Chemistry Honours Programme (Westville)

1. Programme Structure

The aim of the Honours Programme in Chemistry is to introduce students to advanced studies in analytical methods, inorganic-, organometallic- and supramolecular chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry; to enable students to specialize in various areas of chemistry; and to introduce students to the process of scientific research. In the first semester, the course consists of core modules in each of the Analytical, Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry sections combined together as Advanced Chemistry (CHEM 761). There is also a Research Methodology (practical) component (CHEM 751). A selection of elective topics in these general areas (CHEM 781), as well as a 12 week research project, is given in the second semester (CHEM 791).

2. Taught modules

Core modules

(i) CHEM 751 Research Methodology

Content: Research methods; communication and presentation of research results; Theory and practice of advanced spectroscopies and characterization methods for molecular compounds and materials; analyses methods, synthesis methods; lab assignments.

(ii) CHEM 761 Advanced Chemistry

Content: Analytical: Sampling and sample preparation methods. Separation science. Spectrometry and other detection techniques. Chromatography. Inorganic: Inorganic and organotransition chemistry. Catalysis. Supra-molecular chemistry. Bioinorganic chemistry. Ligand design. Materials chemistry.  Green Chemistry.  Nanochemistry and -technology. Characterization techniques. Applications.  Organic: Reactions and mechanisms of redox reactions. Organic synthetic chemistry. Chirality and stereochemistry. Analytical methods. Enantiomeric purity, asymmetric synthesis. Retrosynthesis. Physical: Symmetry elements and symmetry operations, Point groups. Schoenflies notation, character tables. Vibrational spectroscopy, atomic and molecular orbitals. Basic concepts in photochemistry, principles in absorption and emission of radiation. Activated complex theory. Applications.

Elective modules

(i) CHEM 781

Content: A number of elective courses will be available in the second semester. Note that a course will only be offered if there is >40% attendance. As an example, if the whole Honours class has 30 students, a minimum of 13 students need to attend a course (43%), while 11 students (37%) would be insufficient; these students then need to find another course. Each student needs to take 4 electives and usually 5-6 different courses are eventually given (out of a potential 10 or so on offer).

Semester 1

Semester 2


CHEM 751

16 credits

CHEM 761

48 credits

CHEM 781

32 credits

CHEM 791

32 credits



Dr Maguire

Prof Bala

Dr Moodley

Dr Owaga


100% continuous assessment


continuous assessment

20 %

continuous assessment

10% supervisor

70% report


No written exam

80% Written

End of Semester

80% Written

End of Semester

20% Oral

End of semester



 4 x 100 marks

3 hrs each

4 x 50 marks

1.5 hrs each

20 min oral examination

Exam structure

64 credits

64 credits

Semester sub-total

128 credits to earn the degree

Minimum of averaged 60% for progression to next degree.


3. Projects

List of projects 2016

List of projects 2017 (TBA)

4. Additional information

The Honours Booklet is available here.

For more information please contact Dr. Bernard Owaga.

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