Chemistry

visiting students

Students demonstrating an experiment at the College's Research Expo

Studying Chemistry at St Edmund Hall as a Visiting Student means world-class tuition in one of the largest and most exciting Chemistry departments in the world. A list of Chemistry courses which are offered at undergraduate level and are available to Visiting Students is given below.

Many Visiting Students in Chemistry take a combination of Core Courses and stay in Oxford for the entire academic year. This enables full integration with the Chemistry course and with our own undergraduate Chemists.

Availability of courses may vary according to term of study. The exact content of your courses will be decided in consultation with your tutor at St Edmund Hall and may depend on what teaching resources are available at the time. Further Courses are only available to Visiting Students with the appropriate academic background (Core Courses are prerequisites).

We offer the following topics in Inorganic Chemistry. Each topic is a single tutorial unless stated otherwise. Therefore you need the equivalent of either four or eight tutorial topics for a secondary (minor) or primary (major) course in Inorganic Chemistry. In all cases we strongly recommend one or two basic tutorials for orientation to the level of Oxford Inorganic Chemistry, namely “Atomic structure and the Periodic Table” and “Introduction to molecular orbital theory, symmetry and shapes”, even if you have covered some of these aspects previously.

  • Introduction to atomic structure and the Periodic Table (essential).
  • Introduction to molecular orbital theory, symmetry and shapes (essential).
  • Bonding in main group and inorganic molecules; inorganic applications of group theory in bonding and vibrational spectroscopy.
  • Introduction to transition metal chemistry (essential if no significant transition metal chemistry has been studied previously)
  • General trends in transition metal and coordination chemistry; and molecular orbital theory in transition metal chemistry (double tutorial)
  • Transition metal organometallic chemistry and organometallic reaction mechanisms (double tutorial).
  • Inorganic reaction mechanisms (excluding organometallic chemistry).
  • Transition metal electronic spectroscopy and transition metal magnetism (double tutorial)
  • Chemistry of the lanthanides and actinides.
  • Inorganic NMR spectroscopy.
  • 1st year topics: Fundamentals of organic chemistry – acidity & basicity, stereochemistry, orbitals & mechanism; Nucleophilic substitution at saturated carbons; Elimination reactions; Addition reactions of alkenes & alkynes; Carbonyl chemistry; Aromatic chemistry; Introduction to biological chemistry (amino acids, peptides, enzymes & DNA).
  • 2nd year topics: Aromatic & heterocyclic chemistry; Conformational analysis and ring chemistry; Stereoelctronic effects; Carbohydrate chemistry; Organic spectroscopy; Physical organic chemistry; Rearrangements; Reactive intermediates (radicals, carbenes, nitrenes & arynes); Heteroatom chemistry; Redox chemistry; Introduction to organic synthesis (retrosynthesis, protecting groups etc.); Nucleic acid chemistry; Enzymology.
  • 3rd year topics: Pericyclic reactions; Organometallic chemistry; Organocatalysis; Radical chemistry; Applications of organic spectroscopy; Stereoselectivity in synthesis; Asymmetric synthesis; Total synthesis; Primary & secondary metabolism.
  • Concepts: quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and kinetics.
  • Phases: solids and surfaces, liquids and solutions, perfect and imperfect gases.
  • Applications: electrochemistry, valence, atomic spectroscopy, molecular spectroscopy, NMR, photochemistry, reaction dynamics.

Further Courses

Other more advanced options may be available to those Visiting Students who are suitably qualified. If you have covered much of the material in the Core Courses and you wish to select other topics please see the Undergraduate Course Handbook on the Oxford University Chemistry Department’s website for guidance about what options may be available to you.

Visiting Students

More information about becoming a Visiting Student at St Edmund Hall – including finance, accommodation and how to apply

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