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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM5606M Advanced Topics in Chemistry (20 Credit)

20 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Stefan Auer

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

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of Level 3 programme in Natural Sciences

This module is mutually exclusive with

CHEM5600MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry 60 Credit
CHEM5601MAdvanced Topics in Medicinal Chemistry 60 Credit
CHEM5604MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (40 Credit)
CHEM5605MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (30 Credit)
CHEM5608MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (15 Credits)
CHEM5616MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry
CHEM5617MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (Coursework)
CHEM5618MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (Examined S1)
CHEM5619MAdvanced Topics in Chemistry (Examined S2)
CHEM5622MAdvanced Topics (10 Credits)

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of the module, students will have an advanced level understanding of a wide range of chemistry to the most advanced level. They will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and recall of multiple areas simultaneously and be able to explain and solve unseen problems of an advanced nature.

Ultimately the module will prepare them for postgraduate research either in academia or industry by providing the students with the core basis of advanced knowledge they will require. Through the continual assessment aspects of the module they will receive training in transferrable skills that will aid their future career.

Learning outcomes
The students will have a broad understanding of core areas of advanced chemistry and be able to solve unseen problem-led questions in these areas.

They will also be able to access the primary literature and use their knowledge to make a critical evaluation of this information.


The module will consist of 2 blocks, one assessed by exam and one by continuous assessment. Either Block 1 or Block 2 (examined blocks) must be completed, with Block 3.

Block 1 (first semester) will consist of 6 topics and you will be required to answer unseen exam questions on 3 topics. The exact topic areas vary year by year to reflect research developments, but a representative list is:
- Characterising structures and mechanisms in Inorganic Chemistry
- Medicinal Chemistry Strategy
- Advanced Methods in Organic Synthesis
- Chemical Biology Tools
- The Combustion Chemistry of Biofuels
- Molecular Dynamics

Block 2 (second semester) will consist of 6 topics and you will be required to answer unseen exam questions on 3 topics. The exact topic areas vary year by year to reflect research developments, but a representative list is:
- Metals in Biology
- Artificial Molecular Switches, Motors and Machines
- Planetary Atmospheres
- Chemistry, Climate Change and Air Pollution: Atmospheric Measurements, Modelling and Policy
- Natural Product Biosynthesis / Biocatalysis
- Physical Organic Process Chemistry

For Block 3 (both semesters) there is a requirement to submit work corresponding to 1 topic. This block will be assessed by a portfolio of work (coursework). The exact topic areas vary year by year to reflect research developments, but a representative list is:
- Nanomaterials
- Energy Transduction – powering the Earth, life and society
- Sustainability
- Structural Control in Modern Materials
- Planning Organic Syntheses
- Statistical Thermodynamics
- Case Studies in Pharmaceutical and Fine Chemical Synthesis
- Metals in Medicine
- Computer-Aided Drug Design
- Advanced Medicinal Chemistry

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours24.00
Private study hours144.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be presented with a wide range of advanced material and will be expected to spend considerable time consolidating this knowledge.

Additionally, they will be provided with practice problems that form the basis of the workshops for each topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

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

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentCoursework 125.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)25.00

Element 3 of the course will account for 25% of the final mark. Each topic will involve one or more of the following types of coursework; Essay or Dissertation, Literature Review, Verbal Presentation, Computer Exercise, Tutorial Performance. A student’s portfolio will depend upon the individual topics that students select for assessment.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Open Book exam2 hr 15 mins37.50
Open Book exam2 hr 15 mins37.50
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)75.00

Students can take either exam 1 or exam 2. Examined with all other Advanced Topics modules (CHEM56XXM). 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: 28/04/2023 14:52:18


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