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Modern Organic Chemistry (MOC)


Admission requirements

Core course MSc Chemistry - Chemical Biology, elective course MSc Chemistry, MSc Life Science and Technology.

Suitable for students with a BSc degree in MST, LST, BFW or equivalent. Student should be familiar with fundamental concepts and transformations in organic chemistry at the level of the first year and the second year organic chemistry courses. Students should be able to work mechanisms of the reactions discussed in Chapters 6, 9-11, 15 -17, 19 -26 of the recommended book (Clayden). The students are encouraged to take Synthetic Organic Chemistry (4012SOCH5) and Reactivity of Organic Chemistry (4423RIOCH) before taking this class.


The chemical transformations common in the modern organic chemistry are discussed in depth in the context of total syntheses of complex natural products taken from the contemporary literature. The students are expected to prepare the preassigned articles before the class and to actively participate in the classes that are organized in a form of problem-solving sessions.

Course objectives

After the course the student should be able to:

  • Understand modern organic transformations;

  • Understand transition metal catalyzed organic transformations;

  • Understand and apply modern concepts in organic chemistry;

  • Prediction of the structure of the product of modern organic reactions;

  • Design a synthetic route as part of a total synthesis of a complex molecule;

  • Understand a synthetic organic chemistry publication from recent literature;


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

The course consists of problem-solving sessions, rather than formal lectures. In weekly sessions, the structure and reactivity of organic compounds are discussed. Students prepare for these sessions by studying selected chapters from Organic Chemistry textbooks, as well as selected relevant papers from the literature.

Assessment method

Written exam (only one textbook of student’s choice is allowed during the exam).
The student obtains a bonus point towards the final grade by working all mechanisms from a recent organic chemistry article of the student’s choice (1 point maximum).
Formative tests during the lectures in the form of web-based quizzes on a suitable online platform

Reading list

Handouts (via Brightspace) and one organic chemistry book of student’s choice.
Recommended is Organic Chemistry, 2nd edition, Clayden, Greeves and Warren.


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.


Dr. D.V. Filippov Dr. S. van der Vorm


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.