Foundations of Chemistry 1


This module introduces and considers the application of basic chemical concepts of relevance to a wide range of science-based programmes


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with an understanding of the chemical behaviour of the elements and their compounds. An introduction to the concepts of organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. An overview of the application of chemistry to selected areas

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Understand the periodic table and how it relates to the chemical and physical properties of the elements

2.  Use chemical equations and formulae in a quantitative manner

3.  Distinguish simple classifications of chemical compounds and relate structure to molecular properties

4.  Describe the structure and reactions of simple organic molecules

5.  Appreciate the different ways chemical and physical data can be manipulated and presented

6.  Relate chemical concepts to selected areas of application in Forensic and Biomedical Sciences

Indicative Content

1 Introductory maths for scientists

Manipulation of equations, dimensional analysis, the application of units, logs, indices, graphs, significant figures

2 The nature of matter

The periodic table; concept, structure and trends. Electronic structure and elemental properties. VSEPR theory, hybrisiation and molecular shape. Types of bonding. Intermolecular forces. Types of matter; gases, liquids and solids

3 Describing chemical substances and their interactions

Avagadro’s number, the mole concept, law of conservation of mass, law of definite proportions, stoichiometry, chemical formulae, balancing chemical equations, acid / base titrations, molarity calculations.

4 Simple organic molecules

Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes, naming conventions, structural isomerism, cis/trans isomerism, conformational analysis.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This is a module in which fundamental knowledge, theories and concepts are conveyed through a series of interactive lectures. Supporting tutorials provide the opportunity for students to apply knowledge and develop skills in calculation techniques including selecting appropriate data and incorporating this into formulae to provide a solution to a given problem. Learning is enhanced by laboratory classes which provide experimental evidence to support theory and also the opportunity for students, working in teams, to experience and participate in practical activities allowing them to appreciate and reflect on the factors which influence the differences between theory and practice. Assessment is by laboratory report in which the students will interpret experimental findings and link them to underpinning theories. Additionally an examination is used to test learning and understanding, and intellectual and transferable skills. Key transferable skills developed in the module include; communication (symbolic and diagrammatic), problem solving (manipulation of chemical equations and the appropriate use of units) and planning.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 12
Unsupervised Practical Activity 18
Assessment 50
Independent 86

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.