CHEM 252 : Properties and Analysis of Matter


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Understanding the physico-chemical properties of matter is crucial for modern chemistry. Fundamental processes to the analysis and understanding of chemical systems, including thermodynamics, equilibria, acid and bases will be covered. Applications of modern electrochemistry, physical chemistry of modern materials and methods for assessing the reliability of results will be described while the laboratory course emphasises the obtaining and understanding of chemical measurements.

Course Overview

CHEM252 is a core course for the Chemistry major.  In this course, focus is placed upon developing a deeper understanding of the mathematical basis for measuring the uncertainty and error in an analysis, as well as providing a basis for ensuring that experiments are designed in such a way that reliable conclusions are drawn from the data.  This course also examines the core principles of thermodynamics in a depth that allows the development of a thorough understanding as to why a chemical reaction will, or will not, occur.
Further, solution and acid-base chemistry is used to explore the fundamental chemical analysis technique, titration, in order to demonstrate the importance of proton transfer in chemical reactions, whilst an exploration of modern surface chemistry demonstrates the importance of chemistry in modern materials science.

The laboratory program allows students to develop proficiency in modern analytical instrumentation, whilst putting into practise their knowledge of statistical methods of analysis to ensure that their data is reliable.  They will also improve their wet-chemistry techniques, developing skills in measurement and safe handling of glassware and chemicals.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: CHEM 110, 120, and 15 points from MATHS 108, 110, 120, 130, 150, 153, PHYSICS 120, 160, STATS 101, 108 Restriction: CHEM 240

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain the principles of acid-base chemistry, including calculation of relevant factors, such as pH and concentrations, and application in real-world settings. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  2. Understand and be able to discuss the basic principles and practical significance of electrochemistry. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6)
  3. Describe the basic concepts of materials chemistry and its applications in modern technological applications. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Analyse qualitatively and quantitatively, sets of chemical data, taking into account statistical factors, such as error calculations. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Understand and utilise chemical techniques, in particular chemical instrumentation, in a laboratory setting following safe laboratory practises. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  6. Communicate results in various ways including technical report writing and in forms for a non-technical audience. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 15% Individual Coursework
Tutorials 10% Individual Coursework
Laboratories 25% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Tests and Exams 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Tests and Exams
Laboratory component
  • The laboratory component of the course must be passed to be eligible to pass the course.

Tests and final exam
  • The tests and final exam are deisgned to provide the student multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learnings.
  • The two term tests correspond to two sections in the final exam, the highest score of each will count towards the 40%.  All term test and exam sections must be attempted.

Learning Resources

Readings are available through Canvas.

Special Requirements

Students are required to pass the laboratory component of the course in order to pass.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 36 hours of lectures, 6 hours of tutorials, 18 hours of laboratory work, 36 hours of assessment and 60 hours of self-directed learning.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 28/07/2020 05:05 p.m.