Chemists' Toolkit II

Unit code: CHEM20500
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 2
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by School of Chemistry
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

First year chemistry units


  • To develop literature, scientific database use, information technology, problem solving and other transferable skills.
  • To develop scientific presentational skills (written and oral).
  • To reinforce and develop mathematical skills.
  • To reinforce analytical science skills.


The following topics will be covered via a mixture of lectures, workshops and self-study:

  • Information and library skills
  • scientific literature database use (e.g. Web of Science)
  • topic searching
  • written literature review and oral presentation
  • analytical science skills
  • calculus, vectors, complex numbers and matrices as applied to chemistry.

Learning outcomes

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

  • work comfortably as individuals to solve problems.
  • use the library and databases efficiently to search the scientific literature.
  • write, present and review primary chemical literature on a given topic.
  • be able to apply advanced mathematical techniques to chemical problems
  • be able to apply advanced analytical science skills to chemical problems.

Assessment methods

  • Written exam - 50%
  • Written assignment (inc essay) - 32.5%
  • Oral assessment/presentation - 17.5%

Recommended reading

  • A. Northedge, A. Lane, A. Peasgood, J. Thomas, 'The Sciences Good Study Guide', Open University, 1997.
  • T. Overton, S. Johnson, J. Scott, Study & Communication Skills for the Chemical Sciences, OUP 2011.
  • P. Monk and L. J. Munro, Maths for Chemistry, 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2010

Feedback methods

Written and/ or oral feedback on all the individual coursework from either the academics delivering the material or personal tutors. Self-study feedback for many exercises through comparison of students work and model answers. Sections of course are taught in a workshop or clinic form where students can attempt the exercises and receive immediate feedback. The academics delivering the material are also available to see students and provide feedback on any particular aspects of the course as requested.

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam - 2 hours
  • Lectures - 3 hours
  • Practical classes & workshops - 5 hours
  • Independent study hours - 90 hours

Teaching staff

Philip Riby - Unit coordinator

Patrick O'Malley - Unit coordinator

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