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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM3421 Project Work for BSc Students

40 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Dr. Stephen Gorman

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 2 in Chemistry or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

CHEM3415Laboratory Work 3X
CHEM3417Advanced Lab Work for MChem
CHEM3418Lab work with integrated project for Natural Sciences and Jo
CHEM3420Laboratory Work 2M
CHEM3455Advanced Lab Work for MChem (Medicinal)
CHEM3650Laboratory-based Project Work 2M
CHEM3651Extended Project Work for Joint Honours students
CHEM3654Laboratory-based Project Work for Natural Sciences
CHEM3720Laboratory Work 2M

Module replaces

CHEM3416 Lab Work with Integrated BSc ProjectCHEM3456 Lab Work with Integrated BSc Project (Medicinal)

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Students (i) undertake a substantial review of the scientific literature in a particular area of chemistry research. (ii) acquire, develop and apply research and evaluation skills by undertaking an extended project. The module is designed to incorporate key requirements as outlined by the RSC in accreditation of chemistry degree programmes.


On completion of this module, students should be able to carry out a literature search in a defined area of chemistry, using books, reviews and journals as source material, and to write a developed and coherent dissertation which highlights the continuing developments in the chosen area.

The practical project will give experience of the design and implementation of a short programme of investigation into a chemical problem using modern experimental techniques.

The practical project will also develop an awareness of the nature of investigative chemistry, and the ability to interpret and present the available experimental evidence.

Learning outcomes
Students completing the project will be able to demonstrate:
(a) a detailed appreciation of a specialist area through researching the literature in that area;
(b) an ability to design a search strategy to find literature appropriate to a topic;
(c) the ability to summarise complex research and communicate the important aspects in writing;
(d) the ability to critically engage with literature and to evaluate published work.
(e) the ability to undertake advanced independent experimental work, with due attention to safety
(f) the ability to write clear, scientific reports
(g) the ability to design and implement an investigation into a chemical problem using modern experimental techniques;
(h) an awareness of the nature of investigative chemistry, and the ability to interpret and present experimental evidence;
(i) enhanced practical and problem solving skills.


The project will be allocated from a list of available topics which are appropriate to the overall scheme of study, taking into account the preferences of the student, and will be supervised by a member of staff.

The project will comprise a practical part, and a detailed critical literature review.

The literature review requires the selection and detailed study of relevant literature, and the submission of a formatted list of references, and a written dissertation of some 4,000 words.

Each topic will focus on an aspect of modern chemistry, so as to require the location of original papers in the primary scientific literature, and to gain an appreciation of the continuing developments in the chosen area. Training will be provided in literature searching and referencing.

The practical part will provide them with a more detailed understanding of some specialist areas through research-based learning, reflecting the research expertise within the University. This may take the form of either a laboratory based research project or a hypothesis-driven non laboratory-based project in a subject area of relevance to areas of expertise within the School. Students will apply and further develop their skills to define, refine, plan, implement and complete a relevant project in a timely manner. They will communicate project outcomes effectively by oral and written assessment methods.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent Learning961.0096.00
Private study hours297.00
Total Contact hours103.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Conducting literature searches.
Reading and evaluating research papers.
Constructing list of formatted references.
Constructing a draft literature review.
Constructing a final literature review.
Constructing a news article.
Constructing initial plan for practical project.
Designing experiments, performing COSHH and risk assessments.
Analysing experimental data and results.
Constructing final report for practical project.
Constructing poster.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The list of formatted references (2.5 % of module marks), initial practical project plan (purely formative) and the draft literature review and section of practical project report (purely formative) provide opportunities for feedback that will guide the student in preparing their final reports and poster.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectProject Report35.00
Literature ReviewLiterature Review22.50
PracticalAssessment by supervisor20.00
ProjectList of formatted references2.50
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 07/08/2020 18:22:56


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