CHEM 2520 - Chemistry IIB

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

Studies in Chemistry at Level II deal with a range of fundamental concepts that can be used to explain various phenomena in chemistry, biology and materials science. The courses have been designed to provide students who have an interest in chemistry with the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake further studies in chemistry or pursue alternative pathways in the biological, environmental, earth and physical sciences. Chemistry IIB focuses on structure determination and the spectroscopic and geometric properties of molecules, and how these influence reactivity. The examples used to illustrate these points draw on expertise in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, the principles of metal ligand chemistry and organic synthesis.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM 2520
    Course Chemistry IIB
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 7.5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites CHEM 1100 & CHEM 1200 or CHEM 1101, CHEM 1201 & CHEM 1312
    Incompatible CHEM 2522, CHEM 2524, CHEM 2526
    Assumed Knowledge CHEM 2510
    Course Description Studies in Chemistry at Level II deal with a range of fundamental concepts that can be used to explain various phenomena in chemistry, biology and materials science. The courses have been designed to provide students who have an interest in chemistry with the necessary knowledge and skills to undertake further studies in chemistry or pursue alternative pathways in the biological, environmental, earth and physical sciences.
    Chemistry IIB focuses on structure determination and the spectroscopic and geometric properties of molecules, and how these influence reactivity. The examples used to illustrate these points draw on expertise in atomic and molecular spectroscopy, the principles of metal ligand chemistry and organic synthesis.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Tak Kee

    A/Prof Tak Kee (
    A/Prof Christian Doonan (
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On completion of this course, students should be able to:

    1 provide a broad description of metal ligand interactions for metallic elements across the periodic table and have a firm understanding of how these elements interact with molecules containing the lighter main group elements of the p-block, with particular emphasis on so-called metal-ligand interactions
    2 predict likely spectral characteristics of given molecular species;
    3 solve the structures of unknown molecules using the techniques of NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry;
    4 determine whether a molecule is aromatic;
    5 define electrophilic aromatic substitution and nucleophilic aromatic substitution;
    6 propose synthetic routes to a variety of molecules, starting from simple precursors;
    7 use important quantum models including particle-in-a-box, rigid rotor, and harmonic oscillator to elucidate molecular motions;
    8 design, conduct, analyse and interpret results of an experiment, and effectively communicate these in written reports

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    ‘Pushing Electrons’ (Weeks, 3rd Edition, Harcourt College Publishers, 1998)

    This book is essential for your understanding of mechanistic organic chemistry.  It can be purchased from UniBooks.


    Recommended Resources

    -         ‘Organic Chemistry’ (Bruice, 5th Edition, Pearson Education, 2007)

    -         ‘Organic Chemistry’ (Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers, Oxford University Press, 2000)

    -         ‘Modern Physical Organic Chemistry’ (Anslyn and Dougherty, University Science Books, 2005)

    -         ‘Inorganic Chemistry’ (Shriver & Atkins, 4th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006)

    -         ‘Physical Chemistry’ (Atkins, 8th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2006)

    -         ‘Physical Chemistry’ (Tinoco, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2002)

    All the above are available for purchase from UniBooks or for loan from the Barr Smith library. Some are also available for consultation in the Chemistry Resource Centre (Rm 120, Johnson Laboratories)

    Online Learning

    MyUni:    Teaching materials and course documentation will be posted on the MyUni website (

    Maths Resources 
    The Maths Learning Centre (MLC) helps all students learn and use the maths they need at uni. The MLC offers seminars, workshops, online, and print resources.  It also run a drop-in room in Hub Central from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday during teaching weeks.

    For more information, visit 

    For chemistry-specific maths help, visit


  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    -         Lectures            36 x 50-minute sessions with three sessions per week

    -        Tutorials            12 x 50-minute sessions with one session per week

    -         Practicals          8 x 5-hour sessions


    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:

    • Metal-Ligand Chemistry

    This section of the course will discuss the chemistry of metal-ligand complexes, with key topics including acids and bases, main group organometallic compounds, bonding in coordination chemistry, reactions, kinetics and mechanisms, homogeneous catalysis

    • Structure Determination & Aromatics:

    Carbon and proton NMR, mass spectrometry, aromaticity and conjugation, resonance, Huckel's rule, introduction to heterocycles. Chemistry and reactivity of aromatics.

    • Quantum Phenomena II

    Particle in a box, scanning microscopy, vibrational and rotational energy levels.

    • Synthetic Chemistry II

    Electrophilic addition, regio- and stereo-selectivity. Chemistry of enols and enolates, tautomerism, nucleophilic reactivity, alkylation and aldol reaction.


    There will be 8 sessions divided equally between: Synthetic chemistry (introduce the student to a variety of techniques to prepare chemicals in a safe manner) and Measurement and Analysis (introduces the student to techniques for studying and quantifying chemical processes).

    Some students repeating the course may be exempted from practical classes. Please note that exemptions will only be granted to students who attempted and achieved an overall practical mark of at least 50% in the course in the previous year. Applications for exemption should be lodged with the School of Physical Sciences office.


    Formative tutorial sessions will be held weekly and will provide the student with the opportunity to answer and discuss material from the lecture course.

    Specific Course Requirements

    Attendance is compulsory at all scheduled chemistry practical sessions.

  • 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 #



    Yes or No #

    Outcomes being assessed / achieved





    1 – 9

    Practical Reports

    Formative & Summative



    1 – 10

    Extended Practical Report








    Yes (45%)

    1 – 9

    Assessment Related Requirements
    Practical work is compulsory  – This includes attendance, conduct of required experimental work, attendance at demonstrator interviews (as required) and submission of laboratory reports. 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. Students with medical or compassionate reasons for non-attendance will be given an opportunity to make up missed practical sessions.

    To pass this course, students must attain a minimum of 45% for the examination and attend all practicals. Students who attain a final course grade of at least 45% but do not attain a minimum of 45% for the exam may be offered an Additional Academic Exam during the Replacement/Additional Assessment period, in line with the Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy.
    Assessment Detail


    10% - This assessment activity specifically covers lecture course content and is designed to encourage students to engage with the subject matter through semester (4 short-answer assignments). The assignments are supported and enhanced by students’ participation in tutorials.

    Practical Reports

    25% - This assessment activity comprehensively addresses the practical aspects of chemistry and competent training in the techniques employed in chemical laboratories (8 short, hand-written practical reports submitted in class).

    An opportunity to make-up a maximum of one missed practical sessionmay be offered during the semester. Students must contact the Course Coordinator as soon as possible if they have missed their practical as practical classes are often full and additional space is often unavailable.

    Extended Practical Report

    5% - This assessment activity addresses the scientific communication aspects in the chemical laboratories. Students will write the extended practical report based on the contents in one of the short practical reports.

    Final exam 60%
    This assessment activity comprehensively addresses the learning outcomes


    Submission of Assigned Work Coversheets must be completed and attached to all submitted work. Coversheets can be obtained from the School Office (room G33 Physics) or from MyUNI. Work should be submitted via the assignment drop box at the School Office.

    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 replacement 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. 

    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 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 or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark.

    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.