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Introductory Chemistry – The Science of Stuff

Introductory Chemistry is a not-for-credit distance-taught course intended for students with limited chemistry backgrounds. The material covered in the course will provide a basic understanding of the chemical principles that describe the properties and reactions of elements and compounds and provide a solid basis for tertiary chemistry study.

Students can enroll for the course at any time during the year and take as long as they need to complete it. Its distance-taught nature means that students do not need to be present on the University of Otago campus at any stage. This flexibility makes the course suitable for those who have work or other commitments.

The fact that it is not-for-credit means that it cannot be counted towards a University of Otago degree. Upon completion of the course a letter and the marked test sheet are sent detailing the student's achievement.

Course content

The material covered is based on the New Zealand senior secondary school level chemistry curriculum. Upon enrolment students are sent details for accessing the course website and the accompanying eTextbook. Students will be expected to work through the course at their own pace. Self-tests are provided so that progress can be assessed. A final multiple-choice test will form the major part of the course assessment.

Course fee

A course fee of NZ$385 is payable at the time of enrolment.


Students can enrol at any stage during the year. This 'open' enrolment plan caters for the individual needs of self-paced learning.

  1. Enrol using the online form and pay by credit card
  2. A full refund can be given if your circumstances change within one week of the purchase date, minus a $40 administration and handling fee. If the registration code for the eTextbook has been activated (and so cannot be used by another student) then a further $60 will be charged. By enrolling in the Introductory Chemistry course you agree to the terms and conditions of the Cancellation and Refund policy stated at the bottom of the registration page.


All enquiries should be made to:

Department of Chemistry
University of Otago
PO Box 56

Tel: +64 3 479 7908
Fax: +64 3 479 7906

Course Coordinator

Dr David A. McMorran
Tel: +64 3 479 7934
Location: Science II, Gc2

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