Module Identifier BS11910  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator William A Adams  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr David J Hopper  
Pre-Requisite Normally Dual Award in Science or its equivalent.  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
  Practical   9 Hours (3 x 3 hours)  
  Other   4 Hours Workshop. (2 x 2 hours)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours One 2 hour written semester examination.  70%
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: Continuous assessment of practicals and workshops.  30%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours One 2-hour theory examination; re-submission of all failed course work.  100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will


This module is designed primarily for students who have not pursued chemistry to 'A' level and who require a sound grounding in the subject to gain full benefit from their degree schemes in geological, biological and environmental sciences. This introductory course presents the essential elements of chemistry within an environmental context and so is also well suited to students in Environmental Science with 'A' level chemistry.


Chemical structures and reactions determine the nature of matter and the processes of life. Elements and their electron, proton and neutron constituents are explained and this leads on to electronic configuration. The periodic table is introduced and used in explaining properties of elements such as atomic radius, electronegativity, valency and types of chemical bonding. Stable and radioactive isotopes are explained and the common types of oxygen containing anions are described.

The nature and properties of compounds is explained. Examples are selected to illustrate the writing of formulae with particular reference to balancing cationic and anionic charge in complex compounds.

The concept of moles is introduced together with Avogadro's constant. Moles of an element or compound are explained as are moles of charge. Calculations involved in making up solutions of known concentration are explained.

Different types of reaction are outlined, including hydration, hydrolysis, neutralisation, oxidation and reduction and examples of, and factors affecting, equilibria are illustrated. Equations describing reactions are explained.

Solubility in different types of solvent is discussed together with the main properties of aqueous solutions. The solubility of sparingly soluble compounds is discussed. Colligative properties are explained.

Acids, bases and salts are defined. The dissociation of strong and weak acids and bases is explained together with the action of buffer solutions.

The gas laws are outlined and used and the final section provides an introduction to organic chemistry with specific coverage of hydrocarbons.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Atkins, P.W. & Jones,L (2000) Chemistry Principles Freemans
Holum, J.R. (1994) Fundamentals of general, organic, and biological chemistry 5th. John Wiley & Sons
Atkins, P.W. & Jones, L. (1997) Chemistry, molecules, matter and change Freemans.


This module is at CQFW Level 4