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.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 3 (90)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

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

Grading System



One session


School of Wine and Food Sciences

Incompatible Subjects


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, acidbase 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.


This 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 4 day Compulsory Residential School.


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.