CHEM 252 : Properties and Analysis of Matter


2021 Semester Two (1215) (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 are 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.

Electrochemistry discusses the foundation for electrochemical cells,  potentiometry and application of ion-selective electrodes in the measurement of analytes including the impact of interfering species. 

The laboratory program allows students to develop proficiency in modern analytical instrumentation, whilst putting into practice 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
Assignment 5% Individual Coursework
Tutorials 5% Individual Coursework
Laboratories 25% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 10% Individual Coursework
Test 15% Individual Test
Final Exam 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam
You must pass both the practical (laboratory) and theory components independently in order to gain an overall pass in this course. 


For more information and to find contact details for the Chemistry Sciences Tuākana coordinator, please see

Key Topics

  1. Measurement and Uncertainty
  2. Acid-Base chemistry
  3. Thermodynamics and Equilibria
  4. Electrochemistry
  5. Material Chemistry- Colloids and surfaces

Special Requirements

Attendance at the laboratories a compulsory part of this course. Students must be wearing safety glasses, covered footwear and a lab coat before entering the laboratory and must keep these on until after exiting the laboratory. Jandals or other open shoes are not satisfactory footwear. Students who wear prescription spectacles are required to wear safety glasses over their spectacles. You must pass both the practical (laboratory) and theory components independently in order to gain an overall pass in this course. 

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 [3] hours of lectures, a [1] hour tutorial, [3] hour labs, [2] hours of reading and thinking about the content and [1] hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs and tutorials to receive credit for components of the course.

Lectures will be available as recordings.

The course will not include live online events.

Attendance on campus is required for the test/exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Readings are available through Canvas.  Lecture notes and lab manual available on Canvas.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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

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.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode .
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. The following activities will also have an on-campus/in-person option: Lectures, labs, and tutorials.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely.

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 14/06/2021 09:18 p.m.