CHEM30220 Mechanism, Stereochemistry and Alicyclic Chemistry

Academic Year 2024/2025

The module will focus on two key themes in the synthesis and reactivity of organic compounds, stereochemistry and mechanism. The stereochemistry part of the module will be concerned with fundamental principles of stereochemistry and of stereoselective synthesis, and with understanding the interplay of stereochemistry and reactivity in the chemistry of cyclic aliphatic compounds. The section on mechanism will illustrate the techniques for elucidating reaction mechanisms, with an emphasis on fundamentally important substitution addition and elimination mechanisms. The laboratory component of the module involves learning key skills in the context of a multi-step synthetic project.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the course students should be able to: (i) demonstrate an understanding of the principles and implications of configurational and conformational isomerism, (ii) demonstrate an understanding of the scope and application of methods for elucidation of the mechanisms of organic reactions, and (iii) carry out a multi-step synthetic sequence safely and efficiently.

Indicative Module Content:

'Mechanism' section:
* Use of kinetic methods
* Probing for intermediates
* Use of isotopes
* Substitution & elimination reactions
* Cases studies

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures, including in-class problem solving activities.
Independent learning in advance of problem solving in workshops.
Execution of a synthetic laboratory project.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

CHEM20040 or equivalent

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment(Including Essay): Two written problem solving assignments on the module content. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Exam (In-person): Two hour end of trimester examination n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Report(s): Lab reports from mini-research project carried out during lab practical sessions. n/a Graded 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
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback to the class on assignments prior to summative assessment and on lab reports (post-assessment).

Name Role
Dr Xiangming Zhu Lecturer / Co-Lecturer