University of Technology Sydney

65111 Chemistry 1

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Science: Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade and marks


The study of chemistry is central to an understanding of the world around us and is relevant to all other science areas, such as physics, biology, geology and the environment at the fundamental level. This subject is designed to develop the student's understanding of the basic principles of chemistry.

Topics covered include an introduction to matter, chemical reactions, atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, bonding, intermolecular forces and crystal structures, molecular geometry, equilibrium, and acid-base equilibria. The subject provides the requisite knowledge and skills for 65212 Chemistry 2.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Understand and apply key chemistry principles
2. Qualitatively monitor chemical reactions and explain observations through the use of chemical equations.
3. Apply quantitative skills to solve chemistry problems.
4. Demonstrate basic practical skills including appropriate use of laboratory equipment and proper laboratory practice.
5. Identify and understand the contribution that chemistry has to the greater scientific community as well as the many applications it has to the real world.
6. Express chemistry concepts in a clear manner for a range of audiences through a variety of written and verbal forms.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate theoretical and technical knowledge of broad science concepts and explain specialised disciplinary knowledge. (1.1)
  • Work autonomously or in teams to address workplace or community problems utilising best scientific practice, with consideration to safety requirements and ethical guidelines. (3.1)
  • Present and communicate complex ideas and justifications using appropriate communication approaches from a variety of methods (oral, written, visual) to communicate with discipline experts, scientists, industry, and the general public. (5.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Graduate Attribute 1 - Disciplinary knowledge
This subject aims to provide students with a basic understanding of chemistry and its significance in other fields of science. This subject will develop your knowledge of chemistry through the lectures, workshops and online self-test quizzes, while practical skills and knowledge will be developed through the laboratory classes. These concepts are assessed in the laboratory quizzes, Mastering Chemistry quizzes and practical examinations.

Graduate Attribute 3 - Professional, ethical and social responsibility

Through the plaboratory classes this session you will gain understanding and proficiency in a number of skills critical to your development as a professional scientist. The skills you will develop and be assessed on include; problem solving, experimental, teamwork and professional conduct in the laboratory. These skills will be developed in the laboratory classes and are constructed in a way that ensures student's skills are being developed over time. The assessment of these skills will occur in all laboratory-based assessment tasks. Problem solving skills will be developed by the in-lab questions and assessed in the laboratory quizzes. Experimental skills will be developed during laboratory classes and assessed in the practical examinations. Teamwork and professionalism in the laboratory will be developed and assessed by the professional practice points.

Chemistry plays a significant role in all fields of science, it is important that you understand the contribution of chemistry to the modern world. A key part of this understanding is identifying the underlying chemical principles in a number of applications and explaining the relationship between them. The lecture material will introduce the importance of making these connections by linking the lecture material to a specific application. This will be assessed through the communication assessment where you identify and explain the chemistry concept and how it applies to the scientific community and society in general.

Graduate Attribute 5 - Communication

Communication skills are an essential part of your development as a professional scientist. In this subject you will engage with a range of different media to help communicate results or ideas. The importance of communication in science will be developed through engagement with online resources outlining effective communication and an activity early in the session requiring you to summarise a recent chemistry news article. Throughout the session you will be required to communicate your results in your lab manual which will be assessed during the laboratory class. A final communication assessment at the end of the session will assess your ability to effectively summarise information and express complex ideas through visual and verbal media.

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will consist of online lecture material, on campus practical classes and online independent learning activities.

Lecture material

  • There will be 1.5 hours of online lecture material posted to Canvas each week.
  • You can choose to watch the recordings at a time and pace that suits you.
  • It is recommended that you watch all lectures to develop a complete understanding of the content.

Practical classes

  • There will be 3 hours of practical classes held on campus each week.
  • The practical classes are an essential part of the subject as they will consolidate your understanding of theoretical concepts delivered in the lectures.
  • You will also develop important practical skills, an understanding of laboratory safety and experience working in small teams, all of which are skills highly desired by your future employers.

Independent learning activities

  • Numerous independent learning activities feature throughout Chemistry 1, accessed through Canvas and Mastering Chemistry (an online chemistry learning software where students can engage with homework questions, tutorials and chemistry videos).
  • These activities include pre-lecture material designed to support your active learning in class and additional post-lecture activities such as online self-assessment quizzes designed to test your understanding of concepts learned in class.
  • Pre-laboratory exercises delivered online are to be completed before your practical class.
  • Extensive feedback in the form of hints and adaptive follow-up questions are provided to help you achieve all learning outcomes.

Content (topics)

You will learn about the importance of chemistry as a central science underpinning many modern scientific discoveries and innovations. The topics you will cover includes:

  1. Atoms, elements and the Periodic Table - atomic structure, ions, ionic compounds, trends of the Periodic Table
  2. Chemical reactions - chemical equations, precipitation, neutralisation, combustion, reduction-oxidation (redox)
  3. Quantitative chemistry - moles, stoichiometry, limiting reagents, yield, titrations
  4. Chemical equilibrium - equilibrium constant, Le Chatelier's principle, ICE tables
  5. Acid-base equilibria - pH, strength of acids/bases, acid dissociation constant
  6. Chemical bonding - ionic and covalent bonds, Lewis diagrams, bond polarity, bond enthalpy
  7. Molecular geometry - shapes of molecules, VSEPR theory, hybridisation
  8. Intermolecular forces - types of intermolecular forces, properties of liquids, bonding in solids

Assumed Knowledge: basic skills in mathematics (algebra, graph plotting, properties of logarithms) and proficiency in written and spoken English are assumed.


Assessment task 1: Laboratory-based Assessment


This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility

5. Communication


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1, 3.1 and 5.1

Type: Laboratory/practical
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 45%

See 'Further Information' below for details of assessment criteria for each component.

Assessment task 2: Mastering Chemistry Quizzes


This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):


Type: Quiz/test
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 20%

Students will be assessed based on the correctness of their response to assessed questions.

Assessment task 3: Practical Examination


This assessment task contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

1. Disciplinary knowledge

3. Professional, ethical and social responsibility


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

1.1 and 3.1

Type: Examination
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 35%

See 'Further Information' below for details of assessment criteria for each component.

Minimum requirements

Practical classes are an essential and integral part of this subject. In addition to assisting students’ understanding of concepts, practical classes develop laboratory skills and experience, including safety skills, that are essential graduate attributes desired by employers. Thus, students are strongly recommended to complete all scheduled practical classes. Failure to attend a class that is associated with an assessment item will attract a mark of zero for that assessment item unless an acceptable reason for absence, supported by relevant documentary evidence, is provided to the Chemistry 1 email address (

Recommended texts

The primary recommended text in Chemistry 1 is:

  • Bursten, B. E., LeMay, H. E., Brown, T., Murphy, C., Woodward, P., Stoltzfus, M. E. (2021). Chemistry: The Central Science in SI Units, Expanded Edition, EBook, 15th [Global Edition]. United Kingdom: Pearson Education.

Other useful texts include:

  • Blackman, A., Gahan, L., Aylward, G. H., Findlay, T. J. V. (2013). Aylward and Findlay's SI Chemical Data. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, Limited.
  • Deller-Evans, K., Zeegers, P., Egege, S. (2011). Essential Skills for Science and Technology. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
  • Monk, P., Munro, L. J. (2021). Maths for Chemistry: A Chemist's Toolkit of Calculations. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.