CHEM 1101 - Foundations of Chemistry IA

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

The knowledge and skills acquired in Foundations of Chemistry IA provide a strong foundation for future studies in chemistry and chemistry-related fields, including biological and environmental sciences, healthcare and engineering. Whether pursuing careers in research or industry, students will gain the necessary tools to excel and make valuable contributions in their chosen paths. Foundations of Chemistry IA is designed for students seeking a solid foundation in chemistry, whether they are pursuing it as a core requirement or a general elective. It welcomes students from various academic programs who are eager to develop a solid grasp of chemical concepts and their real-world applications. The course content is designed for students with limited background in chemistry. Upon successful completion of Foundations of Chemistry IA, students will be able to identify different states of matter, trends of the periodic table, and molecular shape, and draw conclusions about physical and chemical properties. Students will be able to perform basic chemical calculations and balance chemical equations. In addition, they will develop an understanding of acids and bases and chemical equilibrium and their importance in various scientific fields. Face-to-face on-campus delivery provides opportunities for interactive lectures, hands-on laboratory experiments, and engaging discussions. Students will explore scientific methodology and collaborative work, develop critical thinking skills and enhance their problem-solving abilities. In the laboratory, they will gain proficiency in common chemistry techniques and reinforce theoretical concepts. Assessment activities may include quizzes, laboratory reports, assignments, and examinations. By successfully completing these assessments, students will demonstrate their ability to apply chemical concepts to real-world scenarios and solve problems.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM 1101
    Course Foundations of Chemistry IA
    Coordinating Unit Chemistry
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible CHEM 1100, CHEM 1510 & CHEM 1511
    Restrictions Not available to students with SACE Stage 2 Chemistry Subject Achievement Grade of C+ or greater, or equivalent.
    Assessment Exam, practical work, online summative work, lecture tests
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Sara Krivickas

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A successful student should be able to:
    1. develop critical thinking and enhance their problem solving ability;
    2. discuss the processes of scientific methodology and collaborative work;
    3. recognise the different states of matter, the physical properties and processes associated with each and the differences between elements, compounds and mixtures;
    4. recognise the different groupings of elements within the periodic table;
    5. perform basic chemical calculations and balance chemical equations;
    6. identify the different shapes of molecules and how this relates to the forces acting between them;
    7. explain what acids and bases are and know how to measure acidity and basicity;
    8. define and explain the concept of chemical equilibrium and how it reacts to changes in reaction conditions;
    9. demonstrate proficiency in common chemistry laboratory techniques.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    1, 9

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    2, 9

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 2

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Personal Protective Equipment (Practicals)
    Laboratory Coat
    Safety Glasses

    The textbook for Foundations of Chemistry IA/B is 'Chemistry: Core Concepts', 3rd edition, by Blackman, Southam, Lawrie, Williamson, Thompson and Bridgeman (Wiley) and it is recommended that students acquire their own copy.

    Recommended Resources
    Paul Flowers, Klaus Theopold, Richard Langley, William R. Robinson (2019), Chemistry 2e (Openstax)
    This is a free open-source textbook that can be downloaded as a pdf, epub or viewed directly on the web from

    Other sources for recommended reading may be provided by lecturers on an as-needed basis.
    Online Learning

    It is important that all students maintain active communication channels with the Chemistry Discipline throughout the course. The primary communication channels from the Discipline to students are MyUni and email.

    The University's online learning management system, MyUni (, will be used to provide students with a variety of learning resources, including (but not limited to) the following:

    * Lecture notes
    * Lecture recordings
    * Workshop questions and solutions
    * Computer practical exercises
    * Links to summative assignments
    * Links to other websites that may assist learning, such as maths help

    All learning resources will be provided electronically, and no printed copies will be supplied.

    MyUni will also be used on a regular basis to post announcements about assessment deadlines and other information related to the course and to send students emails to their University-provided student email account. 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is delivered by the following means:

    • Lectures 36 x 50-minute sessions with three sessions per week
    • Workshops 12 x 50-minute sessions with one session per week
    • Practical 5 x 3-hour sessions with one session per fortnight

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).

    Learning Activities Summary

    The course content includes the following:

    Module 1 – Introduction to Chemistry

    • States of matter, elements, compounds and mixtures
    • Introduction to the periodic table
    • Structure and bonding (including atomic structure)
    • Physical and chemical change, chemical equations and balancing
    • Chemical calculations: mole concept, significant figures, stoichiometry, concentrations

    Module 2 – Molecular behaviour

    • Molecular shape (including VSEPR)
    • Intermolecular forces

    Module 3 – Equilibrium

    • Chemical equilibrium
    • Le Châtelier’s principle

    Module 4 – Acids and bases

    • Acids, bases and pH – Ka, Kb, Kw
    • Volumetric analysis
    Specific Course Requirements
    Attendance is compulsory at all scheduled chemistry practical sessions.  

    The learning outcomes for this course are substantially dependent on laboratory experience and practice.  Therefore, missing any practical class in a semester will result in a grade of FAIL being recorded for the course.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment task Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes # Hurdle
    Yes or No #
    Outcomes being assessed/achieved
    Online summative assessment Summative 20% No Module 1: 1-5
    Module 2: 1, 2, 6
    Module 3: 1, 2, 5, 7
    Module 4: 1, 2, 5, 8
    Lecture tests Summative 10% No 1 - 8
    Practical work Summative 20% Yes
    1, 2, 9
    Examination Summative 50% No 1 - 8
    Online practice exercises   Formative 0% No  1-9
    Assessment Related Requirements

    The learning outcomes for this course are substantially dependent on laboratory experience and practice. Therefore, practical work is compulsory; this includes attendance, conduct of required experimental work, attendance at demonstrator interviews (as required) and submission of laboratory reports.

    Furthermore, students must attain at least 50% for the practical work to pass this course.

    Students with medical or compassionate reasons for non-attendance will be given an opportunity to make up missed practical sessions.

    Additional assessment will be offered to eligible students who do not meet the practical hurdle requirement.

    Assessment Detail

    Online summative assessment: (20% of total course grade)
    Four computer assessed assignments (one per part; each part’s summative component will be worth a total of 4% of the overall course grade) will be used to assess progressive understanding of course material. Students receive instant feedback on submission.

    A further 4% will be derived from workshop preparation. Each workshop will have one question from the set of provided problems assigned for students to complete prior to the session. This question will be marked in class by the workshop leader to provide feedback.

    Lecture Tests: (10% of total course grade)
    There will be two lecture tests each semester, worth 5% each, making up 10% in total of your final grade for the course each semester. Lecture tests will occur around the halfway mark and towards the end of each semester. Lecture tests may consist of multiple choice or numerical answer questions or a combination of these.

    Practical work: (20% of total course grade)
    Practical reports will be handed in fortnightly and promptly assessed to provide continual feedback to students and a sense of progressive accomplishment in the course. All practicals have an associated summative online task that students complete before their laboratory class.

    Examination: (50% of total course grade)
    An end-of-semester written examination will be used to summatively assess understanding of the course material.  The examination will consist of a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions.

    Submission of Assigned Work
    A lab report book will be provided in the first practical session. Before practical reports are submitted, students must ensure they have signed and dated the Plagiarism and Collusion declaration at the front of the report book. Note that report books must not be removed from the laboratory.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the Course Coordinator before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from: 

    Late submission of assessments
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply.  A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.