3 x 50-minute lectures weekly
8 x 3-hour laboratories per semester
2 x 3-hour computer labs per semester
CHEM1102 - Modern Chemistry
Topic description

This topic will present students with the fundamentals of organic chemical synthesis. These are introduced initially by discussing the philosophy behind synthesis, a presentation on the mechanistic approach to understanding organic reactions followed by discussion on the main organic chemical reactions. The main organic reactions include for example; nucleophilic substitution and elimination, anion based chemistry (acetylenic anions, enolates, Grignard and organolithium reagents), addition reactions, and both electrophilic and nucleophilic aromatic substitution reactions. In addition students will learn about the stereochemical aspects of organic molecules and how these are influenced by organic reactions.

Educational aims

This topic aims to provide students with an appreciation of the basic reactions encountered in organic chemistry. This topic will teach students why and how organic reactions are carried out as well as an understanding of the underlying mechanism of the main reactions. Further, students will gain an appreciation of the factors affecting the main organic chemical reactions as well as stereochemical and regiochemical characteristics for these reactions. In addition students will be trained to carry out reactions safely and independently in a laboratory and to analyse and characterise the materials produced.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding about why basic organic reactions occur
  2. Predict and rationalise mechanistically the products from a variety of chemical reaction conditions, and factors that may influence them
  3. Carry out basic organic chemistry reactions safely and independently in a laboratory and examine and characterise the compounds produced
  4. Evaluate and present results from laboratory work in written form

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.