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 CHEM338
Coordinator Dr IA O'Neil
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2018-19 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 7.5

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

Completion of year 2 of either an MChem or a BSc (Hons) Chemistry programme; UGT students should have completed CHEM231. PGT students should have a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry. 


To present the synthesis and reactivity of the most important classes of heterocyclic compounds and to present case studies drawn from major drug classes.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will have achieved a solid foundation in Organic Chemistry.

In particular they will be expected to be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of

  • The structural features and reactivity of heterocyclic compounds, including stereochemistry.
  • Some of the major synthetic pathways in heterocyclic chemistry, involving carbon-carbon and carbon-heteroatom bond formation, functional group interconversions and ring substitution.
  • Awareness of the importance of heterocylcles as key components in major drug classes and combinatorial libraries.

In addition they will be able to give examples of their use in modern synthetic methodology and have an awareness of the importance of three-dimensional structure in Organic Chemistry.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture -

Tutorial -


Aromatic heterocyclic chemistry: (2 lectures)

Lectures 1 and 2: Revision of the reactivity of 5 and 6-membered monoheterocyclic aromatic systems (pyrroles, furans, thiophenes and pyridines). Stereoelectronics of ring closing reactions. Baldwin’s rules. The concept of “Chemical Space.”

Aromatic heterocyclic chemistry: Synthesis (8  lectures)

Lecture 3, 4 and 5: The synthesis and reactivity of pyridines, quinolines and isoquinolines with relevant examples of medicinally important compounds containing these heterocyclic units.

Lectures 6, 7 and 8: The synthesis and reactivity of diazoles such as imidazoles, pyrazoles, thiazole, triazoles and tetrazoles. Examples of the synthesis of pharmacologically active compounds containing these ring systems will be included.

Lectures 9 and 10: Synthesis  and reactivity of indoles. Examples of medicinally important compounds containing this heterocyclic unit will be included.

Saturated heterocyclic chemistry (4 lectures)

Lecture 11: Introduction to satu rated nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles including pyrrolidines, piperidines and tetrahydofurans.


Lectures 12 and 13: The synthesis and reactivity of pyrrolidines and piperidines, which will include examples of medicinally important compounds containing these saturated heterocyclic units.



Lecture 14: The synthesis and reactivity of tetrahydrofurans.





Revision Lectures (2 lectures)



Lectures 15 and 16: Revision tutorials.


2 .

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 16


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 57


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Unseen Written Exam  1.5hrs  Semester 2  80  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Assessment 2 Notes (applying to all assessments) Continuous Assessment Two assessed problem based tutorial exercises of 10 % each. This work is not marked anonymously August resit for PGT students if applicable. Integrated Master's students resit at the next normal opportunity.  
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Coursework  2x2 hrs problem sets  Semester 2  20  No reassessment opportunity  Standard UoL penalty applies  Assessment 1 There is no reassessment opportunity,