Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

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.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify chemical reactions required for functional group transformations;

2. Illustrate mechanisms of organic chemical reactions;

3. Design targeted organic synthesis by applying functional group transformations;

4. Independently integrate key concepts as applied to chemical reactions, functional group transformations and organic synthesis;

5. Use advanced practical lab skills in synthetic tasks and identification of organic compounds;

6. Plan, conduct, critically evaluate and report organic synthesis experiments;

7. Work safely and competently in an organic chemistry laboratory setting.


1. Chemical bonding and skeletal rearrangements

a) Frontier molecular orbital theory. HOMO & LUMO

b) Pericyclic reactions. Diels-Alder, 4+2p 2+2p

c) Sigmatropic (Claisen) and electrocylic rearrnagements

d) Amine chemistry

2. Reactive intermediates and metal mediated transformations

a) Reactive intermediates

b) Pd-catalysed couplings - Heck & Suzuki coupling

c) Sonogahira coupling. Metal mediated C-H activiation

d) Grubbs ring closing and cross metathesis

3. Retrosynthesis

a) Synthons, functional group interconversions and protecting group chemistry

b) Retro-synthesis of complex molecules of biological importance


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: There is a compulsory attendance requirement in this course. - 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. - Students must obtain an overall mark of at least 50% in order to pass the course.
  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Students must obtained a mark of at least 40% in order to pass the course.

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

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.