Chemistry Honours Programme (Pietermaritzburg)

Welcome to the homepage of the Chemistry Honours Programme on the PMB campus. Over the course of your undergraduate degree you will have gained a firm grounding in the basics of chemistry. Now is the time to discover, and appreciate, the beauty of the subject.

As you examine this intricate and complex world, the more you will realize that you have made an excellent career choice. 

The opportunities that await you as an Honours graduate are numerous, with research and development possibilities, particularly in South Africa, being plentiful. 

As always, to be successful at this level requires effort and perseverance on your part. However, that task is made simpler because you join department with state-of-the-art facilities with a team of chemists who are highly motivated and work at the cutting edge of our science. By engaging with both staff and our postgraduate students, you will find your year being all the more enjoyable and productive. 

1. Programme Structure 

In order to successfully complete your Honours degree, you will need to obtain a total of 128 credits from the modules listed below. 

2. Taught Modules 

Year Long 

CHEM793 Chemistry Project [48C] 

Aim: To introduce students to the process of scientific research in Chemistry and communication of scientific information. 
Content: Workshops on software for chemists, generic skills, structure elucidation techniques, advanced quantitative analysis, literature review essay, preparation of research proposal, laboratory work, preparation of project report, seminar presentations. 
Practicals: Use of advanced instrumental techniques for structure elucidation and quantitative analysis. 
Assessment: Workshop assignments (10%), literature review essay (10%), research proposal (5%), laboratory performance (10%), seminar presentations (15%), project report assessment (50%). 
DP Requirement: Not applicable. Year-long module. This module has no supplementary exam. 

1st Semester 

CHEM733 Inorganic & Physical Chemistry [16C] 

Aim: To introduce students to advanced studies in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry 
Content: Mechanisms and rates of inorganic reactions, organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis, advanced chemical thermodynamics, surface chemistry and dynamic electrochemistry.  
Assessment: Tests (10%), assignments (10%); 3 h exam (80%) 
DP Requirement: Class mark 40% 

CHEM743 Organic & Analytical Chemistry [16C]

Aim: To show how the principles of chemistry can be used in advanced applications of Organic and Analytical Chemistry. 
Content: Use of advanced NMR, mass spectroscopy and other spectroscopic techniques for structural elucidation. Pericyclic reactions. Stereocontrol in organic synthesis. Advanced synthetic organic chemistry. Advanced instrumental analysis. 
Assessment: Tests (10%), assignments (10%); 3 h exam (80%). 
DP Requirement: Class mark 40% 

CHEM753 Group Theory & Spectroscopy [8C]

Aim: To provide students with a thorough but understandable introduction to molecular symmetry and group theory as applied to the spectroscopy of inorganic complexes. 
Content: Identification of symmetry elements, point group identification, use of point group multiplication tables, application of group theory to spectroscopy, electronic states of atoms and molecules - term symbols, advanced crystal field theory. 
Assessment: Tests (10%), assignments (10%); 3 h exam (80%). 
DP Requirement: Class mark 40%. 

CHEM773 Computational Chemistry [8C] 

Aim: To introduce the theory and practice of modern computational chemistry techniques and their application in solving problems in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry. 
Content: Construction of in silico structures for input as simulation starting points, geometry optimization by molecular mechanics simulations, force field parameterization, basic principles of quantum mechanical molecular models including wave functions, operators and Eigenvalues, approximations, open- and closed-shell systems, ab initio and semi-empirical simulation methods including basis sets and their development and density functional theory models. 
Assessment: Tests (10%), assignments (10%); 3 h exam (80%). 
DP Requirement: Class mark 40%. 

2nd Semester 

CHEM763 Special Topics in Chemistry [32C] 

Aim: To allow students to specialize in their chosen areas of advanced chemistry. 
Content: Topics selected from (amongst others) - bioinorganic chemistry; strategies in drug synthesis and design; symmetry in the solid state; natural products, isolation and characterisation; isolation and properties of the lanthanides and actinides; thermodynamics of reaction equilibria in solution; kinetic theory and its application to inorganic complexes. 
Assessment: Tests (10%), assignments (20%); 4 x 2 h exams (70%). 
DP Requirement: Class mark 40%. 

3. Special Topics on Offer 

4. Projects List of Projects 

2017 (TBA) 

For more information please contact Dr. Desigan Reddy.

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