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The University of Southampton

CHEM2026 Coordination chemistry

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:

  • Use group theory to predict vibrational modes of molecules and construct bonding diagrams for transition metal complexes.
  • Explain various aspects of transition metal chemistry including interactions with different ligand types, differences between 3d and 4d/5d systems, metal-metal bonding, reaction types and mechanisms, and behaviour of metal-carbon bonds.
  • Assign features of electronic spectra in transition metal complexes beyond d1.
  • Count electrons, including oxidation states, dn configuration and total valence electrons.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the risks associated with an experiment and understand how to mitigate against those risks.
  • Set up glassware and apparatus to conduct experiments in Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Interpret data from a range of physical techniques to characterise inorganic compounds.


Ligand Field Theory: Group theory for vibrational prediction and SALCs; Ligand types; 4d/5d Metal properties and metal-metal bonding. Reaction types and mechanisms in Transition Metal chemistry; TM reaction types – Substitution, ligand exchange rate and electron transfer; Electronic spectroscopy beyond d1. Organometallic chemistry: 18 electron rule and electron counting; Reaction types – oxidative addition, reductive elimination, insertion, migration etc; Alkyls and alkenes; Basic intro to catalytic cycles; Main group organometallics.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, small group tutorials and laboratory sessions.

Completion of assessment task28
Practical classes and workshops29
Preparation for scheduled sessions54
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

J. S. Ogden. Introduction to molecular symmetry. 

F. A. Cotton, G. Wilkinson, M. Bochmann and C. Murillo (1998). Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. 

C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe (2018). Inorganic Chemistry. 


Assessment Strategy

Final exam, tutorials and laboratory marks.


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessed Tutorials 10%
Final Assessment  65%
Laboratory practicals 25%
Lab proficiency 


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Assessment  100%
Lab proficiency 

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

External repeat only possible if lab attendance criterion is met.


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students will often be expected to bring a copy of notes that are provided electronically in advance to lectures. This can involve an electronic device (laptop or tablet) or printed copies.


Students may have already purchased the textbook recommended in this core module. It will continue to be used in future core modules and students will benefit from owning their own copies. It is also available electronically in the library, as are the other recommended books.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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