The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


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.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2019

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 a greater understanding of the range and reactions of organic compounds

3. To develop an understanding of the processes of synthesis and mechanisms of reactions in organic chemistry

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

5. To provide an understanding of the concepts of chemoselectivity and stereoselectivity of organic reactions

6. To provide laboratory experience with some methods employed in organic synthesis

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


The course involves study of:

  1. Functional Group Chemistry:
  • reactions for functional group transformation
  • nucleophilic addition and substitution at carbonyl groups
  • oxidation-reduction reactions
  1. Organic Reaction Mechanisms:
  • mechanisms for organic reactions
  • bond-forming and skeletal rearrangement reactions
  • chemoselectivity and stereoselectivity
  1. Synthesis:
  • systematic approaches to synthesis
  • protecting groups
  • multistep synthesis and illustrative examples


Pre-requisite - Successful Completion of CHEM2310.

Assessment items

Report: Laboratory Reports *

Written Assignment: Written Assignments

Formal Examination: Final 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

Contact hours



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


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


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