CHEM13083 - Physical Chemistry

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit you will develop advanced understanding of the core areas of physical chemistry, based around the themes of systems, states and processes. You will study mixtures and phases, spectroscopy, molecular motion and ionic conductance. This unit will extend your theoretical knowledge to complex mixtures encountered in environmental studies and vibrational spectroscopy, which is rapidly emerging as a core analytical tool for screening and quantification of species in a myriad of disciplines.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


CHEM19085 OR CHEM12077 OR CHEM12079 OR CHEM12080

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Report 50%
3. Online Test 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 75.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 40.00% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student evaluation
The summary of 2 weeks learning was useful and it also explained in another way/context that sometimes made things clearer to understand
The practice of regular drop-in sessions will continue to ensure that students are supported in their learning.
Action Taken
Source: Student evaluation
The textbook was obtuse in some of its explanations, and some of the example problems were difficult to follow. The greatest frustration was that the answers that the textbook supplied to the tutorial questions were incorrect.
The issue with textbook errors has been escalated with the textbook publisher and a request made for the authors to re-check their answers and supply these before the start of the next offering for the Unit. In the meantime, alternative options are being explored around this challenge, including another resource.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the properties of mixtures
  2. Predict the types of molecular motion in fluids and mixtures
  3. Design and conduct practical assessments of molar conductance and conductivity
  4. Assess the kinetics and determine the mass transfer process of various chemical reactions.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Report
3 - Online Test
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Report
3 - Online Test