Chemistry for the Life Sciences I


Focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry in the context of the life sciences. In addition, environmental aspects are developed, especially as 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 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

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

2. To develop an understanding of the breadth, established knowledge base and applicability of chemistry

3. To establish an appreciation of the central role of chemistry in science and technology

4. To develop an understanding and knowledge of basic key concepts central to chemical science

5. To provide an understanding of the elements of chemical language, representations, structures and symbolism

6. To provide introductory experience of the scientific methods employed in chemistry

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

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

9. To develop some 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:

  1. Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Concepts


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


  1. Foundation Physical Concepts in Chemistry


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


  1. 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

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). The completion of HSC Chemistry (or an equivalent) is considered highly desirable but not essential.

Assessment Items

Formal Examination: Formal examination

Quiz: Online tutorial quiz

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
  • 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 Full Term


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


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term