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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM5604M Advanced Topics in Chemistry (40 Credit)

40 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Paul Thornton

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 3 programme in Natural Sciences

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of the module, students will have an advanced level understanding of a wide range of chemistry to the most advanced level. They will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and recall of multiple areas simultaneously and be able to explain and solve unseen problems of an advanced nature.

Ultimately the module will prepare them for postgraduate research either in academia or industry by providing the students with the core basis of advanced knowledge they will require. Through the continual assessment aspects of the module they will receive training in transferrable skills that will aid their future career.

Learning outcomes
The students will have a broad understanding of core areas of advanced chemistry and be able to solve unseen problem-led questions in these areas.

They will also be able to access the primary literature and use their knowledge to make a critical evaluation of this information.


The module will consist of 3 elements, two assessed by exam and one by continuous assessment.

Element 1 (first semester) will consist of 7 topics of which students will be required to study a minimum of 3. Students will be required to answer unseen exam questions on at least 3 topics. The exact topic areas vary year by year to reflect research developments, but a typical list could include:
- Characterising Structures and Mechanisms in Inorganic Chemistry
- Metals in Medicine
- Completing the toolbox of organic reactions
- Chemical biology tools
- Global warming - mitigation and geo-engineering
- Principles of electrochemistry
- Advanced Applications of Colorants

For Element 2 (second semester) students will be required to study a minimum of 3 topics from a free choice of 8 topics. Students will be required to answer unseen exam questions on at least 3 topics. Specific topics will vary year by year but a provisional list includes:
- Organometallics
- Metals in Biology
- Asymmetric and stereoselective synthesis
- Biosynthesis and synthesis of natural products
- Planetary atmospheres
- Electrochemical devices
- Self-assembling materials
- Delivery of Complex Fluids

For Element 3 (both semesters) students will be required to study 2 topics from a free choice of 9 topics. This element will be assessed by a portfolio of work, based on continuous assessment. The exact topics will vary year by year but a provisional list includes:
- Energy Transduction - Powering the Earth, Life and Society
- Nanomaterials
- Structural Control in Modern Materials
- Planning and strategy of complex organic syntheses
- Sustainability
- Chemical Feedback
- Molecular Dynamics
- Electronic Structure Calculations
- Biomedical Applications of Polymers

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours320.00
Total Contact hours80.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students will be presented with a wide range of advanced material and will be expected to spend considerable time consolidating this knowledge.

Additionally, they will be provided with practice problems that form the basis of the seminars for each topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by attendance at classes and by monitoring of coursework marks for continual assessments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Portfoliosee other information below25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)25.00

Element 3 of the course will account for 25% of the final mark. Each topic will involve one or more of the following types of coursework; Essay or Dissertation, Literature Review, Verbal Presentation, Computer Exercise, Tutorial Performance. A student’s portfolio will depend upon the individual topics that students select for assessment.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 15 mins37.50
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 15 mins37.50
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)75.00

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: 07/01/2020


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