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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COLO5371M Practical Skills and Instrumental Analysis

20 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr Kelvin Tapley

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

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Students develop skills to:(a) undertake a range of physical measurements and appropriate data analysis with relevance to PCFP (b) design appropriate investigative procedures by undertaking case studies and open-ended experiments.


(a) To introduce the principles of analysis and characterisation using a variety of techniques and to know the basic instrumentation for most techniques covered.
(b) To understand the strengths and limitations of each technique and be able to compare and contrast them in relation to the analysis and characterisation of polymers, colorants and fine chemicals;
(c) To introduce students to the chemical laboratory and analytical equipment and to develop appropriate IT skills.
(d) To understand the most common practical techniques and their proper application in the laboratory situation.
(e) To handle and to interpret data obtained from the different techniques.

Learning outcomes
(a) A knowledge of current techniques and methodologies appropriate to PCFC course, with hands on practical experience of some of these techniques
(b) An ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate data; acquire and integrate information, and use information to solve problems appropriate for PGT level;
(c) An ability to effectively communicate through a variety of approaches

Skills outcomes
Awareness of analytical instrumentation
Use of scientific instrumentation.
Development of practical skills.


During semesters 1 and 2 students will undertake a selection of experiments in the areas of synthesis and characterisations of polymers and dyes; and formulation techniques, appropriate to the PGT level.
Module will cover the theory aspects designed for the general understanding with the most fundamental analytical techniques. Various relevant analytical methods will be covered, including chromatographic techniques, spectroscopic techniques, thermal analysis and particle sizing.

Case studies will include the methods and instrumentation, the type of data obtained and common ways of interpreting this data for polymers, colorants and fine chemicals.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
In Course Assessment33.009.00
Private study hours141.00
Total Contact hours59.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Preparation for seminars and lectures
- Preparation for practical
- Completion of literature evaluation and data analysis workbook
- Completion of practical workbook
- Preparation for presentation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative exercises for workshops, and regularly-spaced online quizzes.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectGroup Project15.00
Oral PresentationVerbal Presentation10.00
PracticalUsing standard laboratory report format25.00
In-course MCQMultiple selection questions50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Multiple choice questions (MCQ) assessment will comprise of 2 x 1h slots, one in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2. Each test will be 45 min and will take place in a computer cluster. Students who fail the module will be given the opportunity to re-sit either one or both MCQ assessments in the University re-sit period.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 23/09/2022


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