Welcome to First Year Chemistry

Chemistry is about change; the how and why things happen.

In First Year Chemistry we want to provide you with an understanding of the molecular basis of the physical properties of materials (why are towels made of cotton not nylon?), the reasons chemical reactions occur (why do cut apples go brown?) and the energy changes involved (what is a flame?).

Quick links: ChemCAL, Downloads page, MyUni

Supplementary course for CHEM1002 students intending to enrol in Chemistry 2

Preparation for First Year Chemistry

There are many reasons why you may choose to study Chemistry: academic curiosity, a fascination with understanding the world around you, to support study in agriculture, engineering or the life sciences, because it is something you are good at or maybe just that it is something you have never tried before.

It is not unusual to enter First Year Chemistry without having completed HSC Chemistry. We host a Bridging Course in February for prospective students in this situation. Those who are not entering Uni directly from High School may consider the University Preparation Course Introduction to Science.

What unit should I take? Choosing the right combination of units is essential to maximise your performance. The following table is intended as a guide only and we encourage you to seek advice either before you enrol, or at the time of enrolment. For more information on choosing First Year Chemistry units, contact chemistry.firstyear@sydney.edu.au.
Semester 1
Semester 2
No HSC Chemistry Fundamentals of Chemistry 1A and 1B
Completed HSC Chemistry Chemistry 1A and 1B (midyear entry possible)
UAI > 96.4 and HSC Chem >80% Chemistry 1A (Advanced) and 1B (Advanced)
UAI > 98.7 and HSC Chem >90% Special Studies Program (by invitation)
Mech, Aero, Civil Engineering Students One of CHEM1001, CHEM1101 or CHEM1901
Veterinary Science and Animal & Vet Bioscience Students Chemistry (Vet Sci)
Pharmacy Students Chemistry 1Ph
BMedSc, BSc(Molecular Biology & Genetics), BSc(Molecular biotechnology) and BSc(Nutrition) Students Chemistry 1LS
General Information for First Year Chemistry students Chemistry leads to a diverse range of careers and degree programs. Unlike High School, at University, assessment contributing to your final marks can start as early as the third week of teaching. Consequently an organised study routine is essential from the very start if you are to optimise your performance. Note that on-line material provides an important resource and you should be familiar with the content of WebCT for your unit of study. There is approximately 6 hours per week of teaching in each Junior Chemistry unit of study and we recommend, as a very rough guide, another 6 hours per week be spent on private study in Chemistry. Each student is issued with his/her own timetable that minimises any clashes. An overview of the semester 1 timetable of all First Year Chemistry units is given here. An overview of the semester 2 timetable of all First Year Chemistry units is given here. It is essential that you attend all sessions for which you have been timetabled in Chemistry. Lectures start in week 1 and tutorials and laboratory classes start in week 2. Chemistry is a practical based discipline and there are approximately 10 laboratory sessions throughout each semester. These laboratory sessions form a vital part of the unit of study and accordingly, you are required to attend a minimum of 90% of your laboratory classes. If you have more than one unexplained absence from the laboratory program you may fail the unit of study. Please ask Sophie at the First Year Enquiry Office if you have any questions concerning the First Year Chemistry Units. Our Duty Tutors, can help you with any question you have arising from the lecture, tutorial of laboratory material. Your chemistry lecturers are all very approachable so feel free to ask them questions as well. Here are the contact details of the lecturers. Here is a snap shot of those staff with direct responsibility for First Year Studies and information on what they can help you with. You will learn many things in First Year Chemistry and we hope you will find that enjoyable. Included in this learning process are generic attributes, which are very important for your future career. Finally, your feedback on our courses is valued and is an important part of the ongoing development of all courses.