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Advanced Topics & Practical - CHE00039H

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  • Department: Chemistry
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Chris Spicer
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

This module builds on prior Year 1-2 Skills & Practical modules, developing advanced practical techniques, independent problem solving, and advanced core theoretical content of the Chemistry degree programme.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Semester 1 2023-24

Module aims

Building on prior Skills & Practical modules, this module develops more advanced skills and knowledge that are relevant to the MChem programme, in order to prepare students for the final year of the MChem programme. Specific aims are:

  • To develop students’ practical skills, consolidating the use of standard research-level techniques and introducing some advanced practical techniques

  • To introduce students to more advanced scientific writing skills, to support project work

  • To develop students’ independent work and problem solving skills through complex integrated characterisation problems.

  • To develop students’ understanding of selected lecture topics

  • To further develop students’ interview skills, in preparation for industrial placement interviews and subsequent employability

Module learning outcomes

After this module, students should:

  • Be able to use advanced experimental techniques in the laboratory, understanding their applications and scope

  • Be able to solve complex characterisation problems, by finding and integrating a variety of different data sources

  • Have an understanding of the principles underpinning Advanced Separation Science & Mass Spectrometry, Fundamentals of Magnetic Resonance, Advanced Topics in Catalysis and Physical Methods for Structure Determination

  • Have significantly developed their interview skills

Module content

Advanced Topics

Advanced Separation Science & Mass Spectrometry (JAM, 5 lectures, 2 h central workshop)

Fundamentals of Magnetic Resonance (MEH, 5 lectures, 2 h central workshop)

Advanced Topics in Catalysis (MN, 5 lectures, 2 h central workshop)

For 2023-24 only, this will also include a course on Physical Methods for Structure Determination (being moved from Year 3 to Year 2). [ six lectures, one workshop]

Practical/skills

  • Interview Skills

These sessions focuses on developing students’ interview skills, in support of applications for industrial placements and subsequent work/further study.

[two half-day sessions]

  • Practical work

Building on prior Skills & Practical modules, this element introduces further advanced practical techniques, and consolidates students’ understanding of routine, research-lab-level practical work. 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.

[one introductory lecture, five practical laboratory sessions]

  • Scientific Writing

Primarily using guided self-study, students are taught key ideas in structure and presentation in scientific writing.

[introductory lecture, guided self-study]

  • Integrated Spectroscopy

Primarily using guided self-study, and supported with drop-in sessions, students develop independent problem-solving skills.

[two introductory lectures, ten drop-in sessions]

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Advanced Topics exam
1.5 hours 50
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Physical Methods assessment
1 hours 20
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Integrated Spectroscopy assessment
2 hours 15
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Practical Theory
1 hours 15

Special assessment rules

Non-reassessable

Additional assessment information

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Advanced Topics exam
1.5 hours 50
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Physical Methods assessment
1 hours 20
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Integrated Spectroscopy assessment
2 hours 15
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Practical Theory
1 hours 15

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.

The Integrated Spectroscopy work is supported with drop-in sessions, in which students receive formative verbal feedback on their work. Feedback (marks, and cohort level feedback on the assessment) will be made available on eVision and on the VLE, respectively.

The Advanced Topics lectures are supported with workshop sessions, in which students receive formative verbal feedback on their work. Feedback (marks) for the assessment is provided after the Common Assessment Period.

Physical Methods is supported with a workshop, in which students receive formative verbal feedback on their work. Feedback (marks, and cohort level feedback on the assessment) will be made available on eVision and on the VLE, respectively.

Indicative reading

  • 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”

  • R. H. Hill & D. C. Finster, “Laboratory Safety for Chemistry Students”

  • Williams and Fleming, “Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry”

  • Ebsworth, Rankin and Cradock, “Structural Methods in Inorganic Chemistry”

  • Brisdon, “Inorganic Spectroscopic Methods”

  • Atkins “Physical Chemistry”

  • Weller, Overton, Rourke and Armstrong, “Inorganic Chemistry”

  • Clayden “Organic Chemistry”



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.