Pharmacology BSc/MSci

Science Fundamentals-1X CHEM1002

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Chemistry
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

A course covering the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and chemistry, particularly as they apply to living organisms.


Daily 10-11 or 3-4

Excluded Courses

Chemistry 1, Physics 1,Mathematics 1, Mathematics 1C, Mathematics 1G


Two class tests (20%), online tests (20%), two-hour final examination (60%)

Main Assessment In: December

Course Aims

To provide a broad understanding, at an introductory level, of the fundamentals of mathematics, statistics, physics and chemistry, particularly as they apply to living organisms.
To encourage the acquisition of general scientific skills relating interpretation and discussion of factual information and data.
To encourage a positive and inquisitive attitude to the personal investigation of science.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

In Mathematics a student will be able to:
Know the importance of units of quantities and to be familiar with the SI system of units.
Undertake simple arithmetic exercises without the use of a calculator and be competent at making appropriate approximations in calculations.
Do calculations involving proportion.
Use the relationship between two variables connected by a linear equation and calculate the equation of a given straight line.
Solve simultaneous equations.
Know and be able to use the index laws.
Know about roots of a number.
Use the distributive laws.
Factorise and expand expressions.
Know and use the binomial theorem in expansions.
Manipulate equations in order to solve them.
Complete the square in a quadratic and hence sketch a quadratic function.
Apply all of the above to a variety of practical and other problems.

In Physics a student will be able to:
Identify which length scales, time scales and mass scales are appropriate for sub-atomic, biological and astronomical systems.
Use the relation between wavelength and frequency for common waves.
Identify different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Describe the phenomena which can be explained by treating light as a wave.
Explain why light behaves in some cases as a stream of particles.
Know the limiting frequencies of audible sound.
Explain the meaning of energy, temperature and power.
Describe how energy can change its form but the total amount of energy is conserved.
Explain how heat energy is transferred from a hotter to a colder body.
Describe systems in energy balance, and what happens when energy balance breaks down.
Sketch a diagram showing the amount of light remaining as a function of thickness after passing through materials.
Show that Earth must lie in the temperature zone which allows water to be liquid.
Explain why Earth's atmosphere acts like a greenhouse

In Chemistry a student will be able to:
Define atomic number, isotope, atomic mass unit and name and know symbols of some elements and appreciate the size of atoms.
Know which elements are metals, semi-metals and non-metals.
Know chemical formulae, simple chemical equations and understand the hydration of ions.
Define the litre, mole (amount), and perform elementary calculations using molar (concentration) quantities.
Use the Periodic Table to understand the variation of the properties of the elements.
Apply the eight-electron rule to write Lewis formulae for simple diatomic molecules.
Know the names and symbols for elements of groups 1, 2, 12-18, and of the first transition series (Sc-Cu).
Know the names and formulae of the common ions.
Derive oxidation states of the elements when in their common compounds.
Derive the electronic configuration of the elements, and the ions formed from them.
Know the basis of the periodic table in terms of electronic structures of the atoms and be able to use a Periodic table to rationalise or predict the properties of elements and compounds.
Define ionisation energy, electron affinity and electronegativity of elements and know how these properties vary across the periodic table.
Know that the formation of single, double, or triple covalent bonds is by electron pair sharing between atoms and know that sharing of electron pairs between atoms of different electronegativities can lead to polar covalent bonds, and in the extreme case transfer of electrons from one element to another can lead to ionic bonds.
Know what is meant by the term metallic bond.
Relate the periodic table position of constituent elements of simple compounds in relation to the type of bonding (ionic, covalent, or metallic) encountered.
Relate the properties and structures of compounds to the types of bonding involved.

Draw molecules using various conventions for drawing molecules and molecular models.
identify structural isomers, geometric isomers, chiral molecules.
Know the importance of lone pairs for shape and reactivity and the concept of nucleophiles and electrophiles.
Recognise functional groups and correlate with names of types of compound and of individual compounds.
Know the structure of alkenes and their addition reactions and explain the stability of benzene.
Know examples of important alcohols and sugars and correlate their structures with their solubility in water.
Know that oxidation and metabolism of alcohols leads to aldehydes, ketones, acids and carbon dioxide.
Know the structure of fats and predict the hydrolysis products of esters and fats
Explain the uses of phosphate and sulfate esters and the mode of action of detergents and their biodegradation.
Name of amines and predict their basicity.
Illustrate the importance of lone pairs for the hydrogen bonding, basicity and shape of amines.
Know the structures of the amino acids, the formation of zwitterions and the meaning of 'isoelectric point'.
Predict the products of hydrolysis of amides.
Know the major factors involved in drug transport.
Predict the water solubility, shape, neutrality and biological role of urea.
Explain what is meant by the primary structure of proteins, peptide linkages, and chiral centres in proteins.
Know how enzymes operate (in simple terms) and the role of side-chain functional groups.
Know the structure of polysaccharides and the effect of stereochemistry on water solubility and biodegradability.
Know the importance of weak intermolecular forces in biological systems.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations)of the course's summative assessment.