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2018/19 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM5160M Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Change

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Professor P W Seakins

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level chemistry with preferably some chemistry to a higher level.

Module replaces


This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This course is designed for students on the CDT in Bioenergy. Such students will have a variety of backgrounds, some having done Chemistry to a high level (e.g. degree or components of a degree), other students with limited experience beyond A level.The first part of the course is designed to give students the appropriate background material and ensure that they can all benefit from the central lecture component (part 2) which joins with the School of Chemistry Advanced Topics Course on The Chemistry of Climate Change. Suitable background experience could be obtained from either attending the initial 8 lectures of CHEM3185 or from bespoke study skills (e.g. for those students who might already have attended CHEM3185).The central lecture component of the course will contain lectures on- Uncertainties in the IPCC review- Atmospheric issues around biofuel crop production- The chemistry of biofuel production- The combustion chemistry of biofuels- The Chemistry of Carbon Capture- Atmospheric oxidation of compounds associated with Carbon Capture- Future Oxidative Capacity of the Atmosphere.- Feedbacks between Climate Change, Climate Change mitigation and Air Quality.For the final component of the course, students will complete an extended literature review (5000 words) on a topic of their own choice associated with the Chemistry of Climate Change.


- To provide students with an appropriate background in Chemistry and Physics to enable them to appreciate the major topic areas (Part 1).
- To give students a thorough understanding of the role of chemistry in climate change (Part 2).
- To expose students to cutting edge research in this area both in Leeds and elsewhere (Parts 2 and 3).
- To expose students to the research literature (Part 3).
- To introduce students to the wider interactions between science and socio-economic issues (Parts 2 and 3).

Learning outcomes
- Understanding of Chemistry of Climate Change

Skills outcomes
Problem solving (numerical and mechanistic). Analysis of literature.


- Provision of background material in Chemistry and Physics (Part 1).
- The physical basis of radiation trapping, global warming and enhanced global warming (climate change) (Parts 1 and 2)
- Uncertainties in climate change parameters. The IPCC review. (Part 2 and 3)
- CO2 mitigation - biofuel production, emissions and combustion. (Part 2 and 3)
- Atmospheric Chemistry associated with Carbon Capture and Storage (Part 2 and 3)
- The oxidative capacity of the atmosphere and removal of greenhouse gases (Part 2)
- Air quality/climate change interactions (Part 2 and 3)
- Extended literature review on subject material related to part 2 material.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours129.00
Total Contact hours21.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

*Students who have not taken CHEM3185 will take the first 8 lectures. Students who have taken this course will complete an appropriate self study exercise and numerical problem solving sheets.
Study to support lecture material 3 hrs per lecture = 51 hrs
Study, learning and preparation of literature review = 50 hrs
Preparation for workshop = 6 hrs
Preparation for exam = 22 hrs

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Private Study :
Workshops - student performance for workshop (1) will evidence understanding of introductory material (Part 1); workshop (2) will focus on Part 2 material.
Students will have a chance to hand in a draft of their literature review for initial comments which will allow monitoring on private study in preparation for Part 3 material.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayCritical essay (5,000 words)33.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)33.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins67.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)67.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/07/2015


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