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Programme Specification: Part IA Chemistry

This course is taught by the Department of Chemistry.


  1. to provide an introduction to university level chemistry, building on ideas and topics previously studied in typical pre-university courses such as GCE A level;
  2. to introduce topics in chemistry which are relevant to the further study of chemistry and other molecular sciences within the Natural Sciences Tripos;
  3. to introduce the key ideas and concepts which are used to understand and rationalize chemical structures and reactions, and to show how these are applied;
  4. to introduce quantitative theories, such as thermodynamics and kinetics, and show how these are applicable to understanding chemical reactivity;
  5. to develop practical skills in both preparative chemistry and in making relevant measurements, and interpreting these experiments in the light of the ideas and theories presented in the course.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should:

  1. have an enhanced understanding of the chemical principles introduced in the course;
  2. be able to apply these principles to solve problems, make calculations, make predictions and rationalize trends;
  3. have enhanced practical skills.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, supervisions and practical classes.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • one unseen written examination (for aims 1-4 and learning outcomes 1-2);
  • submission of practical notebooks containing records of practical work (for aim 5 and learning outcome 3).

Courses of Preparation

Essential: A Level Chemistry or equivalent (A Level Mathematics is essential for Chemistry A in Part IB).

Highly desirable: AS or A Level Mathematics.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.