CHEM 7555 - M. Philosophy Chemistry (9 units)

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

This course covers a range of advanced topics in chemistry, the methods of presentation and assessment of which vary according to module. Students enrolled in this course complete the following modules: Advanced Organo-metallic Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Contemporary Chemistry: A Link with the Past, NMR Spectroscopy, Reactive Intermediates in Organic Synthesis, Statistical Mechanics of Liquids, Special Topic in Chemistry and Advanced Research Topic in Chemistry. In addition, the course will cover fundamental occupational, health and safety requirements specific to chemistry and provide training in chemical and hazard management.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CHEM 7555
    Course M. Philosophy Chemistry (9 units)
    Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 9
    Contact Up to 28 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Available to Master of Philosophy (Chemical Science) students only
    Assessment Written assignments and exams
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Tara Pukala

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1. demonstrate an advanced understanding of the methods and processes of chemistry as a creative endeavour;

    2. demonstrate an understanding of the close relationship between scientific research and the development of new knowledge in a global context;

    3. demonstrate that current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further enquiry;

    4. apply the concepts and theories of a range of advanced topics in chemistry;

    5. analyse, interpret and critically evaluate research findings;

    6. present information, articulate arguments and conclusions, in a variety of modes, to audiences in their field of research;

    7. comply with regulatory frameworks (including OH&S) and practising professional ethics relevant to the chemistry field;

    8. undertake independent research in a chemistry field
    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)
    1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8
    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
    1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8
    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
    4, 5, 6, 8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    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
    2, 7
    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
    2, 3, 5, 6, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    There is no prescribed text for this course.
    Online Learning

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

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is delivered by the following means:

    8 hours of lectures per module over 8 weeks

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

    A student enrolled in a 9 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 36 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

    4.1 Learning Activities Summary

    The course will cover core fundamental occupational, health and safety requirements specific to chemistry and provide training in chemical and hazard management.

    Ø Occupational health and safety / chemical and hazard management training

    Students will be trained in fundamental occupational, health and safety requirements specific to chemistry and chemical and hazard management.

    - School safety induction (1 hour)

    - Chemical management training (1 hour)

    - Hazard management training (1 hour)

    - Fire Extinguisher training (1 hour)

    - RMSS risk assessment with practical (1 hour)

    - NMR induction (1 hour)

    In addition, the course content includes a selection of three of the following modules:

    Ø Advanced Organo-metallic Chemistry

    Advanced synthetic methods

    - Use of transition metals in synthesis of new materials

    - Fundamentals of interactions of transition metals with organic molecules

    Stabilisation of reactive intermediates

    - Activation of H2, CO, alkenes

    - Catalysis

    Hydrogenation, Hydroformylation - Wilkinson


    - Reactions of alkenes, alkynes on metal centres

    - Metal carbyne and vinylidene complexes - Schrock, Grubbs

    Olefin metathesis

    - Palladium chemistry - Heck, Negishi

    - Gold chemistry

    Ø Computational Chemistry

    - Electronic structure methods including molecular mechanics, ab initio, perturbation theory and density functional theory

    - Using computational chemistry programs (e.g. Gaussian and GaussView) and accessing supercomputers

    - The Molecular Hamiltonian

    - Atomic units and the Born-Oppenheimer approximation

    - The Hartree-fock method and approximations

    - Linear combination of atomic orbitals, Slater deteminants, Variational principle Wavefunctions and Basis functions

    - Geometry optimisation, stationary states, frequency calculations

    Ø Contemporary Chemistry – A Link with the Past

    - Role of protein structure in the design of enzyme inhibitors

    - Link between DNA structure and anticancer agents

    - Human genome project and the structure of DNA

    - Cell-cell recognition and the structure of sugars

    - Role of stereochemistry on the activity of bioactive agents/metabolites

    Ø NMR Spectroscopy

    - Basic principles

    - Relaxation effects

    - Nuclear Overhauser Effect

    - Two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy

    Ø Reactive Intermediates in Organic Synthesis

    - Properties of reactive intermediates in organic chemistry and evidence for their existence

    - Methods of generating reactive intermediates

    - Typical reactions of reactive intermediates

    - Use of reactive intermediates in the synthesis of complex molecules

    Ø Statistical Mechanics of Liquids

    - Statistical description of liquids in terms of the classical partition function

    - Correlation functions: radial distribution function, velocity autocorrelation function, mean squared displacement

    - van der Waals picture of liquids

    - Free energy calculations

    - Simulation methods: molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo

    Ø Special topic in chemistry

    This module is offered by external chemistry experts and the content varies each year depending on availability of external experts (e.g. three-dimensional structure determination, advanced organic synthetic chemistry, etc.).

    Ø Advanced research topic in chemistry

    The content of this module varies each year depending on the research topics of students enrolled in the program.
  • 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 % of total assessment for grading purposes Objectives being assessed / achieved
    Safety management tests Formative & Summative Pass/Fail 7
    Research Proposal Formative NGP 1 – 5, 8
    Research Proposal Presentation Formative NGP 1 – 5, 8
    Assignments Formative & Summative 0% - 100% * 1 – 8
    Quiz Formative & Summative 0% - 10% * 1 – 4
    Written Exams Summative 0% - 100% * 1 – 8
    Assessment Detail

    Safety management tests: (Pass/Fail)

    Students will be trained and tested in the following fundamental safety requirements specific to chemistry: chemical management, hazard management, RMMS risk assessments and NMR induction. A short test will be taken at the end of each session to ensure students understand the content covered. An opportunity to repeat the tests will be offered if necessary.

    Research Proposal: (Non Graded Pass)

    Students are required to submit a research proposal for their research project. The research proposal should be a detailed description of the scope and purpose of the research to be undertaken and the methodology to be employed. This assessment item can be completed concurrently with and used for the Core Component of the Structured Program required by the program rules.

    Research Proposal Presentation: (Non Graded Pass)

    Students are required to give a presentation on their research proposal to other M. Philosophy and Honours students.

    Assignments: (0%-100% of total course grade) *

    Depending on the modules, assignments constitute 0% to 100% of the total course grade.

    Assignments are used during the semester to address understanding of and ability to use the course material and to provide students with a benchmark for their progress in the course.

    Quiz: (10%) *

    Depending on the modules, the quiz constitutes 0% to 10% of the total course grade.

    The quiz is used during the semester to address understanding of and ability to use the course material and to provide students with a benchmark for their progress in the course.

    Written Examination: (0%-100% of total course grade) *

    Depending on the modules, written exams constitute 0% to 100% of the total course grade (1 exam per module). Written exams are used to assess the ability to use the material covered in modules during the semester.

    * Assessment item weighting depends on modules.

    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 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 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.