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Unit information: Advanced Practical Skills for Chemical Physics in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Practical Skills for Chemical Physics
Unit code CHEM30008
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. May
Open unit status Not open

CHEM20370, CHEM20190, CHEM20220



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit develops the practical chemistry skills introduced in CHEM20220 to expand that essential base of practical chemistry into this more advanced level of study. The unit covers the main areas of chemistry with experiments based on inorganic, materials, physical, theoretical and analytical chemistry.

The unit provides training in practical chemistry and literature research in preparation for a research project, a career as a professional chemical-physicist, or in an area of employment requiring the skills of scientific reasoning, critical evaluation and numeracy. This course aims to provide an advanced understanding and knowledge of the main areas of practical chemistry, reinforcing and building on year-2 material and laying the basis to enable progress to independent laboratory work in later years. Students face challenging experiments, learn to research and choose appropriate techniques for a given problem and work independently, managing their own time.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Advanced aspects of all relevant of the subject with increasing emphasis on topics at the frontiers of the subject.
  • Practical training in research methods through supervised work.
  • The ability to manage their own learning,
  • Independent learning through the use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to the discipline).
  • Present complex issues to others through written reports
  • Develop communication skills through written reports
  • Employ and carry out complex practical operations and techniques
  • Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem
  • Able to take decisions in a responsible and professional manner
  • Develop time management and efficiency skills
  • Report writing skills
  • Make appropriate use of information and communication technology resources
  • The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
    • the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
    • decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts

Teaching details

Supervised practical classes and independent study. The Dynamic Laboratory Manual provides important e-learning resources in advance of practical sessions. Students who either begin or pursue 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.

Assessment Details

Students will be assessed by continuous summative assessment of coursework of two kinds:

Data summaries, designed to show that an experiment has been successfully carried out and that the student understands the results Full reports, designed to show the marker that the experiment has been successfully carried out and that the student understands it, can place it within the wider Chemistry context and can critically evaluate the results

To receive credit for this unit, students must make a reasonable attempt at every aspect of the teaching and assessment, including pre- and post-laboratory work, practical experiments, formal reports and presentations, group-working and any workshop activities. Failure to do so may result in credit being withheld, even if the overall mark is above the pass mark for the unit. 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. CHEM30008).