Molecular Reactivity and Spectroscopy (CHEM2401)


This is one of the two core units of study for students considering majoring in chemistry, and for students of other disciplines who wish to acquire a good general background in chemistry. The unit considers fundamental questions of molecular structure, chemical reactivity, and molecular spectroscopy: What are chemical reactions and what makes them happen? How can we follow and understand them? How can we exploit them to make useful molecules? This course includes the organic and medicinal chemistry of aromatic and carbonyl compounds, organic reaction mechanisms, molecular spectroscopy, quantum chemistry, and molecular orbital theory.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Three 1-hour lectures per week, seven 1-hour tutorials per semester, eight 4-hour practicals per semester


Quizzes, lab reports and final examination (100%)



Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903) and (CHEM1102 or CHEM1902 or CHEM1904) and 6 credit points of Junior Mathematics


CHEM2001 or CHEM2101 or CHEM2301 or CHEM2311 or CHEM2502 or CHEM2901 or CHEM2903 or CHEM2911 or CHEM2915

Additional Information

This is a required chemistry unit of study for students intending to major in chemistry. Students who have passed CHEM1001 and CHEM1002 may enroll in this unit after completing the Supplementary Course in Chemistry ( and then seeking Departmental permission, with completion certificate as evidence.

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.