CHM216 Organic Chemistry (8)

This subject is a further development of the elementary topics concerning carbon chemistry and functional group reactions covered in first year Chemistry. Greater detail and emphasis is given to molecular properties such as isomerism, tautomerism, bonding theory, conformations, configurations, reaction mechanisms and electronic theory, together with applications of organic products to modern society. The subject will provide an introduction to organic spectroscopy, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and infra-red spectroscopy.


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

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CHM216. 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 Agricultural and Wine Sciences



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to demonstrate knowledge of the basic operating principles of infra-red (IR), ultra-violet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS), by utilising information from these technique outputs to identify unknown compounds, and vice-versa, to predict spectroscopic patterns from a given compound;
  • Be able to predict, draw the structures of, identify and name stereoisomers and conformers, together with drawing conformational energy diagrams and assigning energy level to conformers, and vice-versa;
  • Be able to rationalise the myriad of chemical facts into coherent patterns more easily memorised through an understanding of the important principles and theories, including, but not restricted to, electron donating and electron withdrawing effects, resonance, inductive effect, nucleophilicity, electrophilicity;
  • Be able to use a repertoire of standard organic functional group transforming reactions for synthetic design and draw reaction mechanisms;
  • Be able to evaluate or predict acid/base properties of compounds;
  • Be able to apply polarity and hydrogen bonding properties of compounds to evaluate or predict their solubility and/or boiling point;


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The element carbon, its catenation and three-dimensional tetrahedral nature;
  • Covalent molecular compounds of carbon;
  • Bonding, sigma and pi bonds, hybridisation, resonance, bond polarity;
  • Electron flow mechanisms;
  • Significance of, and information contained in molecular formulae;
  • Unsaturation, formal charge, carboniumions, carbanions, free radicals, electrophiles, nucleophiles, electron delocalisation;
  • Types of isomerism, writing stereoformulae, R,S and E,Z systems, chirality and symmetry, diastereoisomerism;
  • Reaction chemistry, elimination, substitution, combustion, inductive and mesomeric effects, steric hindrance, relative acidity, hydrogen bonding, tautomerism;
  • Important industrial applications of organic synthesis;
  • A brief introduction to the basis of and applications for infra-red, ultra-violet and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of CHM216 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Revision test
Assignment 1
Assignment 2
Assignment 3
Assignment 4
Laboratory reports
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

This subject has a compulsory residential school for four days in Wagga Wagga, at which internal and online students must bring appropriate lab coat and safety glasses. The residential school will provide a practical opportunity for students to develop skills in laboratory techniques essential to Organic Chemistry. This will include lab based practical sessions  in distillation, recrystallisation, sublimation,  liquid-liquid extraction, and melting point determination.

Special Resources

Students studying in both internal and online modes are required to attend the compulsory residential school, which may involve travel and accommodation expenses and a time commitment. 
Students will also be required to purchase a lab coat and safety goggles, which are compulsory for lab based practicals.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.