Thermodynamics and Kinetics - CHEM5310

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


The speed (kinetics) and energetics (thermodynamics) of a reaction are of central importance in chemistry. Here, we use thermodynamics and kinetics to predict whether a particular reaction would take place and its likely product yield. We also cover equilibrium constants, electrochemical cells, colligative properties, including elevation and depression of melting and boiling points, zero, first, second and third order reaction kinetics and statistical thermodynamics. Experiments are included to help to cement understanding. (Lab component.)


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 90
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Assignment 1 (3 hours) – 9%
Assignment 2 (3 hours) – 6%
Laboratory Report (3 hours) – 25%
Examination (2 hours) – 60%

Indicative reading

P.W Atkins, Physical Chemistry
R. Chang, Physical Chemistry for the Chemical and Biological Sciences

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:
Understand and apply basic concepts in chemical thermodynamics.
Predict the feasibility of a chemical reaction.
Recognise the links between the macroscopic thermodynamic and microscopic statistical viewpoints.
Understand electrochemical reactions and processing.
Understand molecular reaction dynamics.
Perform calculations using thermodynamic data.
Perform practical experiments to gain thermodynamic information.
Operate standard chemical instrumentation, record data, evaluate observations and errors.
Present and interpret information graphically.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Have a knowledge and understanding of:
Problem-solving skills, an ability to formulate problems in precise terms and to identify key issues, and the confidence to try different approaches in order to make progress on challenging problems.
Analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.
Personal skills – the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people.


  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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