Module details for 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.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 11
Practical Activity 30
Assessment 50
Independent 85
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.