• Class Number 6103
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Anthony Hill
    • Prof Anthony Hill
    • Dr Dan Preston
    • Prof Mick Sherburn
    • Dr Philip Norcott
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

This course will provide students with a well-rounded, integrated background in chemistry at the second year level covering key concepts in chemistry with a particular emphasis on the structure and function of molecules. The course is divided into three components: organic chemistry (~40%), physical chemistry (~20%) and inorganic chemistry (~40%).


The organic chemistry component will focus on an in-depth analysis of several types of organic reactions from a mechanistic and stereochemical viewpoint with particular reference to natural products and the synthesis of compounds of biological and commercial importance. The physical chemistry component will focus on understanding the rates of reactions, and the contribution of enthalpy and entropy to reaction favourability. The inorganic chemistry component focuses con coordination complexes and their stability, bonding, properties and reactivity, as well as their importance in biological systems. The laboratory component focuses on key laboratory techniques in synthetic organic and inorganic chemistry and their applications in separation, synthesis, and analysis of organic and coordination compounds.

Honours pathway option (HPO):

Entry to this option is subject to the approval of the course convener. Students who take this option will undertake 6-8 lectures at a more advanced level in place of 6-8 hours of tutorials/lab. All students in the PhB (Hons) or direct entry Honours degree programs enrolled in this course are encouraged to complete the HPO.

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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Assign configurations to relevant stereochemical elements in molecular structures and predict stereochemical outcomes in organic reactions.
  2. Provide mechanistic rationalisations for both substitution and elimination reactions in organic chemistry.
  3. Understand kinetic models for multi-step chemical and biochemical reactions based on fast equilibrium and steady-state approximations.
  4. Correlate reaction rates, equilibrium constants and reaction favourability with thermodynamic parameters such as Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy.
  5. Explain and rationalise the structures, stabilities and properties of coordination compounds in terms of factors related to the metal, ligand and metal–ligand bond.
  6. Provide mechanistic rationalisations for reactions of coordination complexes, including biological coordination complexes.
  7. Write concise scientific reports, critically analyse scientific data and elucidate structures of compounds using spectral analyses.
  8. Work to a professional level of skills in a chemical laboratory demonstrating effective laboratory safety and etiquette, especially in the areas of handling of chemicals and usage of lab-based glassware and equipment.

Research-Led Teaching

Chemistry is essentially an experimental science. The laboratory program consists of a variety of experimental exercises designed to:

1. illustrate and develop competence in a range of chemical techniques and manipulative skills.

2. emphasise the importance of a quantitative analytical approach to chemical systems.

3. develop an awareness of the scope and limitation of experimental observation and accuracy.

4. illustrate chemical topics, principles and concepts.

Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources

Course Website – online resources

Login using your student ID and password at http://wattle.anu.edu.au to find the course website for CHEM2203. You will be automatically added to these websites the evening after you have enrolled in the courses via ISIS. If you cannot see the online site/s, please contact the RSC Teaching Administrator at rsc.teaching@anu.edu.au. These course websites will contain lecture material, extra resources and discussion board postings. Please check these sites at least once per day for important notices.

The recommended textbooks are:

Organic Chemistry by Clayden, Greeves and Warren (2nd edition)

Schriver and Atkins' Inorganic Chemistry by Atkins, Overton, Rourke, Weller and Armstrong

You must wear the appropriate protective clothing (laboratory coat, safety glasses and covered, non-absorbant shoes) to participate in a practical class. Students who do not comply will not be permitted to work in the laboratory.

You need to purchase your own laboratory coat, your own safety glasses and a notebook to record data in for laboratory classes. Writing data on bits of paper is not good scientific practice. Laboratory coats and safety glasses can be purchased from the University Bookshop. You can also purchase a lab coat from the ANU Chemistry Society on O-Week Market Day.

Recommended student system requirements 

ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:

  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • laboratory reports
  • feedback from mid-semester and final exam upon request

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Assessment of the (HPO)

For students who wish to complete the Honours Pathway Option, there is an additional poster presentation where both posters and questioning will be assessed in Week 12. The assessment will focus on material ONLY from the additional HPO lectures.

For those of you who undertake the HPO lectures, the assessment for the standard Chemical Structure and Reactivity 2 course will count 90% towards the final grade and the examination associated with the Honours Pathway Option 10%. Students will be required to obtain a minimum mark for the Honours Pathway Option of greater than or equal to 50% in order to have it registered on their academic transcript.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures by Phil Norcott, Laboratory Experiment 1
2 Lectures by Phil Norcott, Laboratory Experiment 2 Submit report for Experiment 1
3 Lectures by Mick Sherburn and Philip Norcott, Laboratory Experiment 3 Submit report for Experiment 2
4 Lectures by Mick Sherburn, Laboratory Experiment 4 Submit report for Experiment 3
5 Lectures by Mick Sherburn and Anthony Hill Submit report for Experiment 4
6 Lectures by Anthony Hill Mid-semester exam
7 Lectures by Anthony Hill, Laboratory Experiment 5
8 Lectures by Anthony Hill, Laboratory Experiment 6 Submit report for Experiment 5
9 Lectures by Anthony Hill, Laboratory Experiment 7 Submit report for Experiment 6
10 Lectures by Anthony Hill and Dan Preston, Laboratory Experiment 8 Submit report for Experiment 7
11 Lectures by Dan Preston Submit report for Experiment 8
12 Lectures by Dan Preston

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Mid Semester Exam 28 % 1,2,3,4
End of Semester Exam 42 % 1,2,3,4
Laboratory Reports 30 % 1,2,3,4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Workload and expectations:

A total estimated workload of 65 hours of lectures/tutorials/laboratory plus a further 65 hours of independent learning. The lecture-based section of the course is comprised of 40 lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. Lectures will be presented by computer/data projector and whiteboard. Ad hoc discussions that arise during the lectures may make use of white-boards, the content of which may not be captured in lecture recordings. You should come prepared to take written notes since the notes available on Wattle will be incomplete.

To ensure a passing grade (or better), students are required to pass both theory and laboratory components of the course.

Laboratory attendance rule

The Research School of Chemistry considers the laboratory component of all courses to be an integral part of each course and as such all laboratory sessions are compulsory. It is therefore the policy of the Research School of Chemistry that students will attend all laboratory classes scheduled for any course. Absences must be notified (in advance, if possible) to the course convenor, and accompanied by adequate and appropriate documentation justifying the absence.

Laboratory classes (eight 4 hr sessions) will run for most of the semester, beginning in the first week.

The submission of all laboratory reports is compulsory. There is a penalty of 5% per working day for the late submission of laboratory reports.

A pass in the prescribed laboratory work is required in order to gain a pass in this course.


You must wear the appropriate protective clothing (laboratory coat, safety glasses and covered, non-absorbent shoes) to participate in a practical class. Students who do not comply will not be permitted to work in the laboratory. Please refer to the lab manual for information on the Research School of Chemistry’s policy on wearing contact lenses in the laboratory.

PLEASE NOTE: A student who consumes any laboratory chemicals or compounds that have been prepared in the laboratory will be referred to the Discipline Rules.


1 x mid-semester exam

1 x end of semester exam

Students should consult the course wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

Supplementary Assessment

You will be formally advised after the end of semester examination whether you need to undertake supplementary assessment.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 28 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mid Semester Exam

1.5 hour topic exam held in week 6 of term 3.

The first topic exam will assess lecture material covered in the lectures presented by Professor Sherburn and Dr Norcott. It is hoped that the topic exams will alert students to the standards expected and give valuable early feedback on progress.

Please check the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the mid semester exam.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 42 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

End of Semester Exam

2.5 hour topic exam, held in the November examination period.

The end of semester exam will assess lecture material from the remaining lectures presented by Professor Hill and Dr Preston, which may draw on content from earlier lecturers, and will be held in the November exam period.

Please check the ANU Final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/programadministration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location exam.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Laboratory Reports

Laboratory classes (eight 4 hour sessions) will run in weeks 1-4 and weeks 7-10. With the requirement of social distancing, labs may be required in the other weeks but with only 8 labs required for each student.

Laboratory classes commence at 14:00. Students arriving after 14:10 may not be permitted to commence the session.

The submission of all 8 laboratory reports is compulsory. A pass in the prescribed laboratory work is required in order to gain a pass in Chemical Structure and Reactivity 2.

Laboratory reports are submitted via the course Wattle site. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your report. Please keep a hard copy of the laboratory report for your records. Hard copies of laboratory reports are not required.

Details and due dates will be available in the course Wattle site.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Course Convenor. Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Marked laboratory reports will be available via Wattle one week after submission.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

If the standard of a lab report is deemed unsatisfactory by the course convenor (on advice from the laboratory demonstrator), you may be asked to resubmit the report.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Prof Anthony Hill

Research Interests

Organometallic chemistry, catalysis, main-group chemistry

Prof Anthony Hill

By Appointment
By Appointment
Prof Anthony Hill

Research Interests

Prof Anthony Hill

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Dan Preston

Research Interests

Dr Dan Preston

By Appointment
Prof Mick Sherburn

Research Interests

Prof Mick Sherburn

By Appointment
Dr Philip Norcott

Research Interests

Dr Philip Norcott

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions