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Introductory Skills & Practical 2 - CHE00028C

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. David Pugh
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

This module builds on Introductory Skills & Practical 1, in complementing the core theoretical content of the Chemistry degree programme by further developing the core skills that students require in order to become a professional chemist.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

Building on Introductory Skills & Practical 1, this module will continue the development of the skills that complement the core chemical knowledge of the degree programme. Specific aims are:

  • To further develop students’ practical laboratory skills, introducing new techniques and consolidating prior knowledge with practice

  • To introduce the use of software packages for studying, analysing and presenting data in Chemistry

  • To introduce key analytical techniques for identifying molecules and monitoring reactions

  • To further develop the core mathematical and quantitative skills which underpin high-level study in Chemistry

  • To develop students’ employability skills, and transferable skills, through group work, problem solving, and the study of “real world” chemistry applications

Module learning outcomes

Students should be able to:

  • apply and explain the foundational principles of practical chemistry, to conduct routine laboratory work safely, and to demonstrate competence in a range of general laboratory skills of increasing complexity

  • carry out mathematical manipulations of increasing complexity

  • use mathematical methods of increasing complexity to solve chemical problems, including quantification of errors.

  • use software packages to process data, to represent chemical reactions, to investigate/visualise molecules and to present scientific data

  • analyse experimental outputs, such as spectroscopic data, in order to identify molecules and solve chemical problems

  • apply transferable and problem-solving skills, and be able to work in groups to solve problems, based on commercially-relevant scenarios

  • identify and experience employability skills through the York Strengths programme

Module content

  • York Strengths

These sessions, primarily in week 1, introduce students to the York Strengths programme, focusing on employability skills. [self-directed work and centrally-organised sessions in week 1; follow-up workshop]

  • Industry Challenge

This session focuses on working in teams to solve “real world” problems in an industrial context. [single-day session]

  • Global Challenge: Food

This session focuses on working in teams to solve “real world” problems in the chemistry of food. [1.5 day sessions, with assessed presentation]

  • Practical work

Building directly on the experience developed in Introductory Skills & Practical 1, this element introduces new practical techniques and consolidates students’ prior knowledge. The laboratory exercises are overseen and taught by laboratory demonstrators. Information is provided in a variety of formats, including introductory lectures, instructional videos, experimental scripts, experimental briefings, notes and interactions with the demonstrators. Workshops are also provided to familiarise students with software used in solving chemical problems (e.g. spectral processing, molecular modelling).

[eight days in the laboratory; three supporting lectures]

  • Mathematics for chemists II

Building directly on the experience developed in Skills & Practical 1, this element introduces selected topics including error analysis, matrices and determinants, in order to support fundamental chemical ideas later in the course. The sessions include opportunities for students to work through problems with guidance and supervision in order to develop their problem-solving skills in a 'hands-on' way.

[seven lectures, seven workshops]

  • Analytical Techniques for Structure Determination

A series of lectures introduces key techniques for monitoring chemical reactions and characterising molecules, including NMR, mass spectrometry and chromatographic tools. The lectures are supported with workshops so that students can practise hands-on interpretation with guidance.

The ATSD component is divided into three subsections:

Separations (ATSD) (3 lectures, 1 workshop)

NMR (ATSD) (6 lectures, 1 workshop)

Mass Spectrometry (ATSD) (3 lectures, guided study)

  • Scientific Writing

Primarily using guided self-study, students are taught key ideas for the presentation of chemical information (data, structures etc.).

[introductory lecture, structured private study]

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Analytical Techniques for Structure Determination open-book in-person exam
2 hours 30
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Mathematics for Chemistry 2 open-book in-person exam
1 hours 20
Essay/coursework
Portfolio
N/A 20
Essay/coursework
Presentation : Food Challenge
1 hours 10
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Laboratory exam : Practical Skills Assessment 2 in-person laboratory exam
1 hours 20

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

The Analytical Techniques for Structure Determination open-book in-person exam has two separate questions:

  • One question will cover the NMR material.

  • The other question will cover the combined Separations and Mass Spectrometry material.

The two questions are equally credit-weighted.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Analytical Techniques for Structure Determination open-book in-person exam
2 hours 30
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Mathematics for Chemistry 2 open-book in-person exam
1 hours 20
Essay/coursework
Portfolio
N/A 20
Essay/coursework
Presentation : Food Challenge
1 hours 10
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Laboratory exam : Practical Skills Assessment 2 in-person laboratory exam
1 hours 20

Module feedback

Throughout the laboratory exercises, students will receive formative verbal feedback on their ongoing performance from demonstrators, to help them improve their understanding and skills. For Practical Skills Assessment 2, students will receive individual feedback on their performance, and some more generalised feedback, by email.

For the Mathematics for Chemists II course, and for the Integrated Analysis course, students receive formative verbal feedback on the work they complete in the associated workshops, and marks via eVision.

For the Food Challenge exercise, students receive formative verbal feedback on their progress in the preparation time, and individual feedback (comments and marks) via email.

Indicative reading

  • Cockett and Doggett, "Maths for Chemists"

  • Voet and Voet, "Biochemistry"

  • Dean, Jones, Holmes, Reed, Weyers and Jones, “Practical Skills in Chemistry”

  • Vogel, “Practical Organic Chemistry”

  • Cranwell, Harwood and Moody, “Experimental Organic Chemistry”

  • Burrows, Holman, Lancaster, Overton, Parsons, Pilling, Price, “Chemistry3”



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.