Chemistry for Biological Systems 1

The chemistry of biological and engineering materials under-pin all food and chemical processing industries. This course extends NCEA Level 3 chemistry to facilitate this with a particular focus on the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds. This is a required course for all Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering major and Food Technology students, who will, through tailored extension workshops apply chemical fundamentals to problems in a suitable context.

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

Course notes

To pass the course students must attend all laboratory sessions and achieve a minimum mark of 50% overall from lab report assessments. To pass the course students must achieve at least 40% in each of Tests 1, 2 and 3 or complete an alternative re-assessment to replace Tests 1, 2, and 3. To pass the course students must have at least 80% attendance at the workshop sessions.


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 Describe common organic compounds including biologically important molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and other natural products and commercially important groups of materials such as polymers, detergents, fuels, dyes, and fragrances will also be considered.
  • 2 Interpret the name or formula of an organic compound in terms of the functional groups present in the molecule, its stereochemistry including dynamic structure, and electronic properties.
  • 3 Associate typical chemical reactivity with different functional groups and write equations for the reactions.
  • 4 Relate the concept of chemical equilibrium to reactions, including organic transformations, to analyse properties such as acidity and basicity; and apply the concept to industrial, biological and environmental processes.
  • 5 Use the ideas of reaction kinetics to analyse reactions in terms of fundamental molecular processes and interpret the consequences for the preparation and reactions of organic materials.
  • 6 Apply organic chemistry to interpret and explain chemical reactions and processes in industrial processes.

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


Assessment Learning outcomes assessed Weighting
Test 5%
Test 1 2 2%
Test 1 2 23%
Test 3 4 2%
Test 3 4 23%
Test 5 6 2%
Test 5 6 23%
Written Assignment 1 2 3 4 5 6 20%
Participation 0%
Supplementary 0%

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.

Course delivery details

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