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Advanced Research Topics & Miniproject - CHE00053M

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

Module summary

This module builds on MChem-only module Advanced Topics & Practical, developing advanced core theoretical content of the Chemistry degree programme, and encompassing group work and research-level investigation, to complete students’ preparation for the final year of the MChem programme.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

Building on prior Year 1-2 Skills & Practical modules, and Year 3 MChem Advanced Topics & Practical, this module develops more advanced skills and knowledge that are relevant to the MChem programme. Specific aims are:

  • To develop students’ group working and problem solving skills, as they engage with a research-like experience, conducting unscripted experimental work in the Group Miniprojects

  • To develop students’ data organisation and scientific writing skills, as they write a significant report on their Group Miniproject.

  • To develop students’ understanding of selected lecture topics

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Plan and execute experiments as part of a research project
  • Write a project report, encompassing experimental results and analysis in comparison with relevant scientific literature
  • Discuss principles underpinning the Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals and Natural Products, Computational Methods for Excited States & Molecular Properties, and Frontier Research in Main Group Chemistry

Module content

Advanced topics

Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals and Natural Products (PAOB, 5 lectures, central workshop)

Computational Methods for Excited States and Molecular Properties (PBK, 5 lectures, central workshop)

Frontier Research in Main Group Chemistry (JMS, 5 lectures, central workshop)

Practical/skills

  • Group Miniproject

This element develops students’ group working and problem solving skills, as they engage with a research-like experience. Students work together in small groups to plan and carry out experiments, over the course of ~8 days, to conduct an investigation. The Group Miniproject concludes with writing and submitting an individual report, based on the group’s findings. Each group’s Miniproject is overseen by an academic, who provides some guidance on the work, and laboratory work is overseen by demonstrators.

[introductory meetings and planning, eight laboratory days]

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Advanced Topics 2 exam. Open-book in-person exam
1.5 hours 50
Essay/coursework
Submitted work : Group Miniproject report
N/A 50

Special assessment rules

Non-reassessable

Additional assessment information

Advanced Topics 2 exam: Free choice of two questions out of three

Reassessment - Report component only of Group Miniproject is reassessable. This component will count for 50% in terms of reassessment but students should only take the reassessment if they have passed the non-reassessable (execution) component.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Advanced Topics 2 exam. Open-book in-person exam
1.5 hours 50
Essay/coursework
Submitted work : Report component only of Group Miniproject
N/A 50

Module feedback

As the Miniproject progresses, students will receive formative verbal feedback from their Miniproject supervisor, to help them make progress with the miniproject work. The requirements of different miniprojects will vary; the supervisor will set out a planned schedule of subsequent meetings in the first Miniproject meeting. Students will receive emailed feedback on the submitted project report

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.

Indicative reading

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

  • 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.