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Molecular Chemistry (MC)


Admission Requirements

Core course in MSc Life Science and Technology (Molecular Sciences series).

A BSc degree in the Life Sciences or equivalent degree is needed for admission. You should be familiar with fundamental concepts in general chemistry; acid/base, kinetics, thermodynamics, oxidation/reduction, functional groups. These will be qualitatively used throughout the course. The contents of Chapter 2 of the book (Clayden) must be entirely familiar to you, study it beforehand if this is not the case.

Note: Students who obtained their BSc degree in MST with a major in chemistry or synthesis will find this course redundant. They are advised to take another organic chemistry elective, such as SOC (4012SOCH5). The courses MC and SOC cannot be combined in a MSc programme.


Fundamental concepts of organic chemistry, such as acidity/basicity, orbital interactions, conjugation, etc. are discussed. The most common transformations and corresponding mechanisms are explained and illustrated with examples of reactions that are used in the total synthesis of natural compounds. Parallels between synthetic and biosynthetic mechanisms are discussed.

Course objectives

After the course the student is able to:

  • Apply the fundamental concepts of organic chemistry in the analysis and construction of molecules

  • Construct the mechanism of a reaction in terms of electron movement and/or participating orbitals

  • Predict the structures of products for the most common organic reactions

  • Provide one or more critical arguments which reagents and conditions are more suitable than others based on the knowledge of the structure and reactivity of the molecules

  • Design a synthesis of a small molecule based on identification of structural functionalities

  • Identify key components in a chemical reaction which you can use to explain the regio- and stereoselectivity of that reaction


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of Instruction

On campus lectures.

Assessment method

Final exam (closed book)

Reading list

Organic Chemistry, 2nd edition, Clayden, Greeves and Warren. ISBN: 9780199270293.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Stefan van der Vorm, Marta Artola


According to OER article 4.8, students are entitled to view their marked examination for a period of 30 days following the publication of the results of a written examination. Students should contact the lecturer to make an appointment for such an inspection session.