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 CHEM246
Coordinator Dr G Sedghi
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2016-17 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 15

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

Completion of year 1 of either an MChem or a BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme  


The aim of this module is to instruct students in the practice of taking physical measurements, the critical analysis and evaluation of experimental data, the application of measurements to the study of chemical phenomena and the dissemination of results.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to
1.      take physical measurements of varying complexity using a wide range of experimental techniques;
2.      assess the risks involved in chemical lab work and handle chemical materials in a safe manner;
3.      choose appropriate methods for the analysis of data;
4.      analyse experimental data using graphs, spreadsheets and linear regression;
5.      assess the accuracy and significance of experimental results;
6.      apply the results of physical measurement to the interpretation of chemical phenomena;
7.      combine units and perform a dimensional analysis;
8.      have experience of the application of spectroscopic techniques (UV, IR, NMR and mass spectrometry) in the characterization of organometallic and inorganic compounds;
9.      organise and plan their time effectively.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Laboratory Work -

Other -



The experiments comprise a series of workshops and experiments from Physical Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry:

  • Kinetics of the acid-catalysed hydrolysis of ethyl ethanoate
  • Critical micelle concentration
  • Boiling point - composition diagram
  • The dipole moment of dibenzoyl
  • Iodine absorption spectrum
  • Redox potential of the iron system
  • The dissociation of ethanoic acid by conductance
  • Potentiometirc titration
  • Reaction isotherm
  • Fluorescence of Rhodamine B and its quenching by iodide ions
  • Gas-liquid chromatography
  • The enthalpy of neutralisation
  • Bomb calorimetry
  • The association of uranyl and thio cynanate ions
  • The reaction of crystal violet with hydroxide ions
  • Thermodynamics of ethanoic acid dimerisation
  • The characterisation of reaction intermediates by NMR Spectroscopy
  • Job''s method
  • Preparation & thermochromic transition of diethylammonium tetrachlorocuprate(II)
  • Conductivity of transition metal complexes
  • Magnetic susceptibility of nickel complexes
  • UV-vis spectra of transition metal ions

The first two workshops are designed to teach generic skills needed for the analysis of experimental results (Data and error analysis, Dimensional analysis). These are followed by a series of spectroscopic workshops. Each workshop will begin with a short lecture to introduce the topics covered. Students will be introduced to spin 1/2 NMR active nuclei other than 1H and will then work through problem sheets under the guidance of the demonstrators.

The following material will be covered

Introduction to the physical basis of NMR. Quantum numbers, energy levels, magnetic equivalence, chemical shifts, scalar couplings. Revision of CHEM 170 material.

The use of mass spectra, infrared spectra, elemental analyses and multinuclear NMR spectra in the determination of the structure of inorganic and organometallic complexes.

Scalar coupling (J values) in NMR and its use in the determination of stereochemistry and conformational analysis

The workshops will be assessed by a combnation of continuously assessed material and a class test.

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       90


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 42


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework    80  No    Assessment 1 
Coursework    20  No  Standard University Policy applies - see Department/School handbook for details.  Assessment 2 Notes (applying to all assessments) Lab Reports, presented to a demonstrator (learning outcomes 1-8, 10) No deadlines for submission of reports, but students are responsible for completing enough experiments during semester. Work marked in students presence to allow for immediate feedback or students lab book marked. Anonymous marking impossible Workshop exercises (learning outcomes 3-5, 7-9) This work is not marked anonymously