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Advanced Practical Research Training - CHE00005H

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Terry Dillon
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module combines advanced research training and group mini-project practical components.  These components provide a thorough preparation for the demands of the final year research project to be conducted in Stage 4 of the course either at York, in Industry or in an overseas university.

The module also includes integrated spectroscopy course that develops student skills in analysing a range of spectral data to identify unknown molecular structures.

Module learning outcomes

  • Students will develop their practical skills in advanced MChem experiments
  • Students will further develop practical skills through the group miniprojects, with an increasing emphasis both on independence and teamworking skills.  The nature of these practical components is far less structured than the students will have been used to and serves to develop their powers of analysis and problem solving. 
  • Students will develop report writing skills across a range of areas of the subject.
  • Students will develop skills to solve spectroscopic problems using multiple complex data sources provided in the integrated spectroscopy course. 

Module content

In the Autumn Term, students spend three 2-day weeks in the laboratory carrying out a separate advanced experiment in each week, which is written up through an individual report. 

In Spring Term, group miniprojects are tackled on the same lines, with each group spending 6 days in the laboratory and pooling their results. Individual reports and a group poster are produced. The research training is supported by a scientific writing workshop.

The module also includes an Integrated spectroscopy course (Spring Term), which aims to improve students' ability to solve chemical problems in a broader context. This activity is supported by drop-in advice sessions.


Task Length % of module mark
Integrated Spectorscopy Workshop
N/A 20
Advanced Practical Reports
N/A 30
Mini-Project Report
N/A 50

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Adv Pract reports 1 & 2: due 2 weeks after 2-day lab session during Autumn Term
Adv Pract report 3: due Spring Term Week 1

Integrated Spectroscopy assessed workshop: Spring Term Week 10

Mini-project report: due Summer Term Week 1
Mini-project group poster: due Summer Term Week 2


Task Length % of module mark
Integrated Spectorscopy Workshop
N/A 20

Module feedback

Feedback on practical write-ups is provided through both annotation of scripts by markers and distribution of feedback sheets. Students receive their marks (grade) for each practical within 20 working days and feedback on formative integrated spectroscopy exercises on a weekly basis. Advanced Practical marks are available via supervisor meetings. Miniproject supervisors provide regular feedback on progress with experimental work as well as during the writing up period. Miniproject and group poster marks and feedback are made available during Summer Term and annotated reports made available for inspection.

Indicative reading

Increasingly, specialised texts and the research literature will be used to support the course (and individual lecturers will give you lists of recommended literature), the Department continues to recommend the following core textbooks for Year 3:

  • P. Atkins, T. Overton, J. Rourke, M. Weller, F. Armstrong, “Shriver and Atkin’s Inorganic Chemistry”, Oxford University Press, 2010. Available from University library.
  • J. Clayden, N. Greeves, S. Warren, P. Wothers, “Organic Chemistry”, Oxford University Press, 2001. Available from University library. There is also an updated 2012 edition of this book.
  • “Atkins' Physical Chemistry”, Oxford University Press, 2010. Available from University library.
  • D. A. Skoog, D. M. West, F. J. Holler, S. R. Crouch, “Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry”, Thomson/Brooks/Cole, 2004. Available from University library. There is also an updated 2012 edition of this book.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.