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BSc/MChem Chemistry with an Integrated Foundation Year / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Chemistry 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code FOUN10001
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course will provide the knowledge and understanding needed to study Inorganic and Physical Chemistry topics on undergraduate degree courses within the Faculty of Science and Engineering.


The aim is to obtain the knowledge and understanding required to study Inorganic and Physical Chemistry topics on undergraduate degree courses within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. 

Teaching and learning methods

24 Lectures / 11 Tutorials / Drop-in Sessions as required 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Develop a detailed understanding of atomic structure and how it leads to electronic configurations, group chemistry and the ultimate organisation of the Periodic Table of the Elements. 

  • Appreciate the existence of isotopes and how instability leads to the phenomenon of radioactivity.  Develop an understanding of the mathematics underpinning radioactive decay. 

  • Classify bonding in the solid state and understand basic solid state characterisation techniques 

  • Develop a detailed understanding of the SI system.  Appreciate the fundamental importance of the correct use of units and develop dimensional analysis techniques. 

  • Develop detailed understanding of the Electromagnetic spectrum including uses of radiation and inter-conversion of quantities. 

  • Study the Gas Laws in detail and understand the fundamental importance of the Kinetic Theory of Gases. 

  • Develop the ability to interpret phase diagrams, understand equilibrium between the phases and the behaviour of matter beyond the critical point and use this information to describe the behaviour of real-world materials. 

  • Most importantly, be able to relate all the above to the real world that you live in.

Intellectual skills

  • Fundamental appreciation of the use and paramount importance of units in both Chemistry and the whole of science. 

  • Arithmetic and algebraic inter-conversion of quantities. 

  • Assimilation and inter-conversion of varied data sets (numerical, tabulated, graphical). 

  • Application of chemical principles and concepts to the solution of numerical problems. 

  • Presentation of arguments and ideas logically.

Practical skills

  • Consideration of health and safety issues for a variety of chemicals applicable to practical risk assessment. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Written assignment (inc essay) 20%

Feedback methods

In-class test marks will be returned promptly

Recommended reading

Burrows, Holman, Parsons, Pilling, Price Chemistry3: Introducing Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry; Oxford University Press, 2009. 

Stroud, Booth Engineering Mathematics 5th Edition; Palgrave McMillan, 2001. 

Housecroft, Sharpe Inorganic Chemistry 4th Edition; Pearson, 2012. 

Atkins, de Paula, Keeler Atkins’ Physical Chemistry 11th Edition; Oxford University Press, 2017. 

Bolgar, Lloyd, North, Oleinikovas, Smith, Keeler Student Solutions Manual to Accompany Atkin’s Physical Chemistry 11th Edition; Oxford University Press, 2018. 

Kumar Quantum, Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality; Icon Books, 2009. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 24
Tutorials 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 63

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jonathan Agger Unit coordinator

Additional notes

80% of unit grade 
2 hour long examination 

20% of unit grade 
Two in-class, open-book, multiple-choice tests, each test counts 10% towards the course unit grade. 
Coursework will take the form of two in class, open-book, multiple-choice tests during the latter half of the course. Each test counts 10% towards your unit grade. As the tests are primarily designed to encourage familiarisation with the course material you are expected to revise thoroughly for them. The questions are mostly numerical problem solving in nature and require understanding of the material rather than simple rote learning. 

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