Organic Synthesis

Unit code: NPU2103 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
Footscray Park
RCS1602 - Chemistry 1B
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


This unit builds upon the fundamental organic chemistry covered in first year chemistry studies and introduces students to some of the theoretical and practical aspects of synthetic organic chemistry. The theoretical material is presented with an emphasis on understanding the mechanism of reactions to enable students to predict a range of reaction outcomes. Industrially important reactions such as electrophilic substitution reactions and the preparation and properties of common polymers are integral to this unit. Spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques introduced in Analytical Methods 1 are utilised and further explored in this unit. For students interested in teaching chemistry taking the four-unit sequence Chemistry 1A, Chemistry 1B, Analytical Methods 1 and Organic Synthesis adequately prepares students to deliver Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the VCE chemistry program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Apply basic concepts underpinning synthetic organic chemistry and polymer science based upon modern reaction processes to given problems;
  2. Employ chemical mechanisms to explain simple organic chemical reactions and explain the factors which influence reactivity in given situations;
  3. Discuss aromaticity and the common reactions of aromatic compounds, clearly expressing ideas and perspectives;
  4. Discuss the preparation and properties of common polymers;
  5. Adapt common practical organic chemistry manipulations and interpret various analytical data including infra-red and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, in collaboration with others and with responsibility for own output; and
  6. Evaluate the quality of their own synthesised products and related analytical data and report the findings to peers and demonstrators with initiative and judgement.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 45%
Tests (3) (15% each)
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 15%
Group Presentation
Assessment type: Laboratory Work
Grade: 25%
Formative and final assessment of lab notebook
Assessment type: Laboratory Work
Grade: 15%

Required reading

RECOMMENDED TEXT: McMurry, J.E., 2016, Organic Chemistry, 9th edn, Cengage.

As part of a course

This unit is not a compulsorily taken as part of any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.

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