Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 19 x 1 h lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1h seminars
Other 2 x 3h workshops


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Two three hour workshops  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   70%
Supplementary Assessment resubmission of failed or missing work or alternative (as determined by the exam board).  30%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   70%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the structure of atoms and molecules and how these relate to the periodic table
  • relate general properties of elements to the periodic table
  • give examples of the different types of bonding in molecules
  • identify the main functional groups in organic compounds
  • use chemical symbols in simple equations to show chemical reactions
  • outline the principles governing reaction equilibria and pH
  • demonstrate an understanding of molar concentrations and calculate amounts of compounds needed for specific concentrations.


The module aims to introduce students who have little grounding in chemistry to the language and concepts of the subject to give them sufficient background for their biological studies. It will also introduce, where appropriate, some biochemistry to prepare for level 1.


The course will consist of 19 lectures from the Introduction to Chemistry module and, in addition, ten tutorial sessions devoted to further explanation of the lecture topics and the introduction of some biochemistry.
The curriculum will include the following.
The concept of atoms and elements.
The structure of atoms in terms of protons, neutrons and electrons.
The concept of atomic number and electronic configuration will be put in the context of the periodic table and this will be used to explain some rationale and order to the properties of the elements.
This will lead to a consideration of simple molecules, a description of ionic and covalent bonding, and the idea of valency.
A section on organic chemistry will deal with the special properties of carbon, hydrocarbons and homologous series, isomerism (including chirality), and an introduction to functional groups and their nomenclature.
The carboxyl and amino functional groups will be dealt with in the context of acid, bases and buffers. This will also include the concept of equilibria.
The concepts of moles and molar concentrations will be introduced together with Avogadro's constant and calculations for making up solutions of known concentration.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Crowe, Bradshaw & Monk (2006) Chemistry for the Biosciences Oxford University Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 3