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Introductory Skills & Practical 2 - CHE00028C

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Nick Wood
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

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 cycle
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 understand 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

  • be able to carry out mathematical manipulations of increasing complexity

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

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

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

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

  • Broaden their understanding of employability 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]

  • Integrated Analysis

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.

[12 lectures, 2 workshops]

  • 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
Essay/coursework
Presentation : Food Challenge
1 hours 10
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Integrated Analysis
2 hours 30
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Mathematics for Chemistry 2
2 hours 20
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
laboratory exam : Practical Skills Assessment 2
1 hours 40

Special assessment rules

Pass/fail

Additional assessment information

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Presentation : Food Challenge
1 hours 10
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Integrated Analysis
2 hours 30
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Mathematics for Chemistry 2
2 hours 20
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
laboratory exam : Practical Skills Assessment 2
1 hours 40

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.