Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit comprises introductory sections of analytical and physical chemistry essential for further study. Emphasis is placed on chemical examples relevant to biological, environmental and materials sciences. Techniques for separation science such as chromatography, gas–liquid chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography are covered as well as techniques for the determination of molecular structure such as mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and infrared and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. Energy transactions involved in chemical reactions and physical transformations are examined. The driving force for chemical change and the position of chemical equilibrium are discussed and the methodology for studying the rates of chemical reactions is introduced. Techniques of applying kinetic data to reaction mechanisms are introduced. Laboratory skills in the operation of instrumentation, the techniques of data analysis, the interpretation of experimental measurements and the evaluation of their reliability are developed. A knowledge of calculus is not required.

6 points

Students are able to (1) recall and integrate key knowledge and concepts about mass spectrometry, vibrational spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, chromatography, energy transactions in chemical and physical transformations and the driving force for change (chemical thermodynamics), rates of chemical reactions, activation parameters, transition state theory, and methods of determining, interpreting and reporting the uncertainties in experimental measurement and (2) acquire skills in structure determination based on spectral data, the use of chromatographic techniques and instrumentation for separation and purification, predicting the spontaneous direction of chemical and physical change, characterising the rates of chemical reactions and predicting the effect of changing conditions, and determination of uncertainties in experimental measurement.


This comprises an examination (50 per cent), laboratory work (30 per cent) and assignments and/or quizzes (20 per cent).

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Murray Baker
Unit rules
CHEM1103 Biological Organic Chemistry
and CHEM1104 Biological Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs: 6 hours per week for 6 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.