Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Asymmetric Synthesis and Synthetic Strategy
Code CHEM433
Coordinator Dr C Aissa
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2019-20 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 7.5

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):



The aim of this module is to further broaden and extend the students' knowledge of modern Organic Chemistry, so that they will be able to enter directly into a PhD programme or embark on a career as a specialist chemist. Specifically, students will learn the concepts that enable stereo control in reactions and the fundamental disconnections in organic synthesis.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Ability to understand and design strategies that enable the synthesis of complex organic molecules in a stereocontrolled fashion.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem-solving

(S2) critical analysis of experimental results

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Material is presented via a series of lectures. Learning is supported via analysis of literature examples during lectures and corrected exercises on Vital: Relevant examples of synthesis (including both natural and non-natural products) will be used in the lectures; students will also be provided with problems to solve between lectures. These will not be assessed, but solution sheets will be provided.



Asymmetric synthesis by cyclic control, reactions of endocyclic olefins.
Acyclic control by 1,3-allylic strain and 1,2-allylic strain.
Acyclic control in nucleophilic attack of aldehydes and ketones.
Zimmerman-Traxler transition state and its application to aldol reactions, pericyclic rearrangements, and allylation reactions.
Chiral auxiliaries in aldol and other reactions.
Main Group Organic Chemistry Definition of retrosynthesic analysis.
Basic principles of retrosynthesis disconnections, synthons, synthetic equivalents and reagents.
The concept of umpolung.
Revision of key reactions in synthesis.
Methods for the synthesis of dicarbonyl compounds.
Methods for the synthesis of alkenes.
Functional group interconversions.
C-C bond disconnections.
Aromatic and heterocyclic compounds and Sp2-Sp2 coupling reactions.
Key ring-forming reactions.
Stereo-control in synthesis.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 18

Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 57


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
formal examination  120 minutes    100       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late