Chemistry 1A provides studies in fundamental chemical principles and alongside Chemistry 1B, serves as a foundation for further studies in chemistry and other sciences. Content is delivered via a blended learning model including online activities, instructor-led class discussions and theory put into practice with complementary laboratory exercises. Study topics comprise: units and measurements; classification and properties of matter; atomic structure; ionic and organic compounds; solutions; chemical equations; reactions and stoichiometry. 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 curriculum.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Contextualise the underlying fundamental principles on which the chemistry discipline is based so as to build a foundation of knowledge from which to pursue further studies in chemistry and related roles;  
  2. Apply the fundamental principles and skills of chemistry to their chosen discipline;  
  3. Solve structured predictable problems relating to the chemical nature of matter and its measurement;  
  4. Apply analytical methodology in collaborative settings including assessing the quality of the results and reporting and discussing the results so as to build professional capabilities in the experimental aspects of chemistry and chemistry communication;  
  5. Work effectively, ethically and safely in an individual or team context in a laboratory setting.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Oral, poster or other 25%
Laboratory Work Reports and practical skills 30%
Test Three Tests (15%, 45 min each) 45%
Laboratory skills are a critical part of the Learning Outcomes of this Unit and therefore students MUST pass the laboratory component in order to pass the Unit. To pass the laboratory component of the unit students must (i) score 50% or greater in the laboratory component; (ii) attend all six laboratory sessions and submit a laboratory report for each session attended and; (iii) attend the laboratory test. Students who fail to meet ANY of these three requirements should consult the current unit guide for further important information about assessment.

Required reading

Chemistry for Today: General, Organic and Biochemistry 9th ed.
Seager, S.L., Slabaugh, M.R. and Hansen, M.S., (2018)
Cengage Learning, Boston, MA, USA

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

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