Physical Chemistry

Queensland University of Technology

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Physical Chemistry

  • Host University

    Queensland University of Technology

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    (CVB101 or SCB111) and (SCB121 or CVB102) and (SCB131 or CVB102)  

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Ultimately, chemistry is the study of change. Changes of state, the mixing of substances, chemical reactions and spectroscopic transitions are manifestations of change on an atomic and molecular level. This unit provides the tools to quantitatively analyse changes accompanying a wide variety of chemical and physical transformations. The fundamental factors that govern the extents (equilibria) and rates (kinetics) of chemical reactions can be understood in these terms. The aim of this unit is to demonstrate how reactions and chemical processes can be described, quantified and understood using macroscopic concepts and through understanding of molecular systems at the microscopic level.

    Learning Outcomes
    To complete this unit successfully, you will demonstrate that you can:

    1.    Demonstrate an understanding of physical chemistry concepts in both theoretical and practical settings. 
    2.    Evaluate various data and data collection methodologies, and analyse their significance to solve problems incorporating physical chemistry concepts. 
    3.    Apply and interpret data to solve problems related to physical chemistry. 
    4.    Design a theoretical methodology for solving a real world problem with a physical chemistry component.

    You will become familiar with the use of discipline-appropriate digital technologies and software in the laboratory experiments and through project module computer-based exercises. You will gain experience in discipline-specific data collection and recording methods during the laboratory/practical component of the unit.


    Within each category, a guided approach leading from experimental result to conceptual model to predictability and testability will be adopted. 

    - Kinetic theory, transport processes, the Boltzmann Distribution
    - Chemical kinetics    
    - Activated processes

    Reaction Mechanisms:
    - Mechanisms of chemical reactions
    - Collision theory of reaction rates
    - The steady state principle

    Molecular Spectroscopy:
    - covering an introduction to light-matter interaction, the Boltzmann distribution in spectroscopy and topics of rotational, vibrational and electronic spectroscopy of molecules.

    Thermodynamics and its applications:
    - An account of the laws of thermodynamics with reference to their applications, covering the topics of enthalpy, heat capacity, entropy and Gibbs free energy.

    In addition to preparing you for later studies in physical chemistry, this unit contributes strongly to the development of important attributes you are expected to demonstrate as a graduate of the course, namely
    - technical proficiency and data collection and recording
    - critical reasoning and problem-solving
    - communication and visual representation of scientific data
    - independent management of tasks
    - critical self-reflection

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.