This was a really good course and would highly recommend it. The labs are interesting and fun for the most part and the tutors are very entertaining and helpful. Would recommend choosing a prac class that is on all day so you can let things dry over the break. The results sheets and full reports are monstrous but the tutors and lecturers are helpful with difficult concepts. I did the course semester 1,2017 (the first year with an exam).
This is definitely one of the best courses I've taken so far. Unlike the rushed, stressful practicals in first year chemistry courses, there are six hours of prac per week (in two three-hour sessions) so there was PLENTY of time to get things done. In fact, some of the experiments only took four or five of the six hours. This meant that it was never stressful and if you made mistakes in your experiments, there was no need to panic at all. Most importantly it also allows you to think about and appreciate the chemistry. Another difference from first year was that experiments were performed alone rather than in pairs.
The course is divided, somewhat unevenly, into two sections: the first four experiments are inorganic, and the other six experiments are organic chemistry. The first five experiments require you to submit results sheets (which are not simply a sheet of results - there are questions and calculations you have to do) and the other five experiments require full written reports (approx. 8-10 pages each). These required considerably more effort, time and thought than the results sheets but needed to be done in the same time frame of one week. This may sound like a lot of time but with assessment from other courses, these full reports almost killed me. However, despite almost dying every week in the second half of the semester, I actually found them quite enjoyable to write.
I would highly recommend this course to be done with CHEM2050. The pracs line up well with the content taught in CHEM2050 so they complement each other and I would have found it difficult to do well in this course if I hadn't done 2050 at the same time. I would also recommend choosing a prac group that has both three-hour sessions in one day because that way you can set up equipment in the first session for use later in the second session, and you can also use the one-hour break in between the two sessions to leave your product to dry with vacuum. Another thing I would recommend is to really make use of the tutors, lab staff and lecturer(s) - they are always keen to help and want you to do well.
NOTE: I took this in Semester 1 2016 but this is not an option in 'Semester taken'.
Semester 2 - 2015
Is lecture attendance necessary?
Perhaps - but you can just look at the slides. But for some reason they actually took attendance at first but all they did was send the absent people an email asking them why they didn\'t attend the lecture.
Is the textbook necessary?
There is no textbook
You get to play with chemicals
Challenging in an enjoyable way
Fun and interesting
Some lectures out of sync with NMR knowledge needed for reports
Had multiple near death experiences from writing the reports
Tutors seem to have an infallible tendency to pick out small, meaningless errors in reports and take off part marks so it was difficult to get 20/20