CH3CRP-Introduction to Chemistry Research and Practice

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: CH3PRAC Advanced Chemistry Practical Training
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Chris Smith


Summary module description:

To gain an overview of current chemical research as carried out in the Department of Chemistry, within the current research groupings. To gain an overview of final year project and postgraduate opportunities in the Department of Chemistry. To explore, in detail, a specific research topic of interest to the student in partnership with an academic member of staff and present on this to an audience of peers and experts. To write a research synopsis thus demonstrating the capacity for independent and original thought.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will be able to:
• Write at a level suitable to introduce non-specialists to an advanced topic.
• Present an oral overview of a research topic based on independent investigations.
• Conduct a background study into the area through a thorough survey of the relevant literature to help inform the presentation and report. [not assessed]
• Write a clear overview of an area of interest at the forefront of chemistry research which details the area of interest and the current state of the art demonstrated by researchers from across the globe.
• Appreciate the relevance of the selected research area to current developments in chemical technology.

Additional outcomes:
Students should:
Gain a better insight into postgraduate research to help inform their career choice; gain experience in note-taking and learning from an informal seminar format; have opportunities to interact with a number of research chemists, spanning undergraduates, postgraduates, PDRA’s and academic staff members; develop their oral communication skills by practice in presentations; demonstrate evidence of individual enquiry through a detailed study of an area of interest.

Outline content:
In the Autumn Term students will attend weekly research presentations given by members of the Department in order to develop an overview of current topics in chemical research on going in the Department. In the Spring Term students will undertake an in-depth study of one specific research topic or technique, following consultation with the academic concerned. Students will give a PowerPoint presentation on this topic and write a report detailing the research area they selected.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students will attend around 10 seminars over the autumn term. In the spring terms students will have discussions with a member of academic staff and carry out an independent literature investigation on some specific aspect of current Departmental research. In addition students will attend an introductory session on the organisation and assessment of the module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 6
Project Supervision 4
Guided independent study 5 75
Total hours by term 15.00 85.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 60
Project output other than dissertation 10
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Other information on summative assessment:

Précis of a scientific paper, no longer than 3 pages.

Report on technique or specific research topic to be no longer than15 pages. Font size minimum 11 point, 1.5 line spacing.

The deadline for submission of both coursework assignments will be the last day of the Spring Term.

Presentation : 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions in the second half of the Spring Term.

Relative percentage of coursework: 100 %:

Report 60%: an overview of an area of research written on an area of mutual interest to the student and a member of academic staff. The report should present a overview of the chosen topic.

Presentation 30%: oral presentation to an audience of peers and experts, the main delivery method should be via an electronic slideshow with commentary and expanded explanations via the white board.

Précis exercise 10%: a précis of a scientific paper from the primary literature

Formative assessment methods:
Students should work with their supervisor to prepare both pieces of coursework, feedback will be given throughout the term.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment will comprise of a written report worth 70% and an oral presentation worth 30%.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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