• Offered by Research School of Chemistry
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Chemistry
  • Areas of interest Chemistry
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Mark Ellison
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

The following syllabus provides a general guide to the topics to be discussed:

Atomic structure and bonding: electronic structure of atoms, quantum numbers, orbitals and energy levels, filling sequence, periodicity of atomic properties, octet 'rule', chemical bonds - ionic, covalent - energetics, H-bonds, Lewis structures, shapes of molecules, VSEPR theory, valence bond theory, hybridisation, resonance, molecular orbital theory of simple homonuclear diatomic molecules.

Equilibrium: Haber process as example of the Law of mass action, equilibrium constants, Kc and Kp, Le Chatelier's principle, reaction quotient, endo- and exo-thermic reactions.

Acids/bases and aqueous equilibria: classical, Lowry-Brønsted, and Lewis definitions, pH of aqueous solutions, strengths of acids and bases - Ka and Kb, titration curves, buffers, extent of hydrolysis - weak acids/bases, solubility products.

Introductory thermodynamics: Energy - different forms, kinetic and potential, heat and work, the First Law of Thermodynamics, conservation of energy, internal energy and enthalpy, Hess' Law, state functions, standard states, calorimetry.

Electrochemistry: redox reactions, half-cell reactions and balancing equations, oxidation states, Voltaic cells, electrodes, electrode potentials, electromotive force and the free energy of cell reactions, Nernst equation.

Advanced thermodynamics: entropy, Second and Third Laws of Thermodynamics, free energy, equilibrium, spontaneous processes, equilibrium constants - calculations, extent of reaction.

Organic structure, isomerism & reactivity: carbon hybridization, functional groups, nomenclature, 3D chemistry, conformations, isomerism, biological and synthetic polymers - for example, polyamides and polysaccharides.

Laboratory: Exercises illustrating the simpler principles of analytical, inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. The apparatus used in the course is supplied by the Research School of Chemistry. Attendance at laboratory classes is compulsory.

Honours Pathway Option (HPO)

Replacement of 12 tutorials with 12 additional lectures at a more advanced level. The HPO is designed for students with a strong interest in chemistry from school, Science Summer School, Olympiad or equivalent. It is expected that all students in the PhB, or Honours degree programs enrolled in CHEM1101 will complete the HPO.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:


  • Demonstrate an understanding of the electronic structure of an atom and the concept of chemical bonding and be able to interpret the relationships between them. (LO1)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the laws of thermodynamics, heat changes in reactions and entropy.  Be able to explain whether a reaction is spontaneous. (LO2)
  •  Demonstrate an understanding of chemical equilibria, acids and bases and the processes occurring in solution.  Be able to perform quantitative calculations. (LO3)
  • Be able to interpret a developed thin layer chromatogram. (LO4)
  • Be able to demonstrate an insight and understanding into the bonding and structure of a variety of simple organic molecules, including isomerism and stereochemistry. (LO5)
  • Be able to demonstrate the use of chemical nomenclature and the knowledge of the classification, properties and reactions of a wide variety of organic compounds according to the functional groups they contain. (LO6)
  • Recognise the importance of chemistry in the biological sciences and society at large . Be able to apply chemical concepts to the understanding of biological structures and processes. (LO7)
  • Demonstrate the ability to perform safe laboratory manipulations and to manipulate glassware.  Be able to perform volumetric analysis and chemical synthesis following a prescribed procedure. (LO8)

Other Information

Secondary School Prerequisite:

A ACT major in Chemistry or NSW HSC Chemistry, or equivalent,  or successful completion of a bridging course in Chemistry is required.   Chemistry is essential for all later-year courses in chemistry, the biological streams of biochemistry and cell biology, microbiology and immunology, molecular genetics, animal and human physiology, botany and some parts of neuroscience. A bridging course is available in February through the Research School of Chemistry.

Indicative Assessment

25% by laboratory work, 6% by online quizzes and 69% by exam.

HPO Proposed Assessment: The standard course will count 90% towards the final grade and the Honours Pathway Option 10%.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


A maximum of 48 hours of lectures/tutorials and 27 hours of laboratory classes.

Prescribed Texts

Brown, Lemay, Bursten et al., Chemistry: The Central Science 3rd Ed., Pearson 2014

Assumed Knowledge

To enrol in the course you must have completed either years 11 and 12 (or equivalent) chemistry at School or College or a Chemistry Bridging Course.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
2659 19 Feb 2018 26 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person

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