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NES3402 : Advanced Organic Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Michael Hall
  • Lecturer: Dr Johan Eriksson, Dr David Fulton, Dr Roly Armstrong
  • 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


Organic compounds are central to a wide range of industries (pharmaceuticals, polymers, dyes, coatings and more) and of fundamental importance for biochemistry, biotechnology and life sciences. This module equips students with the necessary knowledge and understanding for them to study organic chemistry at Stage 4 and/or in the chemical industries; to further enhance the students’ knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry; to introduce modern synthetic chemistry functional group transformations; to highlight the use of organo-element compounds in synthesis; to further develop knowledge of aromatic chemistry to more complex heteroaromatic systems; to introduce transition metal catalysed C-C bond forming reactions; to further develop the concept of retrosynthetic analysis; to equip students with the tools to design and synthesize complex molecules.

Outline Of Syllabus

Oxidations and Reductions in Organic Chemistry and the Formation of Carbonyl Compounds

Transition metal-mediated oxidation of alcohols.
Oxidation of alcohols with organic oxidising agents.
Selective Reductions.
Oxidative cleavage of C=C; ozonolysis.
Synthesis with Dithianes (unpolung).
Nucleophilic additions to carbonyls; Benzoin condensation and MPV reaction.

P-Block and Organometallic Chemistry

Nucelophilic attack of organometallics; synthesis of organometallics and selectivity
Conjugate additions; hard vs soft nucleophiles and the control of 1,2- versus 1,4-addition
to alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl compounds
P-Block Chemistry, including the organo-element chemistry of Si, S, P and B

Heteroaromatic and Coupling Reaction Chemistry

Aromatic systems containing heteroatoms; introduction and overview
Membered heteroatromatics containing one heteroatom; pyrroles, furans and thiophenes
Membered heteroaromatics containing one heteroatom; pyridines
Fused heteroaromatics; indoles and quinolines
Heteroaromatics containing more than one heteroatom
Transition metal catalysed C-C bond forming reactions


Classical synthesis and synthetic strategy
Protecting group chemistry
Retrosynthetic analysis
Syntheses of complex molecules

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion411:0041:00Revision for end of semester 2 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture641:0064:00Lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion14:004:00Formative assessment completion - online MCQs and questions
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00End of semester 2 examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Retrosynthesis workshops
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study185:0085:00Independent study, background reading and practice examination papers
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
NES3406Advanced Organic Chemistry (Distance Learning)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A variety of methods will be used for delivery of the material and to ensure that students actively engage with the subject matter. Lectures will provide the basis for enhancing the subject and allow students to take the learning element into future practical sessions.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1802A100Computer based MCQs and written long answers. Online assessment as alternative in the case of no PiP examinations.
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
NES3406Advanced Organic Chemistry (Distance Learning)2N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MFormative assessments will take place throughout the course via online MCQs and questions
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the module. The examination will present students with questions from a selection of topics learnt throughout semester 1 and 2 module content.

Formative assessments will take place throughout the course via online MCQs and questions.

Reading Lists