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NES1406 : General Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Elizabeth Gibson
  • Lecturer: Dr Nick Walker, Dr Fabio Cucinotta, Dr Iacopo Benesperi
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


Physical chemistry is the study of the fundamental physical laws that underpin the behaviour of molecular systems. It has wide application throughout science. This module reviews the foundations of physical chemistry, including principles of chemical composition, chemical change and chemical equilibria. These concepts will be illustrated with examples from environmental chemistry, food chemistry, and chemical analysis. A blended learning approach will be taken to ensure that students fully understand the applications of each element of the taught material.

Outline Of Syllabus

Each week will comprise of workshops, focusing on taught material and calculations, covering the following topics:

Units and Dimensions
Absorption Spectroscopy
Stoichiometry and Yield Density
Ideal Gas Law
Colligative Properties
Simple Equilibria
Solubility Product
Acids and Bases
pKa and Buffers
Conductivity and Conductance
Basic Electrochemistry

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials221:0022:00Lectures, or equivalent, covering integrated taught material and calculations via Canvas and NUMBAS
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0021:00Calculation Assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00Calculation workshops in lecture theatre
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops53:0015:00Advanced calculation workshops in PC clusters
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery161:0016:00Each lecturer available during teaching weeks to discuss individually any student questions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study115:0015:00Independent Study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Classes will comprise elements of taught theoretical material and calculations based on that material. Students will be led through exemplary calculations to explain the methodology for problem solving, and then will be provided with unseen calculations to complete with assistance in class. These classes provide the platform knowledge required to complete independent online calculations for summative assessment in order to fulfil the learning outcomes.

PC workshops provide the students with an opportunity to gain guided practice in advanced calculations.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M100Online calculation assessments using Canvas and NUMBAS
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MOnline calculation assessments using Canvas and NUMBAS
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The online assessments will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module, including knowledge, understanding, and all aspects of the module.

** Students studying from abroad may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. These students should contact the school to discuss this **

Reading Lists