MChem Chemistry with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Coordination Chemistry

Course unit fact file
Unit code CHEM10312
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 21/22 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

Chemistry and physical properties of compounds of the d-block.



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Introductory Chemistry CHEM10101 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Chemists' Toolkit CHEM10520 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


The unit aims to give the students:

(i) an understanding of the basis of coordination chemistry of the 3d, 4d and 5d series of transition metals,

(ii) an ability to interpret and predict chemical structures and reactivity of coordination complexes,

(iii) an ability to interpret and predict electronic properties of coordination complexes.


Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able:

to explain the distinctive features of d-block in relation to the rest of the Periodic Table;

to assign metal oxidation state and dn configuration from the formula of a co-ordination;

to translate the formula of a co-ordination compound into a geometric structure;

to describe bonding in co-ordination complexes via both CF and MO theories;

to describe and to explain solution phase reactivity of co-ordination complexes;

to rationalise stable and unstable dn configurations and geometries for metal ions in different oxidation states;

to describe the differences in behaviour of 3d, and 4d,5d metal ions;

to derive term symbols for dn free-ions and octahedral and tetrahedral geometries;

to interpret and to assign electronic absorption spectra and magnetic measurements of co-ordination complexes;

Teaching and learning methods

Reading, on-line material, reading and problem sessions.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Data acquisition, processing

Application of concepts to rationalise and organise facts

Solving problems by application of concepts to unseen contents.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

Tutors will read material and provide feedback in three tutorials;

PASS sessions through the semester;

Workshops/synchronous sessions (held in lecture slots) will give the students the opportunity to work through examples and receive in-class feedback;

Weekly office hours with lecturers if possible, by email if not;

Periodic open Q&A sessions on-line, if teaching on-line



Recommended reading

• C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe, Inorganic Chemistry, 5th edition, Pearson

• M. T. Weller, T.L. Overton, J.P. Rourke, and F.A.  Armstrong, Inorganic Chemistry, 7th edition, OUP

• M.J. Winter, d-block Chemistry, 2nd edition, Oxford Chemistry Primers, OUP

• F.A. Cotton and G. Wilkinson, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, 3rd Edition, Interscience, chapters 19 and 20.

• J. Keeler and P. Wothers, Chemical Structure and Reactivity, 2nd Edition, OUP, especially Chapters 17 and 21

• M.J. Winter, Chemical Bonding, 2nd edition, Oxford Chemistry Primers, OUP


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 3
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 72

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Eric McInnes Unit coordinator
Richard Winpenny Unit coordinator

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