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Advanced Research Project (Industry) - CHE00013M

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Brian Grievson
  • Credit value: 90 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

The Advanced Research Project (Industry) is undertaken during a year-long industrial placement secured by application and interview during the previous academic year. The industrial placement must be undertaken with a company authorised by the Department and obtained through Departmental recruitment procedures as outlined in the MChem(Industry) Placement Choices Handbook.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

The MChem course arose from the need to train 'career chemists'. As such, the MChem components you have taken so far and those you will take this year have been designed to educate you in the fundamental principles and techniques of advanced chemistry to enable you to draw on this knowledge in your future career; these careers include industrial research and taking PhD degrees. The fourth year is designed to give you experience of deploying your knowledge and expertise in a real industrial context. Furthermore, the need for you to interact with fellow researchers in your placement laboratory will increase and consolidate your chemical knowledge and allow you to develop more fully your presentation skills.

Module learning outcomes

The general aims of the MChem course are to provide you with the opportunity to:-

• gain confidence in application of fundamental principles to the solution of problems in chemistry

• study some additional advanced work in chemistry which is adequately underpinned

• gain competence in practical chemistry and fundamentals of research methods

• further develop professional (transferable) skills The specific aims of the MChem (Industry) scheme, in addition to those stated above are:

• to complete a substantial chemical research project in an industrial context

• to develop a range of skills, especially —

a) communication skills

b) team working

c) problem-solving

d) technical skills

e) time management

f) analysis and interpretation

g) oral and written presentation skills

Module content

Your placement will typically be 12 months in duration with some variation depending on the company. Most students will start their placements over the summer vacation. Each project will have an industrial supervisor, a placement supervisor and an independent panel member (IPM - a second marker).

You will spend all of your time on the placement with the exception of required attendance at formal meetings, which are (i) the pre-placement meeting at York before the placement starts, (ii) the initial meeting at your company site 4 to 8 weeks after starting, (iii) the interim progress meeting and other activities at York in January and (iv) the final assessment meeting, including oral examination and presentation, at York in May.

Assessment of the project is based on three main areas. These areas are similar to those used for the MChem (York) research projects. During the year the Open Learning Module and the Literature Review Skills Module are also assessed.

1. Marking guidelines for project assessment (35% of placement mark, 26.25% of total year 4 mark)

These concentrate on your ability to plan and execute a project (as well as your transferable skills, since this forms a large part of the MChem (Industry) scheme). A pro forma sheet will be used for the assessment of the project. Your industrial supervisor’s comments concerning the execution of your project will be used by the York placement supervisor to assess the project. Please note that it is your placement supervisor who will allocate your marks, not your industrial supervisor. The marks for the whole year cohort may be subject to adjustment by a moderation panel appointed by the Year 4 Committee during week 9 of Term 12.

2. Oral presentation and examination (25% of placement mark, 18.75% of total year 4 mark)

This is held in York in week 7 of the summer term. The Assessment Panel will consist of your placement supervisor (who will chair the meeting) and your IPM. You will give a presentation lasting for no longer than 20 minutes on your project work. The presentation content is largely up to you, but it should contain an introduction, a discussion of the approach taken, the presentation of results, conclusions and future work. Following the presentation, a 30-40 minute oral examination will take place where you will be expected to answer questions on your presentation. The questions will examine not only your understanding of the project but also your knowledge of chemical principles across the range of the subject; accordingly, the questions may only be tenuously connected with your project. You are strongly advised to revise the whole of your chemistry course (years 1 to 4) in advance of your oral examination. Guidelines for the marking of the presentation and the oral examination are shown in the MChem(Industry) Handbook. Each member of the assessment panel will make an independent assessment of your performance and marks will be collated by the placement supervisor at the end of the assessment.

3. Project report (40% of placement mark, 30% of total year 4 mark)

Your report should be between 4500 and 6500 words, excluding the literature review, and the experimental section, contents, figures, tables, titles and references. A word count should be included at the front of your report, and projects over the word limit will be penalised at a rate of 5 marks per 500 words up to a maximum penalty of 15 marks.


Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral Presentation
N/A 25
Project Execution
N/A 35
University - project
Advanced Research Project Report
N/A 40

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Feedback on the progress of the placement project is provided at regular intervals by both the company Industrial Supervisor and the York Supervisor. Feedback on report writing is provided by the York Supervisor; detailed feedback is given on the interim report in January and general guidance offered during the preparation of the final project in May subject to the confidentiality restrictions set by the placement company. At the final Oral presentation, students are given verbal feedback on their performance immediately following the conclusion of the presentation.

Indicative reading

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

P. Atkins, J. de Paula, “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, 2012. Available from University library.

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.