CH3NUI-Health and Safety and Professional Skills

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available for students from NUIST on the BSc Applied Chemistry (3+1 route)
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Peiyi Li


Type of module:

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 working in a UK chemical laboratory and for carrying out independent research in a practically based investigation in the Spring Term. The module uses a variety of different approaches to support students in the development of transferable skills. 


• To help students develop the independent learning skills necessary for research;

• To familiarise students with UK health and safety practices, regulations for working in a chemical laboratory and to train students to write comprehensive COSHH and risk assessments;

• To help students develop excellent recording skills in the lab and to provide practice in writing structured lab reports;

• To help students develop self-study skills to enable them to research an unknown topic, and solve a problem based upon it;

• To introduce students to a range of programmes, packages and databases used routinely by chemists;

• To familiarise students with a range of resources for researching unknowns;

• To introduce students to effective team working, problem solving and to understand how successful teams operate;

• To help students develop effective time management, organisation and team working skills.

• To give students practice and support in written and oral communication, and to develop scientific writing skills in preparation for writing a literature review and project report.

• To support students in developing career plans and prepare applications for employment or future study.

Assessable learning outcomes:

It is expected that students will be able to:

• recognise the risks with different types of laboratory procedures and chemicals and to mitigate them;

• use a laboratory notebook to accompany practical work and understand good practice in keeping a lab notebook;

• understand how to structure and compile a practical report;

• tackle unseen problems and devise strategies for solving them;

• extract and manipulate numerical data;

• organise themselves and team members to communicate in appropriate ways or through appropriate media;

• access a variety of resources, including the chemical literature, to obtain data and summarise findings;

• understand what constitutes good academic practice and the importance of referencing and citations;

• construct a reasoned argument to arrive at a valid solution to a problem;

• write a report using suitable scientific language to justify the methods used to solve the problem and the results;

• present findings and results orally.

Additional outcomes:
It is hoped students will develop a thorough understanding and appreciation for good academic practice and team-work.

Outline content:

Autumn Term

Week 1: COSHH and risk assessments. How to keep a laboratory notebook. How to write up a practical report. Thinking about careers: deciding career options, employer deadlines and careers fairs


Week 2: Effective use of library resources and online search facilities. Time management and deadlines.


Week 3: Introduction to the MSc at Reading. Group working: Introduction to the Titan Project (part 1) – a problem based learning exercise.

Week 4: Good academic practice. Appropriate use and style of referencing and citations. Avoiding plagiarism and collusion. Using Turnitin. How to summarise an article.

Week 5: Feedback on group reports. Introduction to the Titan Project (part 2).

Introduction to individual and group research projects in the Department. Applying for a project.


Week 6: mid–term task: work on group project and presentation. Research project showcase.

Week 7: Feedback and analysis of group working. Careers opportunities for finalists: how to make the most of the opportunities available including networking

Week 8: How to use library search facilities for research: using chemical databases; searching using key words, recognising journals and selecting appropriate material. Hands-on experience in using chemistry databases (Reaxys and Scifinder). Project applications submitted.


Week 9: Project allocations, meeting your supervisor – individual meetings with staff. How to write a literature review.


Week 10: Group presentation. Careers: exploring the wider career options available to you with a chemistry degree

Week 11: Writing a risk assessment and health and safety test. Work on literature reviews.


Spring Term

Week 2: Writing CVs and application letters: How to prepare an effective CV and cover letter and demonstrate your key skills, interests and achievements.


Week 5: Interview skills: Positive mind-set; Managing nerves; Knowing what to expect; How to answer questions.


Week 9: Q & A for a postgraduate course at Reading.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module is composed of a mixture of lectures, discussions, group work tasks and individual assignments.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30 4
Guided independent study: 60 6
Total hours by term 90 10
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 40
Set exercise 35
Class test administered by School 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Test on health and safety and risk assessment: 25%

Summary of article: 25%

Group report (15%) and video production (25%): 40%

Application letter and CV: 10%


Assessment deadlines: see instructions on the blackboard site


Formative assessment methods:
Feedback will be given on drafts of assignments.

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 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    In the event of a student failing their degree programme overall, reassessment will comprise resubmission of coursework over the summer period.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019


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