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The Foundation Chemistry course aims to provide a range of knowledge and skills required for further study in Science and Engineering. From basic principles, this subject develops a deeper knowledge of modern chemistry ideas and applications. On successful completion of the course a student will:

  • have a knowledge of the language and basic ideas of chemical science
  • have an understanding of the properties of materials and the changes they undergo
  • be able to explain the chemical reactions, properties and structures observed or studied using established laws, theories and concepts
  • be able to perform a range of simple chemical calculations
  • be able to perform a range of simple manipulative and measurement skills associated with a chemical laboratory.



Fundamental concepts; names of common elements, symbols, formulas and equations; mole concept and mole calculations; periodic table - patterns and trends; atomic structure and chemical bonding, VSEPR and molecular orbital theory; states of matter - properties and structure; solutions; gas laws; fuels, calorimetry, enthalpy and thermochemistry. Electrolytes and solubility/precipitation; net ionic equations; reactions of acids and bases; chemical equilibria (Ka and Ksp); oxidation-reduction reactions; electrochemical cells. Organic compounds, nomenclature and typical functional group reactions. An introduction to instrumental methods and structure analysis for organic compounds.


Assumed knowledge

While there is no subject-specific pre-requisite knowledge, this is a highly conceptual subject. Success in Chemistry requires an ability to think abstractly and the confidence to apply past learning in new applications. Prior achievement of basic mathematical skills, especially in algebra, is recommended for students commencing Foundation Chemistry.


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