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Chemistry A

Programme Specification: Part IB Chemistry A

This course is taught by the Department of Chemistry.


  1. to build on the knowledge and ideas gained from Part IA Chemistry.
  2. to introduce the theories and techniques used to understand and probe the behaviour of individual molecules (i.e. quantum mechanics and spectroscopy), collections of such molecules (i.e. statistical thermodynamics) and the solid state (i.e. free-electron and band theory);
  3. to show how these ideas can be applied to understand a wide range of physical and chemical phenomena'
  4. to develop practical skills involved in making and interpreting physical measurements in the light of the theories studied in the course;
  5. to develop skills in using computer programs to make calculations of molecular properties and to understand the significance of the results in the light of the theories studied in the course.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should:

  1. be able to apply the theories and concepts introduced in the course to solve problems, perform calculations, make predictions and rationalize trends'
  2. have enhanced practical skills, particularly in the areas of making and interpreting measurements, analysing data and using computer programs to compute molecular properties.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, supervisions and practical classes and computer-based exercises.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • two unseen written examinations (for aims 1-3 and learning outcome 1);
  • submission of practical notebooks containing records of practical work, including computer-based exercises (for aims 4-5 and learning outcome 2).

Courses of Preparation

Essential: NST Part IA Chemistry; and NST Part IA Mathematics (preferred) or NST Part IA Mathematical Biology (acceptable).

Recommended: NST Part IA Physics; NST Part IA Materials Science.

Additional Information

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