CHEM 720 : Advanced Inorganic Chemistry


2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Covers modern areas of research in inorganic chemistry, and may include main-group catalysis, medicinal inorganic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and/or inorganic cluster compounds.

Course Overview

This course is the most advanced level of inorganic chemistry offered in the School. It provides a broad overview of three important and cutting-edge areas of inorganic chemistry focusing on recent advances through literature examples and research insight from research being performed at the University of Auckland. Knowledge of CHEM 320 is assumed as the content is provided at an appropriate difficulty level for students at the postgraduate level.  The assessments have been designed to provide assistance with practical skills (literature searching, reading papers, presenting, thinking critically, and writing an abstract) useful for researchers. This course is important because it equips students with crucial core knowledge and skills that are essential for a comprehensive understanding of the modern discipline of inorganic chemistry. The course also provides students with key foundational knowledge and skills to progress smoothly to higher, research-based degrees with an emphasis in inorganic chemistry (including BSc(Hons), MSc, and Ph.D.), or alternatively, to take advantage of employment opportunities in any areas where a broad knowledge of chemistry and/or proficiency in critical thinking is required. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe in detail advanced inorganic chemistry relevant to the three topics covered (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  2. Present and discuss literature relevant to the different topics covered in class (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  3. Identify and describe cutting edge areas in inorganic chemistry (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  4. Freely integrate, selectively apply, and critically assess ideas and research at an advanced level (Capability 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  5. Research, analyse and communicate research articles in inorganic chemistry (Capability 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 55% Individual Examination
Assignments 45% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Final Exam


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As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of chemical sciences aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection) and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.
Tuākana Chemistry runs a range of activities for students enrolled in this class. This includes weekly workshops, social activities, and opportunities to engage with senior students and researchers within the School of Chemical Sciences. Tuākana-eligible students will be added automatically to the Tuākana Chemistry program when they enroll in this course. For more information, please see the Tuākana program website or email

Key Topics

This course consists of 3 modules:
1. Inorganic Photochemistry
This module will explore the electronic structure, photophysics and excited-state reactivity of transition-metal complexes. Key topics include electron-transfer theory, energy-transfer theory, photoredox and energy-transfer catalysis, and the development of sustainable, earth abundant photosensitisers.
2. Frontiers in main-group catalysis
Knowledge obtained from previous courses using transition-metal based catalysis to form carbon-based molecules and materials will be expanded to main-group elements, where main-group compounds are the catalysts or substrates in the reactions.
3. Supramolecular chemistry
This module will expand the knowledge base in supramolecular chemistry to understand key aspects of substrate recognition from the perspective of underlying binding forces. These weak and reversible non-covalent interactions such as hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic forces, and metal-ligand coordination are key in understanding biological processes and self-assembling systems and constructing complex materials and molecular machinery.

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 24 hours of lectures, 56 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 70 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including literature discussions. Lectures will be available as recordings. 
Attendance on campus is required for the exam. The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning 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.

  • N/A

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.

The SET Evaluation was below the threshold of required responses but informal feedback from the students suggested that they were happy with the assessments and the content.

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


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 course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2023 10:21 a.m.