Phases, Change and Rates (F1046)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

The aim of this module is to describe more advanced applications of equilibrium thermodynamics, describing evens such as phase transitions, thermodynamics of mixing and properties of other forms of matter such as quasi-crystals and liquid crystal phases.

Combined with this is more detailed chemical kinetics in which reactions are explained in terms of simple collision theory. These ideas are then extended to more detailed collision theory models, transition state theory and the temperature dependence of rates of reactions.

Basic statistical mechanics are used to explain the link between populations of states and their thermodynamic properties.


41%: Lecture
59%: Practical (Laboratory, Workshop)


40%: Coursework (Problem set, Report)
60%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 54 hours of contact time and about 96 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: