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.
Code CHEM152
Coordinator Dr DL Cooper
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2016-17 Level 4 FHEQ Second Semester 15

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

A2 - level Chemistry or Equivalent  


The main aim of this module is to equip students with an understanding of basic kinetics and thermodynamics as they relate to chemical reactions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be familiar with, and be able to make appropriate use of:

  • Basic ideas of energy changes in chemical reactions
  • Ideas relating to the rates of chemical reactions
  • Basic laboratory skills and report writing, including data and error analysis

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture - Lecture

Tutorial - Workshop

Five workshops

Laboratory Work - Laboratory Work



Lecture Material

Thermodynamics [mostly energy changes in chemical reactions]

  • ideal gas equation, including definitions/units of pressure, temperature, mole and standard conditions (& use of PV=nRT in context of le Chatelier, with "reminders" of Kc and Kp); intermolecular forces (and mention of van der Waals equation);
  • conservation of energy, including heat & work vs internal energy (state function);
  • definition of enthalpy, plus formation & combustion reactions, Hess'' law cycles, and so on;
  • qualitative idea of entropy (and of its variation from solid to liquid to gas) and the idea of a "natural" direction of change;
  • definition of Gibbs energy, various examples of ΔG reactions, relationship of ΔG to K;
  • pH and pKa; buffer solutions;
  • temperature dependence of lnK (done graphically);
  • Nernst equation;
  • Trouton''s rule; intermolecular forces in gases and the van der Waals equation of state.


  • idea of rates of chemical reactions and of factors that determine them;
  • orders of reactions; 0th order 1st order and (simple) 2nd order reactions, including how data are manipulated;
  • initial rates;
  • half life, using traditional 1st order examples;
  • activation energy barriers and temperature dependence, including Arrhenius equation & variation of lnk wit h 1/T (done graphically);
  • kinetic isotope effects;
  • elementary step, rate-determining step & reaction mechanism;
  • chain reactions;
  • catalysis, including industrial examples; Lineweaver-Burk plots & Michaelis-Menten model (enzymes).

Tutorial Material

  • The lecture course will be supported by fortnightly tutorial (workshop) sessions designed to give students an opportunity to practise solving kinetics and thermodynamics problems

Laboratory Material

  • The lab-related workshop session will be devoted mostly to transferable skills: data and error analysis. It includes a mock experimental write up which students will have to completed in th eir own time, with a deadline before they start any laboratory work.
  • In the subsequent five laboratory sessions, students will carry out two kinetics experiements and three thermodynamics experiment. These experiments will be designed so as to allow students to finish the experimental work in one three-hour session. Some of the analysis (as well as the formal report) will then have to be completed in their own time, with a deadline before their next lab session; they will be encouraged to make appropriate use of the demonstrators to deal with any questions/problems that arise. There are compulsory pre-lab activities associated with each of the practical sessions.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.
Explanation of Reading List:

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 28
Laboratory Work
Timetable (if known)     Five workshops
Private Study 87


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Written Exam  2 hrs  2nd  60  Yes    Written Exam Notes (applying to all assessments) Practical Work (including pre-lab) and lab-related Workshop Some marking done in the student's presence to allow for immediate feedback. Anonymous marking impossible. Tutorials (workshops) Much of the work is marked in the student's presence to allow for immediate feedback. Anonymous marking impossible. class test Scripts will be marked anonymously and will subsequently be returned. Students who fail the class test will have an opportunity to take a resit class test, probably in the final teaching week of the semester. The maximum mark that will be awarded in the resit will be 40%.written examination Written Examination The written examination is a must-pass component, meaning students must achieve 40% in the written exam. If a student does not achieve 40%, then the module is failed, regardless of other component marks. 
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework    2nd  25  No reassessment opportunity  Standard UoL penalty applies  Labratory Work There is no reassessment opportunity,  
Coursework    2nd  No reassessment opportunity  Standard UoL penalty applies  Coursework There is no reassessment opportunity,  
Coursework    2nd  10  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Class Test