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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 or are part of biological processes.

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.

Mode of Instruction

Lecture content is presented in recorded videos and through homework exercises. Live sessions consist of content and homework discussion.

Assessment method

The final grade will be obtained by the sum of Homework (20%) and a final exam (80%). A list of homework/questions will be provided in Brightspace after each lecture which have to be submitted within a week.
Final exam (closed book). The final exam will consist in two parts. First a multiple choice quiz (30%) and second a written problem-solving exam (50%). If the corona situation precludes a physical on-campus exam, the assessment will be online by the use of a webcam and a printer.
If there are changes to the assessment method, these will be announced via Brightspace a minimum of 10 working days before the originally scheduled exam date.

Reading list

Organic Chemistry, 2nd edition, Clayden, Greeves and Warren


Register for this course via uSis


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.