Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Chemistry


Type Open Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Core Chemistry 3 (CHEM3012) AND two from [Inorganic Concepts and Applications (CHEM3097), Advanced Organic Chemistry (CHEM3117), Molecules and their Interactions (CHEM3137)].


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Bioactive Chemistry 4 (CHEM4211) OR Chemical Physics 4 (CHEM4411) OR Chemistry and Society (CHEM3061).


  • This module builds on material taught at level-3 and provides an advanced overview of more specialised areas of chemistry and chemical physics.


  • A - Supramolecular Chemistry
  • C - Zeolites: Synthesis, Characterization and Industrial Applications
  • I - Medicinal Chemistry I - Drug design, discovery and development
  • J - Advanced Polymer Synthesis
  • K - Carbenes in Organocatalysis
  • L - Sustainable Green Chemistry
  • R - Advanced Molecular Spectroscopy
  • S - Molecular Reaction Dynamics
  • T - Macromolecular Physical Chemistry
  • [*Each student will follow six lecture courses. The choice will depend on modules taken at level-3 and student choice.]

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • After attending the relevant lecture courses, students should be able to:
  • A1 - Understand the role of non-covalent bonding in producing molecular receptors and host-guest systems;
  • C1 - Describe the role played by zeolites in industrial systems
  • I1 - Classify drugs according to their site and mode of action and critically discuss the relationships between structure and activity;
  • I2 - Describe methods by which drugs may be discovered and optimised;
  • J1 - Describe and distinguish between the major synthetic routes to polymer molecules;
  • J2 - Understand the relative merits and limitations of each synthetic route and suggest suitable strategies for the synthesis of key polymer classes;
  • K1 - Identify different classes of carbene organocatalysts and synthetic routes to these catalysts;
  • K2 - Discuss typical mechanisms of reactions enabled by carbenes including acyl anion, Lewis base and azolium enolate catalysis;
  • L1 - understand and appreciate the rationale behind, and the need for, green and sustainable chemistries, and understand the 12 principles of green Chemistry;
  • L2 - appreciate the necessity for cradle-to-grave life cycle analyses;
  • L3 - access the relative ‘green credentials’ of chemical processes using a metrics- based approach;
  • L4 - appreciate alternative synthetic methodologies relevant to green Chemistry;
  • R1 - Explain how energy flows between degrees of freedom of a molecule;
  • R2 - Understand the role of spectroscopy in determining structure, excited state properties and dynamics;
  • S1 - Explain how differential cross sections are related to rate constants and how they can be measured;
  • S2 - Deduce the qualitative outcome of a reaction from the key features of the potential energy surface and vice versa;
  • S3 - Calculate and explain how reaction exothermicity is proportioned amongst the internal states of reaction products;
  • T1 - Understand the relationship between polymer structure, dynamics and material properties;
  • T2 - Understand how interactions between polymers affect their phase behaviour in blends
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • Facts and new concepts are introduced in the lecture courses.
      • Students' knowledge and understanding is tested by examination.
      • Undergraduates are aided in the learning process by workshops where they attempt sample problems.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 36 1 Hour 36
      Workshops 6 Term 3 1 Hour 6
      Preparation and Reading 158
      Total 200

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      three-hour written examination 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Workshop problems.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University