CHM108 Chemical Fundamentals (8)


This subject is designed to provide a basic understanding of some of the important elementary ideas and principles across the fields of general, inorganic and organic chemistry. The material is pitched at a level suitable for beginning students in agriculture, equine studies, winegrowing and horticulture who have little previous background in chemistry.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
InternalWagga Wagga Campus
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CHM108
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Wine and Food Sciences

Enrolment restrictions

Incompatible subject(s)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
Be able to recognise the different states of matter, and understand the terms: element, compound, mixture, acid, base, physical change, chemical change, atom, molecule, chemical bond;
Be able to recognise standard chemical reaction types including metal dissolution, combustion, precipitation, acid-base and redox;
Be able to use the SI/metric system of units and scientific notation;
Be able to explain how atomic theory may be applied to explain the important concepts of chemistry including laws of constant composition, multiple proportions, periodicity, and mass/energy conservation;
Be able to predict the nature of chemical bonds using electronegativities;
Be able to calculate formula weights, moles, molarity, empirical formulae, solution pH, buffer composition, and titration results;
Be able to explain and use the properties of, and the laws that govern, gas behaviour;
Be able to name and identify the major classes of organic compounds as a large, diverse and important class of covalent compounds necessary to life/plant processes.


The subject will cover the following topics:
Matter, energy and measurement - chemical and physical change; conservation of mass and of energy; energy involved with chemical change, specific heat; SI/metric units and unit interconversion; density/specific gravity; Daltons atomic theory, atomic structure, isotopes, atomic weight; ions; electronic structure of the atom - Bohr model, Quantum Mechanical model, electronic configuration; the Periodic Table of Elements - chemical bonding; octet rule; ionic bonds; metallic bonds; covalent bonds; molecular polarity; chemical reactions; formula weight; the mole; chemical equations and balancing; aqueous solution reactions; molecular concentration; oxidation reduction; heat of reaction; Organisation of matter - solids, liquids, gases; kinetic molecular theory; origin of gas pressure; the gas laws; ideal gases; intermolecular forces; dipole attraction; hydrogen bonds; London forces; properties of liquids; surface tension; properties of solids; properties of water; solubilities of solutes and factors affecting; concentration units; solvent power of water; solubility of gases; electrolytes; colloids; surfactants; colligative properties of solutions; Acids, bases, salts; self-ionisation of water; aqueous acids and bases; acid dissociation constants; reactions of acids and bases; pH; buffers; acid/base titrations; water salinity, alkalinity, hardness and suspended matter; Le Chateliers Principle; Introduction to organic chemistry; the catenation of C; organic versus inorganic compounds; organic covalent structure; aliphatic versus aromatic hydrocarbons; the alkanes, alkenes, alkynes; IUPAC nomenclature; halogenation and combustion; recognising the important common functional groups; some properties of alcohols, esters and carboxylic acids.

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 4 day residential school.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.