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The University of Southampton

CHEM1052 Mathematical Skills for Chemists

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Describe chemical problems in terms of mathematical concepts.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate numeracy and ability to apply mathematical concepts to solve contextual problems.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate ability to frame a problem or concept in chemistry in the form of a mathematical equation or appropriate plot.


The course covers the following mathematical concepts and skills, with practice in their application to problems in Chemistry: • numbers and orders of magnitude, units, quantity calculus, and estimations; • functions: exponentials and logarithms; • algebra: BODMAS, rearranging equations, solving algebraic and non-algebraic equations; • graph plotting, the equation of a straight line, and linear plots from non-linear expressions; • trigonometry: right angle triangles, diagonal dimensions of cubes and rectangles, definitions and applications of sin, cos, and tan, the cosine rule; • differentiation: by the rule (polynomials and various functions), the chain, product, and quotient rules, use of derivatives to find inflection points, maxima and minima; • integration: indefinite and definite integrals; • matricies and vectors: definitions, addition, subtraction, multiplication, determinants, and as systems of equations; • complex numbers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and problem-solving workshops.

Independent Study42
Preparation for scheduled sessions44
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 33%
Coursework 34%
Coursework 33%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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