Unit description

Introduces students to the basic concepts of general and organic chemistry with a special focus on the study of chemical properties, interactions and concepts that are relevant to natural products and human health. It includes study of chemical bonding, the periodic table, gases and solutions, acids and bases, chemical equilibrium, and organic functional groups. Laboratory classes provide students with experience in relevant basic techniques and methods.

Unit content

The structure and properties of matter - Atomic structure and the periodic table - free radicals and cancer - Ions, electrolytes, metals and ionic bonding - ionic compounds in medicine - Chemical reactions and reaction rates - simple diagnostic tests - Numbers and Quantities - The gaseous state; oxygen and other gases - breathing - Water, solutions and colloids - fluid balance in the body - Acids and bases; chemical equilibrium - tea, coffee, soft drinks and antacids - Covalent bonding and organic molecules - importance for actions on receptors - Saturated, unsaturated and aromatic hydrocarbons -use of hydrocarbons in health care - Organic compounds containing oxygen, sulphur and nitrogen - medical uses of selected compounds - Organic compounds containing the carbonyl group - drugs and compounds from plants

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • McMurry, J, Ballantine, DS, Hoeger, CA & Peterson, VE, 2013, Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, 7th edn, Pearson Education Inc, USA.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
Tutorial on-site 2 hours (4 weeks)
Laboratory session 2 hours (8 weeks)
Exam: closed book50%
Two Quizzes30%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2014 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.