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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM1200 The Extraordinary Chemistry of Everyday Life

10 creditsClass Size: 180

Module manager: Dr Martin McPhillie

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Chemistry impacts every aspect of modern life, from the food we eat to the clothes we wear, the way we communicate and work, the way we keep ourselves healthy and how we diagnose and treat those who aren't. This module aims to showcase the role of chemistry in seven distinct areas, around chemistry's role in our everyday life and how chemistry will impact on people's lives in the future. The importance of clearly communicating the benefits (and risks) of new technologies will be highlighted. Students experience science journalism and scientific writing and will use a variety of assessment tools to reflect on their learning and experience. Content material will be delivered via the online course platform FutureLearn. Students enrolled on this module will be given semester long access to our FutureLearn courses by the Digital Education Service. This is a flipped-learning module and so you must be prepared to discuss your learning with peers in the seminars.


i) To introduce students to a breadth of ways in which chemistry impacts our lives, and to understand the chemical principles that underpin these products, processes and phenomena.
ii) To develop students’ independent written communication skills in researching and presenting a chemical product, process or phenomenon to a public audience.
iii) To develop students’ verbal and visual communication skills in the group-based development of a YouTube-style video or podcast (published to Video Leeds) presenting a chemical product, process or phenomenon to and audience of non specialists.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- discuss examples of the historical and modern-day context of the contributions chemistry has made to seven distinct topics which impact on everyday life, and the chemical principles underpinning these.
- demonstrate their ability to communicate an example of the role chemistry has played in addressing a topic of general interest to a public audience in written form.
- communicate the context and chemical basis of an example of chemistry in addressing a given problem to an audience of non specialists.

Skills outcomes
Based around the key topics highlighted students will be introduced to multidisciplinary approaches to applying chemistry in everyday life.


The module consists of online (web based) material; written and filmed case studies, audio clips and internet tools to highlight the diverse contributions that chemistry makes to modern life.

Topic 1: Science Writing
Topic 2: Medicinal Chemistry
Topic 3: Global Challenges
Topic 4: Atmospheric Changes
Topic 5: Product Development

Each topic looks historical perspectives, science in action today and future perspectives.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning151.0015.00
Office Hour Discussions11.001.00
Independent online learning hours15.00
Private study hours63.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Independent online learning will be the delivery for all learning material. Students will explore the range of topics available and complete two individual pieces of coursework and a group assessment: an individual reflective journal (3 x 150 words), an individual report (500 words) written in a "popular science article" style and a group exercise (creation of a YouTube style video examining one of the topics in more depth). The private study and independent learning will involve researching the topic (building directly on the lecture material in the case of the video) and preparing the assessed material.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive feedback on their written work (weekly journal activities), through discussion boards and an outline of the group project.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectGroup Video40.00
AssignmentShort Journal Article10.00
AssignmentJournal Article50.00
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: 23/04/2024


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