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Programme & Unit Catalogues

CH20146: Symmetry and group theory

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/3
Owning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Credits: 3 [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 60
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Examination (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take CH10133 OR take CH10134
Learning Outcomes: After studying this Unit, students should be able to:
* Identify symmetry elements in and define the point group of a molecule
* Fully assign the vibrational spectra (IR and Raman) using Group Theory
* Use Group Theory to draw MO diagrams for simple chemical species.

Aims: To provide an introduction to symmetry in molecules, Group Theory and its applications in interpreting the spectra and structures of inorganic compounds.

Skills: Numeracy (F, A); Problem solving (T, F, A); Oral communication (F).

Content: The concept of symmetry and symmetry operations and their use to generate point groups for molecular species. Group theory and vibrational spectroscopy. SALCs and the application of Group theory to problems of chemical bonding.

Programme availability:

CH20146 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry

CH20146 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 4)
  • USCH-AFM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 3)
  • USCH-AKM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.