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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This course covers key concepts in physical chemistry which underpin our understanding and ability to control chemical and biological processes. The principal points include thermodynamics (enthalpy, entropy and free energies), chemical kinetics (zero, 1st and 2nd order reactions, rate laws and half-lives and the relationship of rate laws to reaction mechanisms), and basic principles of electrochemistry (redox chemistry and the Nernst equation). A strong emphasis on calculations helps students get to grips with the course material and develops numeracy skills. Laboratory experiments support and complement the taught material.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 2
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Peter A Henderson

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course provides a grounding in basic physical chemistry. The principal points include:

  • Thermodynamic parameters: enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs energies.
  • Chemical kinetics: Zero, 1st and 2nd order reactions, partial and reaction orders and relationship of rate laws to mechanism.
  • Basic principles of electrochemistry including redox chemistry and Nernst equations.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Science Laboratory during University weeks 10 - 13
  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 9 - 19
  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 11, 13, 15, 17, 19
  • 1 Workshop during University weeks 10 - 13

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

4 online pre-lab tests and 4 experiment worksheets - 25%

Online tests split over 2 topic blocks - 25%

2 take home exams, one for each topic block. Written/scanned and submitted online - 50%

Alternative Resit Assessment

Resit of failed take-home (48 hour) exam(s) and/or submission of missed, or resubmission of failed components of lab and/or CA if overall component was failed.


Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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