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.

This course focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry and will introduce the chemistry of organic and inorganic compounds, and illustrates basic physical concepts central to an understanding in the discipline.

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



  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Describe and apply foundational concepts in chemistry;

2. Describe and apply foundational physical chemical principles as they apply to kinetics, energy, and acidity;

3. Recognise, identify, name and cite examples of bioorganic compounds, their reactions and characteristics;

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 as appropriate with relevant examples from applicable areas:

Concepts in Physical Chemistry

  •           enthalpy, entropy, free energy & calorimetry, quilibrium, kinetics, acids & bases

Concepts in Bioorganic Chemistry

  •          carbohydrates & biopolymers, amino acids & proteins, chirality

Inorganic Chemistry

  •          transition metals & coordination chemistry, metals in bioorganic systems


This course has similarities to CHEM1020. If you have successfully completed CHEM1020 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Fundamental concepts developed in CHEM1110 are extended in CHEM1120. It is assumed that students undertaking CHEM1120 have taken CHEM1110 (or equivalent). Students with prior learning in high school chemistry (or equivalent alternate study, such as Open Foundation) will have sufficient background to undertake this course.

Assessment items

In Term Test: Final Examination *

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory reports *

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Problem solving workshops

Quiz: Mid Semester Quizzes (2) *

* 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 6 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

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.