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CHEM302 Organic Chemistry

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

Application of the principles of organic chemistry to an understanding of why organic compounds react as they do; to develop the ability to predict the course of a chemical reaction to allow for the design of controlled and selective chemical transformations.

CHEM 302 Organic Chemistry focuses on how the concepts and techniques of organic chemistry may be applied to interpret chemical reactions and to plan chemical transformations. The principles involved apply equally to reactions performed in the laboratory and to those proceeding in living systems.

Paper title Organic Chemistry
Paper code CHEM302
Subject Chemistry
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,858.95

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CHEM 202
Schedule C
CHEM 302 is an important paper for chemistry majors wishing to proceed to a career that involves organic chemistry and for all general degree students requiring knowledge and understanding of the organic chemistry to underpin their major subject.
Professor David S. Larsen
Tel 64 3 479 7816
Location: Science II, 2N11
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Prof David Larsen
Associate Professor James Crowley
Dr Eng Tan
Dr Bill Hawkins
Paper Structure
The topics covered in CHEM 302 are:
  • Frontier molecular orbital theory and reactive intermediates
    • Examination of the transformations involving carbocations, carbenes and free radicals, including reactions that involve structural rearrangements
    • Pericyclic reactions such as electrocyclic reactions; cycloadditions and 1,3-dipolar additions will also be studied
    • An underlying theoretical basis will be the use of pictorial representations of molecular orbitals to interpret the selectivity of chemical reactions
  • Heterocyclic chemistry
    • Structure, nomenclature, aromaticity and reactivity of heterocycles
    • Synthesis of heterocycles via condensation and pericyclic reactions
    • Cross-coupling reactions of heterocycles
  • Molecules of living systems
    • Neighbouring group effects: bridged reaction intermediates, rate acceleration, rearrangements, organometallic catalysis and asymmetric induction
Teaching Arrangements
There are three lectures and one 4-hour laboratory class each week.
Highly Recommended:
Bruice, P.Y. Organic Chemistry, (4th edn), Prentice-Hall

March, J. Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms and Structure, (4th or 5th edn), Wiley
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Expectations at the completion of the paper:
  • An attainment of appropriate knowledge of pericyclic reactions, reactions of carbon-centred reaction intermediates, the chemistry of heterocyclic aromatic compounds, synthetic reaction analysis, reagent choice, compound purification and spectroscopic characterisation
  • An ability to work efficiently and effectively in a multistep laboratory synthesis while planning ahead to reduce any perceived hazards
  • An ability to analyse critically an experimental procedure and write a formal report using standard scientific terminology

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
Tuesday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 28-34, 36-41
A2 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 28-34, 36-41