The University of Southampton

CHEM6124 NMR Spectroscopy: Theory and Application

Module Overview

NMR spectroscopy is a powerful analytical tool: by combining a wide range of 1D and 2D NMR experiments, the assignment of functional groups, atom connectivity and 3D molecular structure can be undertaken. This module will be delivered with a focus on practical skills associated with acquiring and evaluating NMR data and spectral interpretation. The module will be built from fundamental basics: NMR spectroscopic theory will be used only where necessary to illustrate a practical point.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret and assign NMR spectroscopic data as a tool for structural elucidation
  • Recognise further applications for NMR spectroscopy in probing supramolecular interactions, understanding the thermodynamics of fluxional processes in solution and following reaction kinetics
  • Recognise the steps involved in acquiring NMR spectroscopic data: from sample preparation to setting appropriate acquisition parameters
  • Critically evaluate the quality and reliability of your acquired data


1. Liquid state NMR spectroscopy • Fundamentals of NMR spectroscopy • Nuclear spin (I = ½, I > ½ nuclei), pulsed RF, relaxation issues: implications for acquisition of data • Chemical shift, integration, spin coupling – interpretation of 1D NMR data • Multinuclear NMR (p-block, transition metals) • Advanced NMR experiments • 2D NMR (homonuclear and heteronuclear) • NOE spectroscopy • VT NMR and fluxionality (both organic and broadband samples) • Applications of liquid state NMR spectroscopy • Structural elucidation • Stereochemistry: determination and assignment • Binding studies • Kinetics • Practical techniques • Sample preparation • Sample submission and data acquisition • Processing data • Reporting data in literature/reports 2. Advanced applications in solid state and biological NMR spectroscopy

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching Methods • Lectures (two per week: a mixture of plenary lectures and small-group problem solving workshops • Practical workshops (spaced evenly through the semester, involving interaction with the instrumentation and data interpretation in small groups) • Directed reading • Bb online support Learning Methods Independent study, student motivated peer-group study, student driven tutor support.

Independent Study118
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

S A Richards, J C Hollerton. Essential Practical NMR for Organic Chemistry. 

E Breitmaier. Structure Elucidation by NMR in Organic Chemistry. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 75%
Practical skills assessment 25%
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