The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Of the one hundred plus elements that are known, some 80% are metals, many of which are not only important to biological life itself, but also shape our lives through continuing advances in technology. This course explores aspects of inorganic chemistry with a focus on metal compounds, their structures and their reactions, as well as on their many applications, such as in industry and medicine. From coordination chemistry to organometallic chemistry, the chemistry of the transition metals, lanthanides and actinides are detailed, involving treatment of synthetic methods, structure and structure determination, chemical reactivity and the application of modern spectroscopic methods for the characterization of materials.

The course forms part of the accredited degree program required for Membership of Royal Australian Chemical Institute Inc. and Chartered Chemist qualifications.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 1 - 2014.

Learning outcomes

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

1. To develop expertise relevant to the professional practice of chemistry

2. To provide an understanding of the range and reactivities of compounds formed by metals

3. To develop an understanding of the processes of synthesis and structures of coordination and organometallic compounds

4. To develop an understanding of the role of the chemist in synthesis of new compounds and study of their reactions

5. To provide an understanding of the theory and operation of advanced spectroscopic methods employed for structure elucidation in inorganic chemistry

6. To provide laboratory experience with some methods employed in spectroscopic analysis of inorganic compounds

7. To extend skills in procedures applied in synthetic tasks and identification of inorganic compounds

8. To expand skills in the scientific method of planning, developing, conducting, reviewing and reporting experiments

9. To extend understanding of the professional and safety responsibilities residing in working with metal compounds


The development of modern synthetic materials, whether they be new drugs for the treatment of cancer or for the latest synthetic fabric, requires a knowledge of molecular organic synthesis. Students will develop pre-existing skills (from CHEM2310) to a higher level examining a range of synthetic transformations for functional group transformations, carbon-carbon bond formation and skeletal rearrangements, emphasising the chemo- and stereo-selectivity and mechanism of these reactions. A logical, applied approach backed up by laboratory work will be utilised to emphasise key concepts. Students will also be introduced to the application of molecular organic synthesis to biological systems. Selected literature classics of chemical synthesis will also be included.

The course forms part of the accredited degree program required for Membership of Royal Australian Chemical Institute Inc. and Chartered Chemist qualifications.

This course has compulsory course components and students must:

  1. must participate in and submit laboratory reports for the established minimum requirements and obtain a minimum passing grade of 50%; and
  2. obtain a minimum passing grade of 40% in the final, end-of-semester examination for the course.

In order to participate in this course, students must complete a compulsory Health and Safety requirement. Students will receive full information on this compulsory component in the course outline provided by the school.

Assumed knowledge

Successful completion of CHEM2310

Assessment items

Report: Research Report

Report: Laboratory Reports *

Formal Examination: Formal Examination *

* 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. - All Scheduled Laboratory Sessions
  • Laboratory: Induction Requirement - Students must attend and pass the induction requirements before attending these sessions.

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Report: Attempt / Submission Requirement - Students must attempt/submit this assessment item to pass the course.
  • Report: Pass Requirement - Students must pass this assessment item to pass the course. - all submitted and overall mark of 50 or more to pass courses
  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Mark of 40 or more