The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Focuses on the foundation concepts of chemistry central to an understanding of the discipline and underpinning concepts in life and environmental sciences. It examines basic chemistry of carbon compounds, illustrates basic physical concepts and explores the periodic table and introduces inorganic compounds and their structures.

This is one of two foundation subjects in the key central scientific discipline of chemistry, providing core knowledge in science (including marine science and sustainable resource management), human nutrition and food technology.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

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

1. discuss the 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 key concepts central to chemistry

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

4. understand and discuss basic concepts and knowledge central to chemical science;

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

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

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

8. 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:

Concepts in Physical Chemistry

  1. Enthalpy, entropy, free energy & calorimetry
  2. Equilibrium
  3. acids & bases
  4. Reaction kinetics

Concepts in Bioorganic Chemistry

  1. carbohydrates & biopolymers
  2. amino acids & proteins
  3. chirality

Inorganic Chemistry

  1. Transition metals & Coordination chemistry
  2. 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), or are familiar with concepts and calculations involving moles. 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

Formal Examination: Written exam covering foundation concepts of chemistry *

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: 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. - Compulsory Attendance 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. - Overall mark of 50 or more for laboratory sessions

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