Organic Chemistry

Course content

The Organic Chemistry course covers structure and mechanisms in organic chemistry with an emphasis on physical organic chemistry.

The major topics are:

Chemical bonding and structure (valence, hypervalence, molecular orbital theory and methods); Stereochemistry (configuration, conformation); Conformationally, sterically and stereoelectronic effects (thermodynamic, kinetic); Electronic substituent effects (on reaction intermediates, isotope effects, catalysis, solvent effects, Hammett); Nucleophilic substitution (types, leaving groups, anchimeric assistance, carbocat ions); Polar addition/elimination; Eliminations (types); Carbanions and other C-nucleophile (stability, pKa); Carbonyl compounds (reaction types); Aromaticity (definition, types); Aromatic substitution (electrophil, nucleophil); Concerted pericyclic reactions (cycloadditions, sigmatropic rearangements, FMO theory, electrocyclic); Radical reactions (stability, substituent effects). Special topics related to the above topics.


The teaching will to a large extent follow the themes in the teaching book chapters, but additional literature will be used to support each topic. The additional literature will mainly be classic and contemporary articles, which are presented by the students and discussed on the class. When possible and appropriate, examples from the teachers own research will be used as examples of applied physical organic chemistry.

Each topic will be introduces by the lecturer followed by discussions on the class. Exercises for each chapter will be handed out and discussed on the class.

It is required that all students present at least one research paper during the course. 


MSc Programme in Chemistry

MSc Programme in Chemistry with a minor subject

Learning outcome

After passing the course the student should be able to:


Describe reactions using physical organic chemistry.

Justify selectivities between products on the basis of physical organic chemistry.


Apply the theory to solve practical problems in organic chemistry and elucidate the mechanisms of the desired and undesired reactions.


Explain  and discuss the above topics. Analyze reactions on the basis of physical organic chemistry.

The teaching is divided into lectures by the teacher (and invited lecturers), student presentations of research papers and exercises (solved by the students at home – discussed on the class). Special topics and own experiences will be included when appropriate in the context

Course material will be indicated on Absalon

Basic competencies physical chemistry, quantum chemistry, inorganic chemistry are necessary and intermediate competencies in organic chemistry and organic synthesis  are necessary (equivalent to KemiO and (Vid)OrgSyn).

Type of assessment
Written examination, 4.00 h under invigilation
Oral examination, 20 min. (no preparation time)
The written and oral exams are weighted equally
Only certain aids allowed

A molecule building set is allowed at the written exam.

No aids are allowed at the oral exam.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

Adequate and profound presentation and explanation of the topics in the written and oral will result in the grade 12. Basic understanding of the topics and the ability to explain them in context of presented problems is sufficient for passing the course.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Theory exercises
  • 56
  • Exam
  • 5
  • Preparation
  • 323
  • English
  • 412