CH3DL-Placement Distance Learning

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 120 [60 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Placement opportunity: Maxi placement
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Chris Smith


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to give students experience of working in the Chemical industry/Chemical research and to aid development of a range of transferable skills relevant to a wide range of careers. To extend student’s knowledge of advanced aspects of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry through distance learning. 


To give students experience of working in the Chemical industry/Chemical research and to aid development of a range of transferable skills relevant to a wide range of careers. To extend student’s knowledge of advanced aspects of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry through distance learning. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will satisfactorily complete a working placement in either the chemical industry or in chemical research and will become competent in key professional skills such as team working, problem solving, and oral and written communication.

Students will extend their practical skills.

Students will be able to prepare written reports, give oral presentations and be able to discuss their work in a scholarly manner.

Students are expected to develop an appreciation of advanced subject material covered by distance learning. 

Additional outcomes:

Students will develop an understanding of the workings of the chemical industry and/or chemical research. 

Outline content:

Year long placement in the chemical industry or in chemical research.

Distance Learning Material Content

ORGANIC (Autumn Term): Frontier Molecular Orbital Theory (equivalent of 5 lectures): The theory underpinning this fundamental interpretation of the reactivity of a large class of organic molecules will be explained then its application to real cases studied. GDB (5) - Amino acid and peptide synthesis (equivalent of 5 lectures): A basic survey of the chemistry of amino acids focusing, in particular, on N- and C-terminal protection and C-activation will be covered. Application of these methods to peptide coupling in solution and in the solid phase will be examined. Heterocyclic chemistry (equivalent of 5 lectures): Synthesis and reactions of pyrroles, furans, thiophenes, indoles, pyridines, quinolines and isoquinolines.

INORGANIC (Spring Term): Organometallic Chemistry (equivalent of 5 lectures): Introduction to organic derivatives of the transition metals. Classification of complexes by ligand type. Delocalized bonding and variation of metal oxidation state. Electron counting. Syntheses, structures and characteristic reactivity. Alkyl and aryl complexes. Carbene and carbyne complexes. Alkene, alkyne and polyene complexes. Allyl and other enyl complexes. Selected cyclic p-systems. Cluster compounds (equivalent of 5 lectures): Cluster and cage compounds; shapes of clusters; boranes: classification, bonding (Wade's Rules), 11B NMR spectroscopy; carboranes; boron sub-halides: preparation, structure; transition metal carbonyl clusters: Fe, Ru and Os trinuclear clusters; Co, Rh and Ir tetranuclear clusters; carbido-metal carbonyl clusters, multinuclear NMR and IR spectroscopy; gold-phosphine clusters. X-ray Powder Diffraction (equivalent of 5 lectures): Students will be introduced to this very important technique in solid-state analysis. The basic theory underpinning the method will be examined and its implementation in a modern instrument will be discussed. How the method can be used to determine important structural parameters of microcrystalline solids will then be illustrated.

PHYSICAL (Summer Term): Colloids (equivalent of 5 lectures): Lyophobic colloids, preparation methods, colloid stability and DVLO theory. Electrode kinetics (equivalent of 5 lectures): Overpotential, Butler Volmer equation, Tafel equations and limiting current. Theories of Chemical Kinetics (equivalent of 5 lectures): Transition-state theory; Collision theory; Statistical Mechanics and Partition functions; Thermodynamic form of transition-state theory; Bimolecular, unimolecular and trimolecular reactions.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

One-year placement at a host; meetings with academic and supervisor; distance learning assignments. nine x 1 hour revision sessions in the autumn term of Part 4 to prepare for distance learning examination. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Practicals classes and workshops 9
External visits 4 4 4
Placement 396 396 387
Total hours by term 400 400 400
Total hours for module 1200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 25
Dissertation 30
Project output other than dissertation 10
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Set exercise 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:
3 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Relative percentage of coursework: 75% Distance learning coursework assignments: 25% Industrial/Placement Supervisor's assessment of project: 10% Written report: 30% Oral presentation: 10% Relative percentage of examinations: 25% Examination of distance learning material (Closed book examination in October of Part 4) Submission dates: Organic Chemistry assignments, Autumn term; Inorganic Chemistry assignments, spring term; Physical Chemistry assignments, summer term; Project report, by agreement with the host institution, but no later than mid August.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will receive feedback on their distance learning work both in terms of marked work and in the revision workshops upon their return to Reading. All students will have three meetings with their academic supervisor during their placement, these meetings will either be done face to face or via Skype. During these visits the student will present their work and be able to discuss this with their academic supervisor. 

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:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    It is not possible to retake this module as it involves an industrial placement that cannot be repeated.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Specialist equipment or materials: Scientific Calculator (non-programmable), £10.00

    Printing and binding: Tutorials are submitted electronically but a printed and bound report is expected to be made available for marking.

    Computers and devices with a particular specification: Required as access to on-line material and email is essential.

    Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Could be substantial due to the nature of the year.

    Last updated: 26 September 2019


    Things to do now