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Unit information: Core Concepts in Chemistry for Chemical Physics in 2021/22

Unit name Core Concepts in Chemistry for Chemical Physics
Unit code CHEM20009
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Fox
Open unit status Not open

Either MATH11004 Maths 1A20 or PHYS10009 Introductory Mathematics for Physics

CHEM10013 Building Blocks of Chemistry



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

We will develop a thorough and interconnected understanding of core chemistry through key themes for Chemical Physics. In the core Year 1 unit (Building Blocks of Chemistry) these were Structure, Change, and Analysis. For Year 2 Chemical Physics, we will develop the themes of Structure and Analysis (but not Change) in the following components:

  • Introduction
  • Orbitals
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Macromolecules

The aims are the same as those for the corresponding Core Concepts in Chemistry unit, although the body of knowledge is clearly smaller.

  1. Apply chemistry knowledge and understanding
  2. Evaluate sources to find chemical information
  3. Analyse and interpret data and solve problems creatively in chemistry and wider contexts
  4. Communicate chemistry

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit students will be able to:

  • Apply core chemical physics concepts in describing topics and areas of current research
  • Choose models to provide explanations to chemical physics problems
  • Find information to explore a field of research; summarise information gathered from a range of literature sources
  • Use synoptic knowledge, understanding of theoretical models and data analyses to solve chemical physics problems in real-world contexts
  • Synthesise seemingly different areas of knowledge in explaining chemical physics problems
  • Communicate complex chemical physics ideas in both written and oral formats.

Teaching Information

We aim to use a blended learning approach involving a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous lecture, online resources, individual student led enquiry and team-based student led enquiry. Running vertically through the strands are a range of capstone/cornerstone topics: How Things Work, Plastic Fantastic?, Viruses, Climate Emergency, Building for the Future, Aerosols, Health. The synoptic questions that will be use in the end-of-year exam will come exclusively from these capstone/cornerstone components.

Summary of approximate student workload:

Self-study and continuous assessment: 304 hours

Lectures equivalents: 72 hours

Tutorials/workshops: 24 x 1 hour

Total: 400 hours

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed by a mixture of continuous assessment (50%) and end-of-year open-book assessment (50%).

Summative assessment:(50%) An exam focussing on the topics of the capstone course that will be an integral part of this unit.

Two pieces of coursework (worth 25% each). These will be a mixture of: worksheets; designing and presenting a poster; extended writing;

Both the continuous and examination assessment should cover all the ILOs, and should be situated within the capstone topics rather than the individual strands.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CHEM20009).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.