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 structures (electronegativity, VSEPR, Lewis structures, hybridization, QMOT, orbital mixing);

- Stereochemistry (configuration, conformation, chirality);

- Conformational, sterically and stereoelectronic effects (thermodynamic, kinetic);

- Solutions and non-covalent binding forces (strong and weak interactions)

- Acid-Base chemistry (definitions and implications of pH and p K a );

- Energy surfaces and Kinetics (transition state theory, Hammond postulate, More O'Ferral-Jenck plots)

- Isotope effects (theory and practice)

- LFER (Hammett, Bronsted relationship, enthalpy-entropy compensation)

- Catalysis (General and specific acid/base catalysis)

- Nucleophilic substitution (at sp2, at sp3, types, leaving groups, anchimeric assistance, carbocations);

- Addition/elimination/rearrangement/isomerization

- Concerted pericyclic reactions (cycloadditions, sigmatropic rearrangements, FMO theory, electrocyclization)

- Radical reactions (reaction patterns, stability, substituent effects);

- Introduction to organometallic chemistry (catalysis, reactions and structures).


And 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 and concepts in organic chemistry. When possible and appropriate, examples from the teachers' own research will be used as examples of applied physical organic chemistry. Each topic will be introduced by the lecturer followed by discussions in the class. Exercises for each chapter will be handed out and discussed in class based on the questions from the textbook or independently prepared quiz.

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 KemiOrg and (Vid)OrgSyn).

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4.00 h under invigilation
Oral examination, 25 min. (no preparation time)
Type of assessment details
Midterm Essay (10%)
Written examination, 4.00 h under invigilation (45%)
Oral examination, 25 min. (no preparation time) (45%)

The written and oral exams are weighted equally

Mid-term Essays:
The written exam consists of an essay. At the beginning of block 4 we will shortly discuss the essays and the students will receive feed-back. It is recommended to write the required essay as soon as possible after classroom teaching in the essay subjects has been covered.
Only certain aids allowed

Only certain aids allowed

Midterm essay: open-book

Written examination: molecular building models are allowed

Oral examination: no aids allowed

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal examiners

Same as ordinary exam.

Both oral (25 min no preparation) and written exam (4 hours) must be retaken.

Criteria for exam assessment

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

Single subject courses (day)

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


Course number
Programme level
Full Degree Master

2 blocks

Block 3 And Block 4
No admission restriction
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience
Contracting department
  • Department of Chemistry
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Jiwoong Lee   (11-6d6c7a7272716a316f686843666b6870316e7831676e)

Jiwoong Lee

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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