Teaching and Learning

Catalysts to learning

Chemistry is an exciting subject and we try to teach it that way, by mixing excellent course content and tuition with imaginative ways of learning.

Lectures, small group tutorials, laboratory work, workshops and problem-solving sessions will all challenge your thinking and expand your knowledge.

Additionally we make innovative use of technology. Below are some examples.


 Logo for ChemTube3D

ChemTube3D is a web-based visualisation of reaction mechanisms and molecular/crystal structures. Initially introduced by Prof Nick Greeves, the holder of a prestigious Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship, ChemTube3D is constantly expanding with new reactions being added regularly.

This project has been funded by wide variety of educational research bodies (the Higher Education Academy, UK Physical Sciences Centre, JISC, Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund and the EPSRC).

Lecture Recording

Lecture recording screenshot

Lectures in over 20 of our modules are now recorded and made available to students through our virtual learning environment. The lectures can also be viewed on portable media devices (see left).

Also funded by the Higher Education Academy, lecture recording has numerous benefits for the students particularly when it comes to revision, or for those who are learning from a distance.

Additionally in the event of illness, the students are able to catch up by viewing the recordings. After significant studies, evidence shows that the students like being able to access the recordings of lectures, they use them and find them very useful.

Health and Safety, Pre-lab Exercises and Tutorials

Screenshot of an example pre-lab resource

We have a range of pre-lab activities across our year 1/2 undergraduate lab course. These include:

  • Accessing, and learning about, health and safety processes, which are well aligned to our research processes. These include helping develop hazard awareness through interactive exervises (see case study)
  • web-based exercises that student must complete before starting lab work. The aim is to make sure that students can be confident in what chemistry they are undertaking in the lab by ensuring they have a grasp of the important concepts beforehand.
  • pre-lab videos and guidance Web-based tutorials in the form of videos, photographs and guides to help students get to grips with key techniques they are going to be using. For example, they can watch a video of how to perform thin-layer chromatography so that when they get to the lab, they know what equipment they need and the theory behind why they are doing it.

Lab time is for doing practical work, and both of these points allow students to spend most of their lab hours perfecting their lab techniques.