Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Often referred to as a 'Central Science', Chemistry is the study of chemicals and chemical processes that underpin physical and biological phenomena. Chemistry impacts and interacts with our lives on a daily basis, including the food we eat, the medicine we take, and the energy we use.

CHEM1020 is the second of two foundation subjects in the key central scientific discipline of chemistry, providing core knowledge and skills, useful in science, engineering and life sciences.

In CHEM1020, students will continue to explore the primary concepts of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, the chemistry of carbon compounds, and principal physical concepts of the discipline.



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. describe and apply foundational concepts in inorganic chemistry;

2. recognise, identify, name and cite examples of organic compounds, their functional groups, their reactions and spectrometric characteristics;

3. describe and apply foundational physical chemical principles as they apply to kinetics, energy, acidity and electrochemistry;

4. apply the scientific method, namely, employ systematic observation, measurement and experimentation, and the formulation, testing and modification of hypotheses in the conduct and reporting of experiment results;

5. implement safe laboratory practice, including wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment, safe handling of chemicals and laboratory equipment and safe disposal of chemicals according to the relevant safety data sheets (SDS).


The course involves study of the following topics, illustrated where appropriate with relevant examples from applicable areas:  

1. Concepts in Inorganic Chemistry: 

  1. the Periodic Table and inorganic chemistry
  2. elements and the periodic table
  3. alkali, alkaline earth and main group chemistry
  4. structure of inorganic solids
  5. transition metals and coordination chemistry
  6. bonding and molecular structure in inorganic compounds

 2. Concepts in Physical Chemistry II: 

  1. reaction kinetics
  2. acids and bases
  3. entropy and free energy
  4. electrochemistry


3. Concepts in Organic Chemistry II: 

  1. introduction to functional group chemistry
  2. spectroscopy
  3. haloalkanes
  4. alcohols
  5. amines;
  6. aldehydes and ketones (alkanals and alkanones)
  7. carboxylic acids and their derivatives


Assumed knowledge

The completion of CHEM1010 (Introductory Chemistry I) (or equivalent) is considered highly desirable. Students without this level of knowledge are highly recommended to read the advice given under Assumed Knowledge for CHEM1010, Introductory Chemistry I.

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Written exam covering foundation concepts of chemistry

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Written or Online Laboratory Reports *

Quiz: Online quizzes

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

General Course Requirements:

  • Laboratory: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students must attend and submit assessment items for seven (7) out of the eight (8) laboratory sessions
  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course. - Minimum of 7 experiments out of 8.
  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must achieve a pass mark of 50% or higher in this assessment item to pass the course

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 9 Weeks

First week of laboratory will be induction.


Face to Face On Campus 36 hour(s) per Term Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.