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Unit information: Intermediate Inorganic & Materials Chemistry in 2021/22

Unit name Intermediate Inorganic & Materials Chemistry
Unit code CHEM20170
Credit points 30
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Hall
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10003, CHEM10004, CHEM10900 (or equivalent mathematics unit as approved by the School).



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit develops the introduction to inorganic chemistry given in CHEM10003 to provide the essential base of inorganic chemistry required for advanced study at Levels 6 and 7 (Years 3 and 4). It covers the main areas of the subject e.g. main group chemistry, the organometallic and coordination compounds of transition metals including catalysis, materials chemistry and applications of NMR spectroscopy and an introduction to group theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Recognise and define symmetry elements and point groups;
  • Use character tables and irreducible representations to predict the vibrations spectroscopy and molecular orbitals of a molecule;
  • Discuss the basic limitations/extent of information obtained from NMR spectroscopy;
  • Be able to calculate the equilibrium number of defects in a crystal;
  • Be able to state how magnetic domains give rise to magnetic hysteresis;
  • Be able to distinguish between hard and soft magnets and the features that give rise to both;
  • State which elements will produce energy from fission or fusion;
  • Be able to state the difference between fissile and fertile nuclei;
  • Be able to calculate the physical properties of superconductors using the critical magnetic field equation.
  • Be able to explain the deficiencies of Crystal Field Theory and thus explain the basics of Ligand Field Theory;
  • Describe the kinetics of complexation and inorganic reaction mechanisms;
  • Apply Molecular Orbital Theory to the construction of Ligand Group Orbitals;
  • Understanding trends and periodicity in the chemistry of the s and p-block elements;
  • Brief introduction to main group polymers and other selected topics;
  • Application in Wade’s rules in boron hydride cluster chemistry;
  • Recognise the fundamental steps in an organometallic catalytic cycle and how to combine them to form whole cycles;
  • Define the principles of organometallic chemistry;

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a blended combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Synchronous sessions include lecture style and interactive delivery and workshops. Workshops will in particular provide opportunity for live interaction with groups of students, feedback on exercises set as independent study and preparation for forthcoming material. There will be associated asynchronous activity involving independent study, problem solving and self-directed exercises. Synchronous revision sessions as well as drop-in clinics will be offered.

Assessment Information

'Materials' Coursework which will include an online quiz and a set of asynchronous tasks based on the lectures. (20%) End-of-TB2 timed, open-book examination (80%)


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. CHEM20170).

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.