• Class Number 1246
  • Term Code 3320
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Malcolm McLeod
    • Dr Jamie Hicks
    • Prof Malcolm McLeod
    • Dr Nick Cox
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 16/01/2023
  • Class End Date 25/02/2023
  • Census Date 03/02/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 30/01/2023
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). This is available from the Hancock Library.

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 / tutorials
  • Results of the Symmetry assignments
  • Results of the Symmetry exam
  • Results of the Crystallography assignment
  • Results of the final 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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

The Honours Pathway Option (HPO) for this course will be held alongside chem2210 semester 1. Students in chem2210 summer will be invited to participate in the HPO during semester 1.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Recorded lectures and other materials online from 16 Jan
2 Lectures and workshops by Nick Cox from 30 Jan Symmetry assignments and exam
3 Lectures and workshops by Jamie Hicks and Mal McLeod from 6 Feb Crystallography assignment and Spectroscopy and Spectrometry exam will follow the week 2 workshops.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Symmetry Assignments 10 % 03/02/2022 03/02/2022 1,2,3,5
Symmetry Exam 30 % 04/02/2022 11/02/2022 1,2,3,5
Crystallography assignment 20 % 20/02/2022 27/02/2022 1,4,5
Spectroscopy and Spectrometry Exam 40 % 25/02/2022 04/03/2022 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 in relation to exams, the due date and return date exams and assignments indicate the approximate time-frame 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: 03/02/2022
Return of Assessment: 03/02/2022
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: 04/02/2022
Return of Assessment: 11/02/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Symmetry Exam

A 2 hour topic exam, held at the end of week 1

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.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 20/02/2022
Return of Assessment: 27/02/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,4,5

Crystallography assignment

Students will complete an assignment on X-ray crystallography.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 25/02/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/03/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,5,6

Spectroscopy and Spectrometry Exam

A 2 hour topic exam.

This exam will assess lecture material covered in the lectures given by Mal McLeod.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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).

Prof Malcolm McLeod

Research Interests

Anti-doping and medicinal chemistry

Prof Malcolm McLeod

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Jamie Hicks
6125 5076

Research Interests

Dr Jamie Hicks

By Appointment
Prof Malcolm McLeod

Research Interests

Prof Malcolm McLeod

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Nick Cox

Research Interests

Dr Nick Cox

By Appointment

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