
• chemical kinetic concepts in calculations to determine reaction rates, rate laws, rate constants and activation energies.
• knowledge of atomic and molecular structure gained to deduce the likely electronic properties of a molecule
• knowledge of atomic and molecular structure gained to deduce the likely three-dimensional structure of a molecule
• chemical mechanistic ‘curly’ arrows to indicate the delocalisation of electrons within molecules and generate different resonance forms
• the appropriate chemical and biochemical terminology to communicate accurately and concisely chemical information
• the appropriate chemical structure drawings to communicate accurately and concisely chemical information
Understanding the nature of matter
Bonding and Molecular Structure
• Understanding the nature of matter (development of atomic theory)
• Orbitals, electronic structure, periodicity
• Chemical bonding I: Lewis structures
• Molecular geometry (VSEPR), bond polarity
• Chemical bonding II: orbital hybridisation (carbon, nitrogen and oxygen)
• Chemical bonding III: molecular orbitals
• Electron delocalization (resonance) with biologically relevant examples
• Understanding the phenomena of aromaticity in organic molecules
Conformation, Isomerism and Chirality
• Representing organic molecules as chemical structures
• Rotation about single bonds
• Conformations of simple molecules
• Stereoisomerism and chirality
Energetics, rates and redox processes
• Physical states of matter
• First law of thermodynamics: work, heat, internal energy, enthalpy and Hess’s law
• Second law of thermodynamics: entropy
• Gibbs energy, chemical equilibrium, equilibrium constant, reaction quotient
• Dependence of equilibrium constant on temperature
• Experimental chemical kinetics
• Rates of reaction: instantaneous rate, rate law, rate constant, reaction order
• Integrated rate laws: first order reactions, second order reactions, half lives
• Dependence of rate constant on temperature, Arrhenius equation, catalysis
• Redox processes: oxidation, reduction, electrochemical series
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Communication skills: Communicating complex information using the appropriate chemical and biochemical terminology and chemical structure drawings.
Problem-solving skills: Applying chemical principles to deduce the likely chemical and physical properties of new molecules.
Students can submit questions, receive feedback and discuss any of the course content during the weekly Q&A sessions with the lecturers.
Written feedback is also provided for online quizzes and practice exercises as the unit progresses.
Recommended course books:
P. Y. Bruice, Organic Chemistry, 6th (or 7th) edition, Prentice-Hall, 2011 (2014 for 7th edn.).
P. W. Atkins, J. De Paula, Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2011
Other recommended reading:
P. W. Atkins, J. De Paula, Elements of Physical Chemistry, 6th edition, Oxford University Press, 2012.
F. A. Carey, Organic Chemistry, 4th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2000.
M. J. Winter, Chemical Bonding (Oxford Chemistry Primer, no. 15), Oxford University Press, 1994.
W.G. Richards, P.R. Scott, Energy levels in atoms and molecules (Oxford Chemistry Primer, no. 26), Oxford University Press, 1994.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Work based learning||67|
|Independent study hours|
|Lu Shin Wong||Unit coordinator|
Suggested Study Budget:
Lecture-Listening & making notes-16h
Online quizzes-Solving/answering questions-12h
Problem sheets / exercises-Solving/answering questions-10h
Problem-based learning-Discussing questions from lectures, quizzes or exercises; receiving feedback-12h
Reading-From recommended reading list-20h
Revision-Re-read notes, re-watch lectures, practice past years’ exam papers-25h
Exam-Multiple choice exam-2h