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CHY1101 : Basic Organic Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Julian Knight
  • Lecturer: Dr Celine Cano, Dr Cristina Navarro Reguero, Dr Michael Hall, Dr Johan Eriksson, Dr Michael Carroll, Dr Ian Hardcastle
  • Practical Supervisor: Dr Zuleykha McMillan
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce the basic principles of organic chemistry; the use of curly arrows; the chemistry of the common functional groups, and to describe the important reactions of these groups; to introduce basic concepts of reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry; to introduce some essential techniques of experimental organic chemistry.

Outline Of Syllabus

Basic Principles of Organic Chemistry
Dr JG Knight

Drawing and naming molecules
Orbitals and hybridisation
Curly arrows for writing reaction mechanisms
Delocalization and conjugation
Acids, bases and pKa
Equilibria, rates and mechanisms
Stereochemistry and isomerism
Conformation and cyclic compounds
Revision class

Carbonyls and Carboxylic Acids
Dr JG Knight

Overview of carbonyl functional groups. Structure and electronic configuration of carbonyl compounds. Relative energies and shapes of the molecular orbitals. Understanding reactions in terms of simple orbital interactions
Nucleophilic addition to the carbonyl group
Nucleophilic substitution at the carbonyl group
Nucleophilic substitution at C=O with loss of carbonyl oxygen
Formation and reactions of enols and enolates
Revision class

Introduction to Functional Group Chemistry
Dr MA Carroll

Review of Key Concepts from Semester 1
Nucleophilic Substitution: SN1 and SN2
Elimination Reactions: E1 and E2
Addition to Alkenes
Revision class

Laboratory Course
Course Organiser: Dr Z McMillan

Introduction to the Laboratory and Safety Awareness
Separation of an organic compound by liquid-liquid extraction
Purification of an organic compound by recrystallisation
Analysis of products by melting point and TLC
Purification of a mixture by column chromatography
Hydrolysis of an ester and purification by recrystallisation
Preparation of Pear Ester and purification by Distillation
Reduction of a ketone and purification by column chromatography

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30End of semester 1 examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion240:5020:00Revision for semester 2 examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion190:5015:50Revision for Semester 1 examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion80:253:20Revision for problem solving workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture371:0037:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion72:0014:00Writing practical reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:301:30End of semester 2 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical56:0030:002 x 3h Practical sessions take place over 5 weeks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Tutorial/Feedback sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops81:008:00Problem solving workshops (peer assessed)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:5060:50Background reading of indicated sections of the course texts and review of material on ReCap system
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CHY8824Methods and Techniques for Drug Chemistry
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students acquire knowledge and understanding through lectures, tutorials and practical work. Tutorials facilitate individual and group participation in solving problems. Students learn safe working practices and good experimental techniques through practical classes; formative feedback is used to enable progressive development of these skills. In laboratory classes students also consolidate the learning started in lectures. They learn to plan, organise and write up work in practicals

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination901A30N/A
PC Examination902A30N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M25composed of several individual laboratory reports as specified in the practical course handbook
Prob solv exercises1M85 peer assessed exercises
Prob solv exercises2M73 peer assessed exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The in-course assessed work allows the student to practise and consolidate the lecture material and allows the student and the academic subject tutor to monitor progress towards the learning outcomes.

The examinations assess the student's knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of organic chemistry.

The practical course examines the understanding of the fundamental scientific principles, how these relate to experiment, and how successfully the student has acquired the necessary skills in performing and recording practical work.

Students are required to obtain at least 35% averaged over the two examination components in order for the laboratory mark to be included in the final module mark.

Students who score

Reading Lists