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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM1281 Mathematical Tools for Chemists

5 creditsClass Size: 160

Module manager: Dr Marcelo Pessoa de Miranda

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level Mathematics (or equivalent)

This module is mutually exclusive with

CHEM1181Mathematics for Chemists

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces mathematical tools and methods beyond the A-level syllabus that are necessary to gain a full understanding of Chemistry. It emphasises problem solving and makes extensive use of chemical examples. The teaching methods include lectures and problem-solving workshops.


On completion of this module, students should have gained confidence and proficiency in a set of mathematical manipulations appropriate to the study of chemistry and be able to apply these to chemical problems.

Learning outcomes
1. The students will have extended their knowledge in the application of mathematics to solve chemical problems.
2. The students will extended the mathematical background necessary for further study of uses of mathematics in chemistry.
3. The students will develop additional understanding of mathematical principles and an appreciation of mathematics as a logical and coherent subject.
4. The students will develop the ability to analyse problems logically and, when appropriate, to tackle problems mathematically.


Aspects of mathematics that have wide application in chemistry but fall beyond the A-level syllabus, in particular within linear algebra and calculus. Specific applications of the associated mathematical methods and tools in Chemistry.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours33.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)50.00

Private study

Much of the private study time will consist of problem solving. Students will be provided with lists of practice problems in the classroom and will be advised to attempt problems from the books in the reading list. Some but not all of the exercises in the lists of practice problems will be attempted in the problem-solving workshops. As usual, private study will also involve revision of class materials, lecture notes, and textbook reading. Some of the assessment will take the form of online tests, which can be taken multiple times, and therefore will double as practice exercises.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In problem-solving workshops students will have the opportunity to discuss their work, along with technical issues and problem-solving approaches, directly with staff. As online tests will be available for multiple attempts, with problems being indicated as correctly or wrongly answered each time, this will also help students assess their own development, strengths, and weaknesses.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Computer Exercise4 online tests. Each can be attempted multiple times, with varying questions for each attempt.40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

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)1 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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