Strategy in Organic Synthesis (F1088)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module focuses on strategy in organic synthesis and the disconnection approach.

You are required to take a different approach to your entire knowledge of synthetic chemistry accumulated hitherto. You learn novel reactions, understand the relevance of solvents and reagents, but also to modify your way of thinking about transformations so as to predict shortfalls and be able to come up with more efficient tactics.

The aim of this module is to describe the unifying principles which underline the diverse structures of natural product synthesis and the design of a total synthesis through a disconnective strategy. This includes introductioning you to the concept of retrosynthetic analysis, the synthesis of complex cycles and heterocycles, alkenes and alkynes, the formation of carbon-carbon bonds and carbon-heteroatom bonds, pericyclic reactions, radicalar reactions, aromatic chemistry.


39%: Lecture
61%: Practical (Laboratory, Workshop)


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

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 68 hours of contact time and about 82 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: