Chemistry and the Material World

This course discusses the central role of energy dispersal in determining spontaneous physical and chemical changes. Fundamental bonding theories will be used to rationalize molecular structures. Transition metal chemistry will be used to illustrate these concepts. The importance of intermolecular forces, atomic structure and properties of elements is emphasised, and modern methods and applications are introduced.

Course code

Qualifications are made up of courses. Some universities call these papers. Each course is numbered using six digits.



The fourth number of the course code shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).



Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.




Course planning information

Expected prior learning

In order to be successful in this course, it is strongly recommended that students have studied at least 20 credits from NCEA Level 3 Chemistry and achieved at least 14, or achieved an equivalent level in an alternative assessment system to NCEA, or passed Bursary Chemistry or passed course 123.103 or an acceptable alternative.


Choose just one

The courses listed above have similar content to this one meaning you can only enrol in this course or one of the listed courses. Only one of the courses can be credited towards your qualification.

Learning outcomes

What you will learn. Knowledge, skills and attitudes you’ll be able to show as a result of successfully finishing this course.

  • 1 Analyse chemical reactions by calculating the amount of energy released and the extent of energy dispersal and demonstrate that spontaneous chemical reactions always occur with an increase in the total extent of energy dispersal.
  • 2 Use the concepts of non-covalent interactions to explain the properties of matter including gases and liquids and phenomena such as self-assembly.
  • 3 Calculate the electrochemical potential of cells using the IUPAC convention and the Nernst equation, predict spontaneity of chemical processes and apply the concepts to electrolytic processes.
  • 4 Explain the fundamental principles of atomic structure and their relationship to the periodic table, and the nature of covalent bonding.
  • 5 Explain the colour, magnetism and chemical properties including catalysis, of compounds containing transition metals in terms of the structures of transition metal complexes.
  • 6 Discuss how chemistry and its applications impact society, and describe modern experimental techniques for chemical analysis and structure determination.
  • 7 Demonstrate proficiency with basic practical techniques in the chemistry laboratory, identify elements of the Periodic Table, and draw structures of simple complexes, cations and anions.

Learning outcomes can change before the start of the semester you are studying the course in.


Assessment Learning outcomes assessed Weighting
Test 1 3%
Test 1 2 22%
Test 3 3%
Test 3 4 22%
Test 5 3%
Exam (centrally scheduled) 5 6 22%
Practical/Placement 7 25%

Assessment weightings can change up to the start of the semester the course is delivered in.

You may need to take more assessments depending on where, how, and when you choose to take this course.

Explanation of assessment types

Computer programmes
Computer animation and screening, design, programming, models and other computer work.
Creative compositions
Animations, films, models, textiles, websites, and other compositions.
Exam College or GRS-based (not centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by a college or the Graduate Research School (GRS). The exam could be online, oral, field, practical skills, written exams or another format.
Exam (centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by Assessment Services (centrally) – you’ll usually be told when and where the exam is through the student portal.
Oral or performance or presentation
Debates, demonstrations, exhibitions, interviews, oral proposals, role play, speech and other performances or presentations.
You may be assessed on your participation in activities such as online fora, laboratories, debates, tutorials, exercises, seminars, and so on.
Creative, learning, online, narrative, photographic, written, and other portfolios.
Practical or placement
Field trips, field work, placements, seminars, workshops, voluntary work, and other activities.
Technology-based or experience-based simulations.
Laboratory, online, multi-choice, short answer, spoken, and other tests – arranged by the school.
Written assignment
Essays, group or individual projects, proposals, reports, reviews, writing exercises, and other written assignments.

Textbooks needed

Textbooks can change. We recommend you wait until at least seven weeks before the semester starts to buy your textbooks.

Highly recommended


John Wiley & Sons Australia


9 78047081
1ST EDITION (2008)
John Wiley & Sons Australia

Campus Books stock textbooks and legislation. Current second-hand textbooks are also bought and sold. For more information visit Campus Books.

Course delivery details

No offerings available

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