CH4CR-Current Topics in Chemical Research

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Part 3 chemistry
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr David Nutt


Type of module:

Summary module description:

To gain an overview of current chemical research as carried out in a variety of different groups and gain experience of different types of scientific communication.


To gain an overview of current chemical research as carried out in a variety of different groups and gain experience of different types of scientific communication.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will be able to: Present a critical overview of a chemistry research colloquium based on attendance at the series of departmental colloquia and following up of leading references in the area. Write and/or present a clear report of the work described in an appropriate style and identify the key strands of the research. Appreciate the relevance of the specific research area to current developments in chemical technology. Conduct some background study into the area through background reading of the relevant literature to help inform the report.

Additional outcomes:

Students should: Gain better insight into postgraduate research to help inform their career choice; gain experience in note-taking and learning from an advanced seminar format; have opportunity to interact with a number of leading research chemists; develop their scientific communication skills by practice in writing and/or presenting reports of different styles; gain an appreciation for the relevance of their undergraduate studies to different research fields.

Outline content:

Students will attend the weekly research colloquia held in the department in order to develop an overview of current topics in chemical research. Students will be assigned to one particular research colloquium to make an in depth study of this particular area of research and write or present a detailed, scientific report on the talk. Students should outline the relevance of the work to the particular field of study and its applications. Students will also write and/or present two short reports on seminars of their choice in a style appropriate for an interested, non-specialist reader.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students are expected to attend around 20 colloquia over the autumn and spring terms. In addition students will attend a preliminary introductory session on the organisation and assessment of the module. Two tutorial sessions will be provided for discussion of assignments and feedback.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 1
Seminars 10 10
Tutorials 1 1
Guided independent study 38 39
Total hours by term 50.00 50.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework will be as follows: Short seminar report forms to be completed on all seminars attended in the Autumn Term, each to be submitted within a week of the seminar: 10%. Two short (300-400 word) non-technical reports on seminars of the student's choice to be submitted by the end of the Spring term: 30%. An extended report on an assigned colloquium from the Spring term to be submitted within three weeks of the seminar: 60%. One or more of the written reports can be submitted in an alternative format (e.g. video podcast) if preferred.

Formative assessment methods:
Students are encouraged to prepare one practice report of each type on seminars from the Autumn term which will be assessed formatively prior to the submission of the summatively assessed reports. Students should refer to the assessment details on the Blackboard site which will also be outlined at the introductory talk.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    An overall mark of 50%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    It is not possible to retake this module in the same format. If a student fails the programme overall, reassessment will be by re-submission of the report in August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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