Organic Reaction Mechanisms - CHEM5040

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


You will study organic reactions and compounds encountered in organic chemistry in depth. In particular, you will look at the organic chemical reaction mechanisms (including aspects of physical organic chemistry) and the reactions of a variety of organic compounds. You will also look at carbon-carbon forming reactions and strategies for synthesising target molecules.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 70
Total Private Study Hours: 180
Total Study Hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Assignment 1 (2.5 hours) – 3%
Assignment 2 (2.5 hours) – 3%
Lab Write-ups (2.5 hours each) – 24%
Examination (2 hours) – 70%

The lab write-ups are compulsory sub-elements and must be passed to complete the module.

Indicative reading

Clayden, J., Greeves, N., and Warren, S.G. (2012). Organic Chemistry, Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smith, M. (2013). March's Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure, Seventh Edition. London: Wiley
Warren, S.G. and Wyatt, P. (2008). Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach, Second Edition. London: Wiley
Willis, C.L. and Wills, M. (1995). Organic Synthesis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of core and foundation scientific physical and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units and conventions to chemistry and forensic science.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of areas of organic chemistry (organic functional groups, organic materials and compounds, synthetic pathways) as applied to chemistry and forensic science.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to organic reaction mechanisms and to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
Recognise and analyse novel problems related to organic reactions and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data.
Recognise and implement good measurement science and practice and commonly used chemistry and forensic laboratory techniques.
Demonstrate confident skills in the safe handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use and to risk assess such hazards.
Demonstrate skills required for the conduct of standard laboratory procedures involved in synthetic and analytical work in relation to organic systems. The systematic and reliable documentation of the above. The operation of standard instrumentation used in the chemical and forensic sciences in relation to organic systems.
Interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements in terms of their underlying significance and the theory underpinning them.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate confident problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
Demonstrate information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including information retrieval through on-line computer searches.
Demonstrate confident interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in team working within a professional environment.
Demonstrate assured 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.
Demonstrate study skills needed for continuing professional development and professional employment.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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