• Class Number 3119
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Malcolm McLeod
    • AsPr Malcolm McLeod
    • Michael Gardiner
    • Dr Nick Cox
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

Structure elucidation is essential in all areas of chemistry, from understanding the behaviour of engineered enzymes or functional materials, to the creation of new medicines to treat disease. This course describes the fundamentals of chemical structure and symmetry, and the use of molecular orbital theory and quantum mechanics to understand molecular properties and chemical spectroscopy. It has a major focus on problem solving and acquiring applied skills to deploy concepts of symmetry, spectroscopy, spectrometry and diffraction to define chemical structure across all states of matter. Advanced research-level strategies for elucidating complex structures will be developed by connecting the partial structural information obtained from infra-red spectroscopy (IR), UV-visible spectroscopy, 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry (MS) and X-ray crystallography.

Honours pathway option (HPO):

Entry to this option is subject to the approval of the course convener. Students who take this option will undertake advanced self-directed learning based on problems presented in the workshops and in place of the workshops. It is expected that all students in the PhB (Hons) or direct entry Honours degree programs enrolled in this course will complete the HPO.

Proposed Assessment Honours Pathway Option: The HPO will count for up to 10% of the final course grade and the standard course will count at least 90%.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Recognise symmetry operations and their use in determining the point group of a molecule and the space group of a crystal.
  2. Construct qualitative molecular orbital diagrams for diatomic, triatomic and polyatomic molecules through the consideration of molecular symmetry.
  3. Understand, interpret and predict vibrational and electronic spectra of molecules through the consideration of molecular orbitals and symmetry.
  4. Determine crystal structures from single crystal X-ray diffraction data, including the analysis of discrete and extended structural features.
  5. Recognise the roles and limitations of various forms of spectroscopy, spectrometry and diffraction.
  6. Develop problem solving strategies and apply data derived from infra-red spectroscopy (IR), UV-visible spectroscopy, 1D and 2D nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, mass spectrometry (MS) and diffraction to deduce the structure of chemical compounds.

Required Resources

The prescribed textbook is: Organic Structures form Spectra. L D Field, S Sternhell and JR Kalman, 5th Edition (John Wiley).

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:

  • Discussions of problem sets in weekly workshops
  • Results of the Symmetry assignments
  • Results of the Symmetry exam
  • Results of the Crystallography assignment
  • Results of the spectroscopy and spectrometry exam

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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Lectures and workshops by Nick Cox Symmetry assignments and exam
7 Lectures and workshops by Michael Gardiner Crystallography assignment
9 Lectures and workshops by Mal McLeod Spectroscopy and spectrometry exam

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Symmetry Assignments 10 % 25/03/2022 25/03/2022 1,2,3,5
Symmetry Exam 30 % 01/04/2022 08/04/2022 1,2,3,5
Crystallography Assignment 20 % 16/05/2022 23/05/2022 1,4,5
Spectroscopy and Spectrometry Exam 40 % 02/06/2022 08/06/2022 1,5,6

* 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.


Students are expected to listen to the video recording(s) of all lectures and participate in face-to-face workshops. Where remote learning is undertaken, workshops will be hosted on zoom.


Please note, that where a date range is used in the Assessment Summary, the due date and return date exams and assignments indicate the approximate timeframe in which the exam will be held. Students should consult the course wattle site to confirm the date, time and venue of the exam.

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

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 25/03/2022
Return of Assessment: 25/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Symmetry Assignments

Symmetry assignments based on multiple choice questions held online during workshops

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 01/04/2022
Return of Assessment: 08/04/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Symmetry Exam

A 2 hour exam, held in week 6

This exam will assess lecture material covered in the lectures given by Nick Cox. It is hoped that the topic exam will alert students to the standards expected and give valuable early feed-back on progress.

The date range is an general indication of when the mid-semester exam will be held. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU Examination Timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the end of semester exam.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 16/05/2022
Return of Assessment: 23/05/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Crystallography Assignment

Students will complete an assignment on X-ray crystallography.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 02/06/2022
Return of Assessment: 08/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,5,6

Spectroscopy and Spectrometry Exam

A 2 hour exam.

This exam will assess spectroscopy and spectrometry covered in the lectures given by Mal McLeod.

The date range indicates the start of the end of semester exam period and the date official end of semester results are released on ISIS. Please check the course Wattle site and the ANU final Examination Timetable http://www.anu.edu.au/students/program-administration/assessments-exams/examination-timetable to confirm the date, time and location of the exam.

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 Course Convenor as 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

Assignments will be graded and returned on Wattle.

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

Resubmission of assignments will not be permitted.

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).

AsPr Malcolm McLeod

Research Interests

Anti-doping and medicinal chemistry

AsPr Malcolm McLeod

By Appointment
By Appointment
AsPr Malcolm McLeod

Research Interests

AsPr Malcolm McLeod

By Appointment
By Appointment
Michael Gardiner

Research Interests

Michael Gardiner

By Appointment
Dr Nick Cox

Research Interests

Dr Nick Cox

By Appointment

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