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Unit information: Introductory Practical Chemistry in 2021/22

Unit name Introductory Practical Chemistry
Unit code CHEM10004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Chris Adams
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit introduces safe and organised working practices within a laboratory environment and also some basic laboratory techniques.

Units aims:

To develop in students the first fundamental practical skills.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Identify procedural and chemical hazards and operate effectively, safely and efficiently to carry out an experiment within the allotted time.

2. Know when and how to:

  • Maintain an up-to-date lab book with accurate calculations and experimental observations
  • Interpret and follow experimental instructions
  • Correctly weigh out chemicals
  • Prepare solutions of accurately known concentration
  • Assemble and correctly use simple laboratory apparatus
  • Reflux solutions
  • Separate liquids and extract suspensions
  • Recrystallise impure solids
  • Filter solids using gravity or vacuum (Hirsch and BĪ‹chner) methods
  • Evaporate liquids
  • Titrate solutions
  • Select appropriate glassware for use

3. Interpret and manipulate data sets using Excel and present results using Word.

4. Analyse and interpret results and spectra from a range of analytical techniques including NMR, IR, UV-Vis, Melting point and TLC.

Teaching details

Practical work both within and without the teaching laboratory, information searching, writing and data-handling tasks, and independent study. Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode should note that it is likely they may be required to complete practical work or alternative activities in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy any accreditation requirements. The Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM) provides important e-learning resource for all of these tasks, using a combination of in-silico simulations, asynchronous activities such as quizzes, videos and forums, and synchronous sessions (which will also be available asynchronously). There will also be opportunities to receive personalised feedback on formative work from tutors, demonstrators and peers.

Assessment Details

Students will be continuously assessed in practical work and scientific reporting (summative and formative - 100%).

The majority of the work will be formatively assessed, giving the students the chance to learn and develop the skills which they will build upon in later years. At the end of the unit students will then be required to demonstrate their skills by performing assessed experiments, which will be holistically judged against the intended learning outcomes.

Supplementary or resit assessment of this unit is only possible through engagement in the following academic year.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. CHEM10004).