Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Chris Thompson


An introduction to chemistry and its role in society for students with little background in chemistry, physics and mathematics. Topics include: atoms and molecules, chemical nomenclature, stoichiometry, the periodic table, atomic structure, an introduction to spectroscopy, drawing chemical models, the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect and global warming, molecular mass and moles, energy/work/heat, energy changes at the molecular level, petroleum, water as a solvent, the physical properties of water and hydrogen bonding.


To provide an interesting and stimulating introduction to a vitally important unit for students with a non-standard preparation. The unit attracts intelligent candidates with demonstrated skills in other areas, but who lack extensive training in chemistry and probably physics and mathematics. The level of the unit is such that, as well as providing an optional unit at first year for students in any faculty of the university, it will also be an appropriate introduction to further studies in chemistry at second and third-year levels. The general aim of the unit is to provide an introduction and grounding in chemistry which will enable students to gain an understanding of the role of chemistry in modern society; be able to sensibly interpret popular representations and misrepresentations of chemistry and its impact; appreciate the logical approach required in a scientific discipline; understand the atomic and molecular basis of chemistry; obtain a basic knowledge of some key chemical concepts and achieve competency in some key laboratory techniques used in chemistry.

The course aims to assist in the development of an understanding of the nature, practice and application of science; skills in written reporting of experimental work and other types of investigations based on chemistry; skills in collecting, organising, analysing and interpreting chemical data meaningfully, using appropriate mathematical and statistical tools; skills using a range of sources to find desired information and evaluate the quality of information obtained and its relevance to the task being undertaken; students' abilities to use current information and communication technologies to enhance their work; knowledge through evaluating arguments and synthesising ideas; the ability to apply chemical knowledge and critical thinking and so analyse challenges and develop effective solutions to them; an awareness of the ethical issues relating to applications of chemistry; an awareness of the ethical issues relating to scientific work; an understanding of how scientists, working in a world-wide community, build upon and recognise the work of others; an awareness of OHS issues relating to the use of chemicals; an appreciation of the roles and benefits of chemistry in society; the ability to evaluate their own performance; the ability to appropriately plan and carry out tasks; the ability to work collaboratively and effectively with other individuals and in teams.


Examinations (3 hours): 60%
Laboratory work: 20%
Regular testing: 20%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Chris Thompson

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour laboratory or tutorial per week


CHM1011, CHM1731