The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry in the context of the life sciences. Environmental aspects are developed when they illustrate key concepts in chemistry.

The subject examines basic atomic and molecular structure, introduces the chemistry of carbon compounds, and illustrates basic physical concepts central to an understanding in the discipline.



  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. discuss basic concepts in chemistry relevant to the professional practice of chemistry, environmental sciences, food technology and human nutrition

2. understand the breadth, established knowledge base and applicability of chemistry

3. appreciate the central role of chemistry in science and technology

4. understand and discuss basic key concepts central to chemical science

5. understand the key elements of chemical language, representations, structures and symbolism

6. display an understanding of the scientific methods employed in chemistry

7. demonstrate elementary skills in laboratory methods applied in analytical and experimental tasks involving chemistry

8. demonstrate skills in the scientific method of conducting, reviewing and reporting experiments

9. display an understanding of the safe practice and responsibilities residing in scientific and (especially) chemically-based work


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


Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Concepts

  1. matter, atoms and elements
  2. molecules and compounds
  3. equations and stoichiometry

Foundation Physical Concepts in Chemistry

  1. atomic structure
  2. electron configurations of elements
  3. bonding and structure
  4. gases

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

  1. orbitals and hybridisation
  2. saturated compounds - alkanes, nomenclature and cycloalkanes
  3. unsaturated compounds - alkenes and alkynes
  4. aromatic compounds - benzene
  5. alkyl halides
  6. alcohols & ethers
  7. alkanals & alkanones
  8. alkanoic acids & derivatives
  9. introduction to IR spectroscopy


This course has similarities to CHEM1010. If you have successfully completed CHEM1010 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

No specific prior knowledge is assumed. However, to facilitate success in the course, it is desirable to have completed prior learning in some science course(s) in senior secondary school (or equivalent alternate study, such as Open Foundation Chemistry or UON Prep Bridging Courses - PREP7900 and PREP9400). The completion of HSC Chemistry (or an equivalent) is considered highly desirable but not essential.

Assessment items

Formal Examination: Formal examination *

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Problem Solving Workshops

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory reports *

Quiz: Mid Semester Quizzes (x2) *

* 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: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - Compulsory attendance of 80% at scheduled laboratories
  • Workshop: Attendance Requirement - Students must attend a minimum number of these sessions. - Compuslory attendance at of 80% at scheduled workshops
  • 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.
  • Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 5 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks