CHEM 330 : Contemporary Organic Chemistry


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Topics in advanced organic chemistry, including the synthesis, reactions and uses of compounds containing phosphorus, selenium, boron and silicon. Organotransition metal chemistry. Asymmetric synthesis. Heterocyclic chemistry and pericyclic reactions. Laboratories emphasise synthetic and structural methods.

Course Overview

Contemporary Organic Chemistry covers advanced topics in organic chemistry. An emphasis is placed on both the mechanistic and conceptual basis underpinning modern synthetic methods, and the application of these synthetic tools to prepare biologically relevant molecules. This course is important for students who wish to have an advanced understanding on the methods to prepare organic molecules. The course will also give students extensive laboratory experience in synthetic chemistry. This course is important for students wishing to work or study postgraduate research in synthetic chemistry or for those students wishing to study CHEM 730.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 15 points from CHEM 230, 253

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
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. Describe the preparation and uses of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur and selenium reagents in contemporary organic chemistry. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  2. Describe the nature, formation and uses of a number of reactive intermediates in contemporary organic chemistry. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  3. Describe the preparation of carbocyclic rings of various sizes with reference to frontier molecular orbital theory. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Describe the uses and mechanistic underpinning of organometallic reagents in contemporary organic chemistry. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  5. Recall pericyclic reactions and the theoretical concepts behind these processes. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  6. Describe the uses and discuss the importance of pericyclic reactions in contemporary organic chemistry. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  7. Understand and apply the various methods available for asymmetric synthesis and be able to apply this knowledge to predict the stereoselectivity of a number of asymmetric methods used in contemporary organic chemistry. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  8. Demonstrate competence in advanced organic laboratory procedures, handling of advanced laboratory equipment and safe handling of chemicals. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 30% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Final Exam

Key Topics

The course is split into four sections. Section 1 covers the chemistry of organic molecules containing main-group elements (in particular silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and selenium), and reactive intermediates (carbenes, nitrenes and benzynes). Section 2 introduces frontier molecular orbital theory, which is explored in the context of both pericyclic and cyclisation reactions. Section 3 covers organometallic chemistry, with a particular focus on catalytic methods for carbon-carbon bond formation. Finally Section 4 provides an introduction to asymmetric synthesis - methods for preparing chiral molecules.

Learning Resources

All course material will be available on Canvas

Special Requirements


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, a 27 hours lab, 20 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 37 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

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 10/07/2020 10:22 a.m.