CHEM10080 Inorganic Chemistry

Academic Year 2023/2024

This is a foundation year module for medical students, which introduces fundamental inorganic chemistry. Students will be introduced to representative chemistry from across the entire periodic table, and will learn how to predict shapes, reactivity and properties of various compounds. The module focuses on the molecular chemistry of main group elements, solid state chemistry and the chemistry of transition metals and their compounds.
There are numerous applications of the presented chemistry to biological and/or medicinal topics, ranging from the role of metals in the body to widely-used pharmaceuticals. These links to medicine are emphasised throughout the module through lecture content and interactive activities.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module, you will should be able to:
1. Compare and contrast the relative properties of main group elements and predict outcomes of their reactions with hydrogen, oxygen, water and halogens
2. Use Lewis structures and the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory (VSEPR) to predict and explain molecular shapes
3. Draw the unit cells of solid state structures of selected elements, ionic, molecular and network solids, and comment on the nature of alloys
4. Calculate coordination number, formula units per unit cell, symmetry and stoichiometry of simple solid state structures (A, AB, AB2 and AB3 systems)
5. Appreciate the relevance of several examples of main group compounds, metals and transition metal complexes to medicine and biology
6. Predict the stoichiometry, shape and selected properties of coordination complexes from the nature of the central ion and the ligand involved

Indicative Module Content:

The module will have three major sections: Main Group Chemistry, Solid State Chemistry and Transition Metal Chemistry, as well as highlighting numerous applications of the presented chemistry to biological and/or medicinal topics. Indicative content within each section is as follows:

Main group chemistry: Classifying the elements (metals, semimetals and nonmetals); predicting molecular shape using valence electron pair repulsion model; survey of the reactivity and properties of s- and p-block elements, including their reactions with hydrogen, oxygen, water and halogens; allotropes of main group elements and their properties.

Solid state chemistry: Crystalline and amorphous solids; detailed discussion of cubic unit cells and examples of metallic, ionic, network and molecular solids; Bravais lattices; packing efficiency in the solid state; calculation of density and particle radius from solid state structure; interstitial sites, AB and AB2 binary solids and AB3 ternary structures (rock salt, zinc blende, rutile, fluorite, etc); solid-state of carbon allotropes; solid state defects, including semiconductors and alloys.

Transition metal chemistry: d-orbitals and ground state electronic configuration of transition metals, lanthanides and their ions; oxidation states of transition metals; binary compounds of transition metals and reactivity; coordination chemistry, ligands (charge, denticity, macrocycles), nomenclature; coordination number and coordination geometry; crystal field theory, and impact on colour and magnetic properties (spectrochemical series, high- and low-spin complexes).

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module consists of 24 lectures. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
BIOC00010 - Chemistry-Biochemistry, CHEM20100 - Basis of Inorganic Chemistry

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Class Test: 3 in-class tests will be delivered through the trimester, each weighted at 10 %. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Examination: 2 hour end of semester examination 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 1 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

You will able to assess your progress through self-assessment activities during the module. In-class quizzes will act as both formative and summative assessment, giving you confidence in your ability to engage with content from each section of the course, and automated and/or personal feedback provided. After each assessment, high-level group feedback will be provided in class.

Most material for this module will be supported by any general chemistry textbook.

The following free online textbook is a good choice:
- "Chemistry 2e",, OpenStax, 2019, 2nd ed.

An alternative text available in UCD Library is:
- "Chemistry: the molecular nature of matter and change", by Silberberg, Martin S; Duran, Randy, 2003, 3rd ed.

This will be supplemented by additional resources on Brightspace, including some chapters from Chemistry Libretexts