UCL Summer School


Principles of Organic Chemistry

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session One
Module leader
Dr. Aga Kosinska
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
Class quizzes (70%), Lab reports (30%)
Download syllabus (PDF)

Module overview

This module is designed to introduce students to the foundations of organic chemistry by focusing on the structures, properties and chemical reactivity of the various carbon based compounds. This course will also cover different aspects of isomerism observed in organic molecules as well as the reactions’ mechanisms (substitution, elimination, and addition) in terms of the electrons flow. Various analytical techniques (MS, NMR and IR) will be introduced as a tool to determine organic structures.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • understand bonding and structures of alkanes, alkenes and alkynes;
  • understand and recognize various types of isomerism present in the main three groups of hydrocarbons;
  • be able to recognize different organic reactions (substitution, elimination, and addition) and to use curly arrows representation of the electrons flow;
  • be able to use simple spectroscopic data in order to identify structures of organic molecules.

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • Three class quizzes (10%, 30%, 30%)
  • Three lab reports (10% each)

Module leader

In 2000, Dr. Aga Kosinska graduated from Gdansk University of Technology in Poland with MSc engineer degree in Chemical Technology. In 2001, she started her international adventure across countries and educational systems around the world. In 2003, she began her research in the area of analytical chemistry at the University of San Francisco (USF) where she received: The American Institute of Chemists Foundation Award Certificate as an Outstanding Student Majoring in Chemistry and The Department of Chemistry Graduate Award for Achievement in Teaching. Then, Dr Kosinska moved to the University of St Andrews where she did her PhD studies in the area of organic and medicinal chemistry. In 2010, she started working as a Chemistry Teaching Fellow at UCL’s Centre for Preparatory Studies in Astana, Kazakhstan. She came back to the UK in 2013, and started working as a Lecturer in Extended Science at Plymouth University. In 2014, she completed Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and become a Fellow of Higher Education Academy. Currently, she is working at the UCL CLIE as the UPCSE Senior Chemistry Teaching Fellow and Chemistry Coordinator where she has been sharing her innovative learning and teaching approaches to international students. Since September 2018, Dr Aga Kosinska is also a Visiting Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at NYU London.

Application information

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