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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM3654 Laboratory-based Project Work for Natural Sciences

40 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Prof Patrick McGowan

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

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 2 Natural Science or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

CHEM3430Literature-based Project Work
CHEM3615Chemistry into Schools
CHEM3620Ethical Issues in Chemistry
CHEM3650Laboratory-based Project Work 2M
CHEM3651Extended Project Work for Joint Honours students

Module replaces

CHEM3650CHEM3651CHEM3430for Natural Sciences only

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should have an understanding of the aims, nature and methodology of a chemistry research project.

Students will have gained experience of the design and implementation of an investigation into a chemical problem using modern experimental techniques, developed an awareness of the nature of investigative chemistry, and the ability to interpret and present experimental evidence; and enhanced and developed their practical and problem solving skills.

Students will have the opportunity to develop their communication skills, and to describe their work competently through a variety of media, including a detailed written report and a poster presentation.


Following a short induction programme (which will provide general information and instruction on topics such as safety in the laboratory and the COSHH regulations, library and literature search facilities), students will undertake a substantial laboratory-based project. This will be allocated from a list of available topics, taking into account the preferences of the student, and will be supervised by a member of staff.

A second supervisor will also be allocated to provide additional support. During the initial stages of the project, the student will work in cooperation with the supervisor to formulate the direction of the research.

The major part of the project will feature the collection (under supervision) and evaluation of relevant experimental data to meet the specific aims and objectives of the project.

During the course of the project, the students will be supported by regular supervisions with their research supervisor, and by seminars on practical techniques and presentation skills to prepare them for the final presentation stages of the project. The latter will include the preparation of a substantial written report, and the display of a poster presentation at an organised event to their peer group and the examining panel.

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
Private study hours126.00
Total Contact hours274.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

- 3 x 2 hour seminar preparation and follow up = 6 hours
- Preparation of reports and presentation = 120 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Assessment of initial report (2,000 words after 4 weeks)
- Supervisors' suuport via regular meetings throughout the module.
(Supervisor and second supervisor)

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
ReportInitial report15.00
PracticalSupervisor's assessment of practical work35.00
ReportFinal report40.00
Oral PresentationOral Presentation10.00
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: 09/11/2021


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