Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title CHEM356 - Year 3 Chemistry Project (BSc. Level)
Code CHEM356
Coordinator Dr H Zhang
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2019-20 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):



In this module, students will be assigned an extended experiment or project according to their own interests and abilities. Depending on the exact nature of the project undertaken, the general aims of the module are:
• To give the student a taste of research in a contemporary area of chemistry
• To develop an appropriate experimental technique for the topic undertaken
• To show the use of appropriate characterisation techniques
• To illustrate the use of the library and other information resources as research tools or more generic tools for the appropriation of information
• To familiarise the student with the preparation of written reports
• To teach the skills necessary for the preparation and delivery of a short oral presentation.
• To enable the student to apply web based design and techniques
• To interact with outside bodies (e.g. schools) with the ai m of applying or disseminating chemical based knowledge and fostering cooperation

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Depending on the precise emphasis of the individually tailored project, by the end of the module, students should be able to:
* Give a reasoned written exposition of experimental work and achievements;
* Make valid deductions from acquired data;
* Be capable of giving comprehensible written and oral accounts of experimental work;
* Demonstrate an understanding of shortcomings, experimental errors or weaknesses in data;
* Show that they understand the wider social and/or technological relevance of their work.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module consists of an extended experiment (‘mini-project’) or other acceptable project-based work. Practical work will be conducted in either the designated inorganic/organic laboratory (CTL-7) or physical laboratory (CTL-8), or in an appropriate research laboratory (for modelling projects), depending upon topic. For Teaching-lab based projects, five three-hour sessions are available per week for eight weeks, although students will not normally need to use all of these - it is expected that a student will spend approximately 100 hours in total on practical work, in addition to approximately 10 hours of preparation for the practical work and completion of brief weekly progress reports, which are due early in the following week.
Progress of the project will be assessed using the weekly progress reports, by regular discussions of assigned supervisors with students, by evaluation of the notebooks and where appropriate the quality and quantity of the data and sampl es.

Subsequently, a period of private study is necessary for the preparation of the written report and the oral presentation. The latter will take place at the end of the course (week 11); students will attend all the presentations in the area most relevant to the project that they undertook (organic, inorganic or physical).



Students will carry out a three-step target synthesis. They will be given a target molecule, and will then prepare a short report detailing its proposed synthesis; the synthesis will be the subject of a literature search in the Chemistry library, and an introductory course on the use of appropriate sources will be given. This will occupy the first week. Students will then have seven weeks to complete the 3 steps and characterise the compounds using spectroscopic and analytical methods. They will then prepare a written report and present their results

Students will be given one of several extended experiments in transition metal chemistry, silica, or polymer chemistry. Typical topics might be: ruthenium(II)-phosphine chemistry, nickel-tetra azamacrocycle chemistry and template macrocycle synthesis, nickel-based complex for catalysis, synthesis of silica microspheres, preparation of emulsions and polymer microspheres by emulsion evaporation, self-gell ing hydrogels based on oppositely charged microparticles, Co (ll) complex by supramolecular coordination, and other newly developed projects. Initially, the experiments will follow a script, and collaboration may be required, e.g. for the synthesis of the phosphine ligands, or precursor compounds for the macrocycles. Subsequently, there will be the opportunity to carry out new reactions for which the outcome is unknown. They will then prepare a written report, including an account of previous work in the literature, which will require library work.

Students will be given an extended experiment in an area of physical chemistry, such as the preparation and properties of nanoparticles, TiO2 photochemistry, electrochemistry, or protein adsorption on surfaces. Some degree of collaboration may be required initially, but students will mostly work independently, with the opportunity to perform experiments for which the outcome is unknown. They will then prepare a written re port, including an account of previous work in the literature, which will require library work.

There are 8 weeks (5 lab sessions in each week) available to complete the projects. Students are expected to finalize project proposals/scripts, have safety induction in teaching labs, and sign off all required COSHH forms and risk assessment forms in the first week before they can start the projects.

As an alternative to one of the extended experiments, students may be offered the opportunity of being assigned to an academic supervisor, who will devise a short research project that will be performed in that supervisor''s laboratory. They will then prepare a written report, including an account of previous work in the literature, which will require library work.

Non-Laboratory Based Projects

Subject to the Module Director's approval, literature-based projects, web design projects and possibly even projects that involve interaction with a local school co uld be offered. The school project is suitable for students who are keen to develop a career in teaching.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours       100


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 40


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Oral presentation There is no re-submission opportunity. This assessment cannot be marked anonymously.  15 minutes    15       
Performance in the lab, incl. (as appropriate) record keeping, weekly progress reports capability for independent working, quality of data, quality of samples. There is no re-submission opportunity.   100 hours    50       
Final written report Standard UoL penalties apply for late submission. There is no re-submission opportunity. This assessment is not marked anonymously.  25-50 A4 pages    35