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Unit information: Quantitative Chemistry II in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Quantitative Chemistry II
Unit code CHEM10011
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Shallcross
Open unit status Not open

None – this unit is designed for students with grade B or better at A-level Maths, or the equivalent.



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

A thorough understanding of basic mathematical concepts and confidence in their application in solving physical problems is essential for anyone studying chemistry. This unit will allow students to learn how to apply mathematical skills to problems in chemistry. It will also cover the additional material not previously covered that is essential for the study of chemistry (e.g., algebra, quadratic equations, logarithms and exponentials, graphs, complex numbers, probability, calculus trigonometry, vectors & matrices, set theory, logic, advanced statistics/data analysis and linear algebra on matrices). At all stages, the mathematical concepts covered will be put in the context of chemical problems. The unit will be taught through a combination of masterclasses and surgeries. Successful completion will ensure that chemistry students have the mathematical knowledge,
understanding and skills to support their study of chemistry at all levels.


To ensure that chemistry students have the mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills to support their study of chemistry at all levels.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  • Appraise and prioritise mathematical tools with respect to their application to problems in chemistry.
  • Implement suitable mathematical solutions to chemistry problems.
  • Consolidate and enhance their knowledge of mathematical tools and skills, enabling them to appraise their application to chemical problems which draw on modern computing and data analysis approaches.
  • Compare and justify the usefulness of mathematical models where they are used to develop and assess chemical theory.
  • Construct their own knowledge framework for the application of mathematical tools and skills in chemistry, computing and data analysis.

Teaching Information

The development of the confidence and ability to apply existing mathematical knowledge and understanding to problems in chemistry will require students to work independently. It is therefore anticipated that students will devote up to 4 hours per week in supported self-study. Students will be expected to use the course materials provided, as well as other resources such as textbooks, to revise their existing knowledge and to practice applying it to problems in chemistry. Feedback will then be provided through a mandatory 2-hour problem class, during which a member of academic staff will work through the problems previously set in order to clarify any problems encountered by the students. An optional 1- hour surgery each week will provide any students who have particular problems with an additional opportunity to receive support.

Summary of approximate student workload:

Self-study and continuous assessment: 24 x 5 hours: 120 hours

Problem Classes: 24 x 2 hours: 48 hours

Surgeries: 24 x 1 hour: 24 hours

Total: 192 hours

Assessment Information

Formative Assessment: Students will complete weekly online exercises (and receive online feedback). This feedback will be further enhanced by problem classes, with optional surgeries for those students who might have particular, individual problems that require additional support.

Summative Assessment: The unit will be assessed with four assignments, containing problem-based chemistry questions. Attempts submitted following the deadline will be subject to the normal rules applied for the late submission of coursework and appropriate penalties will be applied.

Students who fail to achieve the pass mark for any assessment will be required to reengage with the assessment for a capped unit mark (40%).

Reading and References

All the necessary teaching materials are delivered online using the VLE.
Recommended course text is Mathematics for Chemistry, 2nd Edition, P Monk and LJ Munro, Oxford University Press 2010.