CHEMY101-23A (HAM)

Structure and Spectroscopy - Tūramaramatia i ngā Hanganga

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science
Chemistry and Applied Physics


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What this paper is about

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This paper outline has been provided early to assist your decision in selecting papers. The details (e.g. lecture order and test dates and times) are subject to change. Please check back at the beginning of the semester to any changes and see the Moodle page for further details on the course.


This paper is a theoretical and practical course designed to provide a basic grounding in aspects of chemistry that are required for a Chemistry major, or students wanting to take higher level ‘core’ chemistry papers in Analytical or Inorganic Chemistry.

In this paper, analytical methods are explored, including the important role played by statistics and errors when the collection of data is involved. The analytical techniques are chosen to be those that have importance in modern chemistry, with a strong focus on spectroscopic techniques, including UV-visible spectroscopy, elemental analysis techniques, Infrared spectroscopy and NMR spectroscopy. As part of the course, students will gain hands-on experience in the operation of analytical instrumentation.

This paper will also cover structure and bonding (including atomic and molecular structure, periodic properties of the elements, and chemical bonding) as well as equilibria.

Students will develop skills in the writing of laboratory reports as part of this paper.

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How this paper will be taught

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This paper is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. Chemistry is an inherently practical subject and there is a focus on students gaining the necessary laboratory skills to be successful in Chemistry.


Lectures are held three times per week and are recorded using Panopto software. These recordings can be accessed at any time via the online learning platform (Moodle), via the course Moodle page. Recorded lectures will be very useful as a study aid, or in cases of illness or other unavoidable absence, or to cover timetable clash(es), however they should not be considered as a long-term alternative to attending lectures. We cannot guarantee that all lectures are successfully recorded as occasional technology issues can arise.


Laboratory sessions begin in the first week of trimester. Students must attend their allocated laboratory session unless they have written documentation (e.g. medical certificate) explaining why they couldn’t attend their normal session.

You will be assigned to one of the laboratory periods, which will be held each week throughout the A trimester.

In the first week of the trimester, an important safety induction will be carried out. In this week, you should try to attend your regular laboratory session. However, if this is not possible (e.g. due to late enrollment) you can attend any lab session in the first week. All students MUST attend one laboratory session in the first week, so that the safety induction is completed. Any student enrolling in the course after the first week should contact Martina Pietsch Brown in order to arrange a separate induction. Laboratory work cannot be started until a safety induction has been done.

Please note that the number of lab streams used will depend on the number of enrollments.


Tutorials provide a less formal setting to discuss general questions, laboratory reports and homework problems from the lectures as well as test and exam questions.

These sessions are student driven, allowing you to choose what content is covered.

The Wednesday tutorial is a 'super tutorial' which is a drop in session for all first year science papers.

The Friday tutorial is a dedicated CHEMY101 session.

You are strongly encouraged to attend tutorials, since this provides a forum for small group discussions of lecture and laboratory content, as well as problems, quizzes and past test papers.

Note on the University timetable:

Events starting in the morning, up to and including 12:00 commence on the hour. Events starting in the afternoon, starting from 13:00 actually commence at ten minutes past the hour, i.e. a lecture timetabled at 13:00 actually commences at 13:10.

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Required Readings

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Important notice:

A number of textbooks relevant to CHEMY101 can be obtained, in e-book format, for no charge, through Waikato Reading Lists.

For the latest CHEMY101 reading list see the Moodle page.

For the analytical chemistry part of the paper: Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry, by Skoog, West, Holler and Crouch (9th Edition, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning) is required. This book is the only required text for all levels 1, 2 and 3 of analytical chemistry. If you are not intending to study chemistry for 3 years it is possible to purchase various options, including a less expensive an e-book. These can be found at:

Hard copies of the book are available in the Library.

Recommended readings:

Inorganic Chemistry, by C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe (Pearson), available in the Library at QD151.3 .H68 2012

Brown, LeMay, Bursten, Langford, Sagaty Chemistry the Central Science, a Broad Perspective, any edition, and will be useful for much of the second half of the paper. Copies are available in the Library at QD31.2 .B79 2010.

Practical Skills in Chemistry, second Edition, J. R. Dean et al, Prentice Hall, 2001 is a very useful resource; several copies are available in the Library. This book contains material on general skills (study and examination skills, IT and library resources, communicating information and presenting data), together with information directly relevant to the paper (writing essays, reporting practical work, writing literature reviews. It also contains information on essential practical skills in chemistry (recrystallisation, reflux, evaporation, infrared spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, mass spectrometry).

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You will need to have

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Other resources:

Lecture notes can either be downloaded and printed from the Moodle page, or alternatively a bound set of lecture notes can be purchased from Waikato Print for the first six weeks of lecture material. The laboratory manual can either be self-printed, or a bound copy purchased.

Lectures will be recorded using Panopto, though we are unable to guarantee the quality or even existence of recordings in the unlikely event that serious technical issues arise.

For those students planning to continue in Chemistry, to CHEMY102 Chemical Reactivity, and CHEMY201 Organic Chemistry and CHEMY203 Inorganic Chemistry, a molecular model kit will be a valuable tool for the three-dimensional visualisation of molecules.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Perform statistical analyses to examine and explain the origin of errors in chemistry.
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  • Explain the principles of ultra violet, infrared, and fluorescence spectroscopies, conduct spectroscopic experiments and analyse and interpret the results (Foundational 5, 6)
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  • Demonstrate understanding of the electronic structure of atoms and relate this to their chemical and physical properties, including accounting for periodic trends in sizes of atoms and ions
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  • Describe the important features of intra and inter-molecular bonding, including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbital theory
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  • Define the features of solid state structures and explain the relationship between structure and function in a selection of modern solid materials
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  • Demonstrate qualitative and quantitative understanding of the principles of chemical equilibrium, with an emphasis on applications
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  • Demonstrate laboratory skills and techniques while following safe practices
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  • Demonstrate academic integrity as relevant to chemistry (Foundational 1)
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  • Produce a clear, computer-generated laboratory report that follows appropriate scientific protocols and including appropriate references from the relevant literature cited in an accepted manner and with appropriate analysis of numerical data (Foundational
    Linked to the following assessments:
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How you will be assessed

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Laboratory work

Requirements for the laboratory write-ups will vary for each experiment. Further details will be specified in the Laboratory Manual, and discussed in laboratory classes.


There will be four tests in the course, totaling 30% of the total course mark overall. Please see Moodle for the dates of these tests and note these dates in your diary. Further details on the content of each test is provided on Moodle.

  • Test 1 (5%): Online Moodle test
  • Test 2 (10%): In class.
  • Test 3 (10%): In class
  • Test 4 (5%):Online Moodle test

Important note:

In the event of a lockdown or similar covid-related circumstances preventing in person assessment, each assessment item may be replaced by a 50:50 mark split between an online open-book written assessment and an individual oral examination; the latter will NOT be open-book. In the event that your mark for the oral assessment is significantly lower than your mark for the written assessment, you will have an opportunity to sit a second oral assessment and if there continues to be a disparity between your performance in the two parts of the assessment you will be required to undertake an in-person written test. In the event that the oral examination occurs via Zoom or some similar program, you will be required to have video operating, to look at the camera during the examination and to have your hands in view. If you do not operate with video, you will be deemed not to have undertaken the oral assessment item.

We have been obliged to impose these measures because in 2020 and 2021 a significant number of students were caught taking advantage of online assessment to cheat.

Your attention is directed to the student code of conduct which specifically excludes plagiarism or copying the written material of others and purchasing answers from online agencies.

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 40% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 60:40 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 40% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Test 1
12 Mar 2023
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Test 2
31 Mar 2023
10:00 AM
  • In Class: In Lecture
3. Test 3
15 May 2023
11:00 AM
  • In Class: In Lecture
4. Test 4
1 Jun 2023
10:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Weekly lab assessments (10)
  • Hand-in: In Lab
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Exam
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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