Fundamental Organic Chemistry for Physical Scientists - CH309

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 3)
Autumn 4 15 (7.5) DR S Holder checkmark-circle


This module reintroduces the basic concepts of organic chemistry that are vital in understanding pharmaceutical and biological substances. You will study the basics of the chemistry of carbon, the element critical to underpinning life, including its basic building blocks and functional groups. We also cover the mechanisms by which basic organic reactions including elimination, substitution and oxidation processes occur. This module concludes with studying aromatic compounds and chirality, which crucially influence how organic molecules interact within living systems.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

24 hours of Lectures,
10 hours of drop-in sessions/workshops,
2 hours revision session.


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coursework: 40%; Examination: 60%.

Indicative reading

Compulsory reading:
McMurry, Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry, 7th Edition, 2011 (ISBN-10 1439049718).
Earlier editions entirely acceptable. It is expected and necessary that you read this textbook as an accompaniment to all lecture notes and coursework for CH309.

  • Recommended for all students but particularly Chemistry and Forensic Chemistry Students:
    Solomons, Fryhle, Snyder, S. A, Organic Chemistry 11th Ed., 2013 (ISBN-13 9781118133576, 9781118323793).Earlier editions entirely acceptable.

  • Recommended for any students new to, or uncertain about, chemistry:
    A V Jones, M Clemmet, A Higton, E Golding, Access to Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry, 1999 (ISBN 0 85404 564 3).

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding of core and foundation scientific physical and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units and conventions to chemistry and forensic science.

  • Knowledge and understanding of areas of organic chemistry (organic functional groups, organic materials and compounds, synthetic pathways) as applied to chemistry and forensic science.
  • An ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to Chemistry and to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
  • An ability to recognise and analyse novel problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data.
  • Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
  • Numeracy skills, including such aspects as correct use of units, significant figures, decimal places etc.
  • Information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including information retrieval through on-line computer searches.
  • Time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working. Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support life-long learning.
  • Study skills needed for continuing professional development and professional employment.


    1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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