BSc Chemistry Project and Labs

Unit code: CHEM30600
Credit Rating: 40
Unit level: Level 3
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by School of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit?: N




The course unit aims:

  • To introduce more advanced practical procedures and experimental programmes involving the integration of multiple laboratory skills and techniques.
  • To encourage greater independence in carrying out practical procedures.
  • To develop more extended analysis of experimental results involving the integration of taught theory.
  • To develop and practice literature surveying techniques and a critical analysis of the literature.
  • To further develop formal scientific report writing.


This course comprises of four 5-week rotations:

  • Three 5-week laboratory mini-projects, one in each of the areas of Synthesis, Measurements and Computational Chemistry. Students will write up and submit a project report, as appropriate to the experimental programme performed, at the end of each 5 week rotation.
  • One 5-week literature based investigation on some aspect of modern chemical research to be written up in the style of a journal article.

Assessment Methods

Assessment will be related to each rotation:


  • BS1 (Taddol) & BS2 (Photochemistry): Quality of laboratory book (8%), quality of experimental data (21%), and final written report (71%)


  • BM1 (Single crystal diffraction): Crystallographic database write-up (25%), experiment (25%), writing Acta Crystallographic C style paper (50%)
  • BM2 (Mo and V complexes): Sample preparation (36%), IR spectra (17%), theory and calculations (47%)


  • BC1 (Modelling crystal growth): Execution (10%), final writtenm report - including quality of results (90%) 
  • BC2 (Greenhouse gases):  Scientific Review (20%), Derivations (42%), Calculations (38%)

Literature Review :

  • Final written report (100%) in style of an RSC paper


Teaching and learning methods

Continuous assessment and laboratory reports

In assessing the marks for lab based projects, the following factors will be taken in to account:

  • Practical work – motivation and effort; practical skill and competence; initiative and independence; achievement.
  •  Report – quality and range of scientific content; demonstration of understanding; quality of presentation and written English.

For literature based projects, the following factors will be taken into account:

  •  Library, database and web-based work – motivation and effort; initiative and independence; achievement.
  •  Report – quality and range of scientific content; extent of critical analysis; quality of both presentation and written English

Guidance will be given on the format of the report.

Marks will be partitioned as:

  • Literature mini-project (25%)
  • Synthetic mini-project (25%)
  • Measurement mini-project (25%)
  • Computational mini-project (25%)


Learning outcomes

After completing this unit students should be familiar with a wide range of techniques and how they are brought together in modern chemical investigations. They should have a firm foundation for pursuing any future research projects with a good level of autonomy  


Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students successfully completing this unit will have developed the ability to:

  • Systematically search database facilities to find up to date and relevant information on chemical topics
  • Carry out an extended chemical investigation with minimal direction
  • Produce an extended scientific report on a chemical study

Assessment methods

  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided in the form of an annotated marking sheet, detailing what was considered good about each mini-project write-up and what could be improved upon.  An indicative mark will also be included.

For the literature mini-project, students will meet with their supervisor to discuss the project, and may submit one draft version for feedback before final submission.

Study hours

  • Practical classes & workshops - 150 hours
  • Project supervision - 2 hours
  • Independent study hours - 248 hours

Teaching staff

Peter Gorry - Unit coordinator

Jennifer Slaughter - Unit coordinator

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