CHEM20040 Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module advances the concepts of the chemical reactivity of carbonyl and aromatic compounds with a specific emphasis placed on gaining an understanding of their different modes of reaction. It includes numerous examples of the application of the described chemistry to the making of complex chemical entities. The laboratory sessions complement the material covered in lectures.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:
describe the synthesis and mode of reaction mechanism of carbonyl compounds such as aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acid chlorides, anhydrides, esters and amides.
predict leaving group ability.
explain the concept of aromaticity.
describe the use of a protecting group for multi-step organic synthesis.
outline a multi-step synthesis.
describe the mode of reaction of aromatic compounds.
predict the substituent effects on the reactivity of aromatic rings.
perform synthetic organic chemistry laboratory procedures safely.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Assessed tutorial work
Small group tutorials where the completed tutorial work will be discussed (and returned)
Laboratory classes (peform experiments, write reports) 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

This module requires an understanding of basic organic chemistry, and the associated laboratory practice; any of the modules: CHEM10050, CHEM10010 and CHEM10090 is suitable.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
CHEM20060 - Organic Chemistry - Engineers

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Exam (In-person): One written end of trimester examination. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Practical Skills Assessment: Laboratory assessments, including: laboratory practice, reports, data and sample quality. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment(Including Essay): Short written assignments to be completed as homework during the trimester. These will be discussed during the timetabled tutorial sessions. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Completed, marked tutorial work will be discussed in small groups and the work returned

We recommend: J. E. McMurry, Organic Chemistry, for this module
Students may also find: J. Clayden et al. Organic Chemistry useful
Name Role
Mr Colin Evesson Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Declan Gilheany Lecturer / Co-Lecturer