Faculty of Health, Life and Social Sciences

School of natural and Applied Sciences                   

Unit Handbook
Introductory Chemistry

FRS 1027M     
















Module Coordinator: Dr Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez (Tel 01522 886878),

Room WH0009 Whitam House (close to the sport centre),

Email jgonzalezrodriguez@lincoln.ac.uk

Contents                                                                     Page


1.0     Introduction                                                                                      3

1.1         Teaching team                                                                            3

1.2         Outline syllabus                                                                        3

1.3     Learning outcomes                                                                     4

1.4     Schedule of Lectures & Workshops                                              4

1.5     Assessment                                                                                5

1.6     Feedback pledge                                                                         6

1.7     Further reading                                                                         6


1.0      Introduction

This unit covers all the major areas of chemistry (inorganic, organic and physical) and is directed towards those theoretical and conceptual aspects that are developed subsequently in later stages of the course.

Throughout the unit students are encouraged to develop practical skills necessary for all future chemistry-based practical applications in the field of forensic science.

1.1 Teaching team

Dr Mark Baron                        mbaron@lincoln.ac.uk                          ext. 6879

Dr Ruth Croxton                     rcroxton@lincoln.ac.uk                     ext  6789

Dr Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez   jgonzalezrodriguez@lincoln.ac.uk    ext. 6878

Should you have any queries about the unit, please remember that we are always here to help you – all you have to do is ask!


1.2 Outline Syllabus


I. Chemical Structure

Atoms and molecules – the building blocks of matter

Elements and compounds – Chemical bonding

Types of molecule – an overview

Shapes of molecules

Relating chemical names to structure – an overview

Ions and isotopes

States of matter

Changes in state

Relationship between bonding and physical properties


II. Molecules Of Biological Importance

Structure, properties and reactions of the important biological molecules


III. Chemical Properties

Solubility; Corrosion; Biodeterioration; Permeability; Flammability

Interaction with high energy radiation – electronic spectra


Electrical and thermal properties

Optical and morphological properties

IV. Chemical Reactions




Reaction mechanisms

Reaction schemes – synthesis of selected compounds

V. Organic Chemistry

Structure of organic compounds: bonding theories

Hydrocarbons: structure and properties

Reactivity and properties of Alkanes, alkenes and alkynes

Aromatic compounds: structure and reactivity

Alcohols and Ethers: structure and reactivity

Aldehydes and Ketones: structure and reactivity

Carboxylic acids and Esters

Amines and Amides

1.3 Learning Outcomes


After completion of this unit the student should be able to:

  1. apply aspects of chemical terminology, nomenclature, conventions and units;
  2. demonstrate understanding of atomic structure and relate this to properties of the elements, their compounds, and their position in the Periodic Table;
  3. demonstrate understanding of the models of chemical bonding and molecular shapes (including isomerism) and use these models to explain properties of substances;
  4. relate bulk properties of substances (including macromolecules) to the properties of individual atoms and molecules;
  5. describe chemical and physical properties of gases, liquids, solutions and solids
  6. explain the structure, properties and synthesis of selected compounds;
  7. demonstrate understanding of the fundamental chemical properties of substances (including electrical, thermal, optical and radioactivity);
  8. demonstrate understanding of the structure, properties and functions of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates;
  9. demonstrate understanding of chemical change and factors that influence the progress of a chemical reaction (principles of thermodynamics and kinetics);
  10. identify the major types of chemical reaction and understand the main characteristics associated with them;
  11. demonstrate skills in the safe-handling of chemical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use;
  12. demonstrate skills required for the conduct of standard laboratory procedures;
  13. demonstrate skills in the monitoring, by observation and measurement, of chemical properties, events or changes, and the systematic and reliable recording and documentation thereof;
  14. interpret data derived from laboratory observations and measurements in terms of their significance and the theory underlying them; and
  15. conduct risk assessments concerning the use of chemical substances and laboratory procedures.


1.4 Schedule of Lectures & Workshops

 You will have to look on your timetable for lectures and what time and where are they held. In the case of seminars and practical you will have to be careful as they have been alocated just to be attended by a specific group (A, B, C or D) at an specific time, so keep vigilant to identify your group and not to miss any of the sessions are they are extremely important.  

1.5 Assessment

The assessment profile will have two components:

Coursework (including a MCQ test) (50%); and

an unseen exam (50%).

1.5.1 Coursework

Laboratory Assessment

Lab Wk Title Assessment %
1 4 Chemical Residues for Explosives

Hand-in: end of lab

2 7 Titration Competency Test

Hand-in: end of lab

Accuracy of Titre values obtained 3
3 11 Analysis of Suspect Drugs


 10th January 2012

Forensic Lab Notes & scientific report 7
4 21 Extraction techniques MCQ 3
5 23 Forensic Practical


6 25 Determining Thiocyanate Levels in Human Saliva


24th April 2012

Full scientific Report with Statistical Analysis of Results     8
7 31 Audiovisual presentation


24th April 2012

presentation 3


Semester A coursework (33% weighting)

Three laboratory practicals will be assessed in various ways; these will include an observation exercise, a competency test, and a forensic examination laboratory report. These will account for 13% of the unit mark

A multiple choice question (MCQ) test (1 hr) will be given in Week 16. This will count 20% towards the unit mark.

Semester B coursework (17 % weighting)

You will be required to complete four practicals (various assessments will be used for these, including a full scientific report with statistical analysis of results) and keep a detailed account of laboratory work in a hard-backed laboratory notebook. This will be assessed during each practical session and graded accordingly:

1    Unsatisfactory practice

2    Satisfactory practice

3    Good practice

It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your work is graded each week.

NB: Failure to use a hard-backed notebook will result in a Grade 1. An average Grade of <2 for the whole Semester will result in a failure of Semester B coursework.

1.5.2 Exam (50 % weighting)

At the end of Semester B you will be set a 2 hr unseen exam. The exam paper will consist of six half-hour questions – you will be required to answer FOUR of these.

Pass marks and reassessment of this unit will be in accordance with the general examination regulations.



1.6 Generic feedback pledge


Feedback will be provided in the form of marked coursework and verbally through lecturers’ comments. The return date will normally be within 21 days from the hand-in date. If this is not possible then feedback may be in the form of general comments concerning the overall performance by the group. In such cases an alternative date will be given for the return of individual work.

1.7 Further Reading


Key texts

Housecroft, C.E., Constable, E.C. (2002) Chemistry (2nd Edition), Prentice Hall.


Other texts that may be useful to read are:


Atkins, P.W. and De Paula, J. (2001). Atkins’ Physical Chemistry (7th Edition), Oxford University Press.

[1]Jones, A., Clemmet, M., Higton, A. and Golding, E. (1999). Access to Chemistry, Royal Society of Chemistry.

Maskill, H. (1996). Mechanisms of Organic Reactions (Oxford Chemistry Primers), Oxford University Press.

Mingos, D.M.P. (1995). Essentials of Inorganic Chemistry 1 (Oxford Chemistry Primers, 28), Oxford University Press. 

Price, G. (1998). Thermodynamics of Chemical Processes (Oxford Chemistry Primers), Oxford University Press.

Zumdahl, Steven S. (2005). Chemical Principles (5th Edition), D C Heath and Company.

[1] This text is recommended for those students with only GCSE chemistry

Leave a Reply