CHEM 730 : Modern Methods for the Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

The use of modern methods for the construction of complex molecules with an emphasis on carbon-carbon bond formation and control of stereochemistry. Principles and practice of synthesis design based on retrosynthetic analysis. Each student will present and discuss a recent synthesis of a complex bioactive organic compound. No formal prerequisite, but knowledge of organic chemistry at the level covered in CHEM 330 will be assumed.

Course Overview

This advanced course builds on the core organic synthesis principles taught at undergraduate level. You will gain a strong understanding of the rational design and efficient synthesis of complex organic molecules, including strategies and reagents for asymmetric synthesis, synthons and disconnection patterns. CHEM730 provides the foundations for postgraduate research study and careers in diverse fields including medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry, healthcare, agrochemicals, molecular optics and smart materials.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate and apply appropriate models to predict stereochemistry (Capability 5)
  2. Evaluate the role of reagents in asymmetric synthesis and predict stereochemical outcome (Capability 2)
  3. Be able to explain the importance of asymmetric synthesis and concept of retrosynthetic analysis
  4. Describe and explain the strategies available for asymmetric synthesis (Capability 1)
  5. Identify and critically evaluate various synthons and disconnection patternsTo perform retrosynthetic analysis
  6. Communicate modern organic chemistry strategies and research in group presentations (Capability 4)
  7. Be able to perform retrosynthetic analysis (Capability 1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Test 35% Individual Test
Test 35% Individual Test
Presentation 30% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Special Requirements

Students must pass both the theory AND seminar components to pass this course

Workload Expectations

For this course, you can expect:

20 hours of lectures

2 x 1-hour tutorials 

20 hours of reading and thinking about the content

84 hours of work on preparation for tests and group seminar 

24 hours of attendance at student seminars

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled lectures 
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars will be available as recordings.
The course will not include live online events
Attendance on campus is required for the tests and seminar programme
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions, or those with an exemption to study remotely.

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.

A sound knowledge of undergraduate organic chemistry (CHEM330) will be required

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.

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.

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.

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 10/11/2021 07:11 p.m.