CH3ENG-English Language for Chemists

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available for students from NUIST on the BSc Applied Chemistry (3+1 route). IELTS or equivalent 6.5
Co-requisites: CH3NUI Health and Safety and Professional Skills
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr Aaron Woodcock


Summary module description:
This module is specifically for Part 3 students studying on the BSc Applied Chemistry (3+1) programme. The module is designed to prepare and support such students for fully communicating in English in a chemical laboratory, in tutorials and presentations, and in scientific and academic writing. The module recognises the need for continued language development for students whose first language is not English. The module underpins and will be taken in parallel to the Health and Safety and Professional Skills module (CH3NUI), which prepares and supports students for working in a UK chemical laboratory and for carrying out independent research in a practically based investigation. Both modules use a variety of different approaches to support students in the development of transferable skills.


The aims of this module are to develop and enhance students’:

  • • ability to communicate scientific ideas in English, both in writing and orally

  • • productive knowledge of chemistry-specific vocabulary

  • • ability to use information and library resources

In addition, this module hopes to develop students’:

  • • ability to understand written and spoken texts in English about chemistry 

  • • ability to interact fluently and spontaneously in contexts specific to Chemistry

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completing this module, students should be able to:

  • communicate complex ideas clearly and succinctly in English, both in writing and orally

  • recall and use chemistry-specific lexis fluently and accurately, both in writing and orally

  • organise written tasks logically and use cohesive devices effectively so that writing is coherent

  • speak about chemistry with intelligible pronunciation

  • use genre conventions effectively to meet expectations of target audience

  • use grammar and vocabulary both in writing and orally with sufficient control that errors do not impede communication

  • use information from outside sources appropriately

Additional outcomes:

On completing this module, students should also be able to:

  • understand chemistry-specific spoken and written texts more effectively 

  • understand and use the phonemic alphabet

  • interact more effectively with subject peers

Outline content:


  • doing experiments

  • elements and compounds

  • symbols and abbreviations

  • spelling and pronunication

  • prefixes and suffixes

  • collocation and word grammar

Writing & Speaking:

  • explaining methods, mechanisms and properties 

  • adatping register to different contexts

  • writing reports, posters and articles

  • giving presentations and taking part in tutorials

Global context:

This module develops international students’ ability to communicate in English in a variety of contexts specific to Chemistry, helping them adapt to the UK work and study context and developing their intercultural competence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is comprised of a mixture of teaching sessions and guided independent study. Students will develop their communication skills and vocabulary knowledge through group work, pair work and individual tasks.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 25
Class test administered by School 25

Other information on summative assessment:

Written communication skills are assessed through two written assignments, spread out across the term. These are intended to be formative as well as summative. Oral communication skills are assessed through a presentation at the end of the term. Vocabulary knowledge is assessed through a class test at the end of the term.

Formative assessment methods:
There will be several opportunities for students to improve their performance in written and oral English. Feedback will be given at several points during the term on formative writing and speaking tasks. Feedback will also be given on each set summative writing exercise and this feedback will be formative (i.e. it is hoped that performance will improve with each exercise).

There will also be several opportunities for vocabulary revision and recycling throughout the term and students will be encouraged to do the same outside of class.

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:
    An overall mark of 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment will comprise of coursework carried out over the summer period in the event of a student failing their degree programme overall.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 29 August 2017

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