SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2F424484
Module Leader Mark Spicer
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Chemical Science
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

M1F121832 Chemistry

Summary of Content

The module will develop the students knowledge and understanding of the chemical behaviour of elements and inorganic compounds with an emphasis on structure, electronic configuration, electronic spectra of complexes, d-metal complexes, toxicity of heavy metals and radioactivity. The importance of inorganic chemistry in forensic science will be illustrated as case studies.


Atomic Structure 1. Origin of the elements 2. Structure of Atoms - principles of quantum theory 3. Atomic Orbitals 4. Electronic configuration and the periodic table 5. Energy levels of electrons in atoms in terms of quantum numbers, the Aufbau principle, structure of the periodic table. Structures of Simple Solids 1. The packing of Sphere 2. The structure of Metals 3. Ionic solids Bonding 1. Valence Bond Theory 2. Introduction to molecular orbital theory - linear combination of atomic orbitals, sigma and pi bonding, molecular orbital energy diagrams for diatomic orbitals HOMO-LUMO interaction in bond formation. Chemistry of the d block elements 1. The d-block elements 2. Electronic configurations - relationship between electronic configurations and oxidation states in the 3d series. 3. Ions in an electrostatic field - d orbital splitting and crystal field splitting, paramegnetism. Electronic Spectra of Complexes 1. Spectroscopic terms 2. Ligand Filed Transitions 3. Charge Transfer bands 4, Selection Rules Introduction to Radiochemical Processes 1. Nucleons, isotopes, atomic masses and binding energies, radioactivity, types of radiation, detection and half-life. 2. Fission and spallation. 3. Biological effects, radiation units and radiation safety. Case studies - Inorganic Compounds in Forensic Science.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1 Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the principles and reaction chemistry of inorganic substances.2 Demonstrate an informed and critical understanding of the forensic investigation of crimes involving inorganic substances formed through consideration of current and historical case material.3 Accurately record and report data in a laboratory log book.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be taught by an integrated package of lectures reinforced by practical work and tutorials. The module will use a pictorial approach to deliver scientific theory of inorganic molecules. The tutorials will involve a series of problem solving exercises to develop a deeper understanding of the scientific principles. The scientific theories will also be further developed and tested through laboratory practicals and data analysis. Practicals will be carried out working as individuals and in groups. Through the use of the managed learning enivironment GCU Learn, students will become more engaged, flexible and independent in their learning as there will be a wide range of learning resources and basic chemistry search faciliites available on line. Students will receive individualised feedback on their performance through one-to-one contact with tutors at tutorials and through the timely return of marked coursework, which will reinforce the students' learning.

Indicative Reading

1. Inorganic chemistry, Weller, M; Overton, T; Rourke, J; Armstrong, F; OUP, 2014 6th Edition, ISBN 019964182X. 2. General Chemistry: Authors :- Ebbing, Darrell D, Gammon, Steven D: Publisher:- Houghton Mifflin; Publication Date:- 2001, ISBN 0618141014. 3. Molecules of Murder; Emsley, J RSC, 2008, ISBN 0854049657.

Transferrable Skills

Students will further develop practical laboratory skills, investigative and problem solving skills as well as report writing and communication skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 114.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Lectures (FT) 30.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 35% 2 hours examination paper consisting of 6 questions. Students should attempt any 4. Outcomes 1 and 2.
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% Laboratory Portfolio Learning Outcomes 1, 2,3