The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

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.

This course focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry and will explore the primary concepts of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, the chemistry of carbon compounds, and principal physical concepts of the discipline.

This is the first of two foundation subjects in the key scientific discipline of chemistry, providing core knowledge in science, engineering, human nutrition and the life sciences.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. Describe and apply foundational concepts in chemistry;

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

3. 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;

4. 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:

Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Concepts

  •  matter, atoms and elements, molecules and compounds, equations and stoichiometry

Foundation Physical Concepts in Chemistry

  •   atomic structure, electron configurations of elements, bonding and structure, gases

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

  •  orbitals and hybridisation, organic nomenclature, saturated compounds - alkanes and cycloalkanes, unsaturated    compounds - alkenes and alkynes, aromatic compounds - benzene, organic functional groups, 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. The completion of HSC Chemistry (or an equivalent) is considered highly desirable but not essential. Students without HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take UON Prep Bridging Courses - PREP7900 Foundation Chemistry, PREP9400 Introduction of Undergraduate Chemistry, or PREP1010 The Secret Life of Matter: Foundation Chemistry Online.

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: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students may only miss 1 laboratory session.
  • Workshop: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - Students may only miss 1 workshop session.
  • 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