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 Key Skills for Chemists 1
Code CHEM180
Coordinator Dr G Sedghi
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 4 FHEQ Whole Session 15

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



The aim of this module is:
(i) to equip students with the basic quantitative transferable skills required for the first year of a Chemistry degree programme. (60% of module)
(ii) to broaden a student's perspective of chemistry whilst developing their general transferable skills with a focus on communication and employability. (40% of module)

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Quantitative key skills: By the end of this module a successful student should be able to handle:
* simple volumetric calculations as required for titrations in analytical chemistry
* Basic algebraic manipulation and functions needed for kinetics, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics
* Elementary geometry required for the understanding of molecular shapes and solid state chemistry
* The representation of data via graphs, particularly straight line graphs, and the manipulation of data in spreadsheet programs for data analysis
* The basic idea of a derivative and an integral for use in physical chemistry

(LO2) General key skills:  By the end of this module a successful student will understand:
* basic aspects of working safely in a chemistry laboratory
* aspects of chemical research
* the importance of chemistry in the development of our society
* chemical databases
* the need for academic integrity
* how chemistry can contribute to their transferable skills

(S1) successful students will have developed their:
* investigative, critical, writing and presentation skills
* chemical database skills
* employability skills

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Quantitative key skills:
The quantitative key skills will be taught in problem solving workshops with a lecture at the start of each. Students will work through problems, divided into fundamental and advanced levels. All students will have to demonstrate ability at the fundamental level, progressing on to the advanced level based on performance. Each workshop will involve a combination of written questions and online assessments. Introductory spreadsheet analysis will be taught over two workshops using a workbook style script.

General key skills
The general key skills section will consist of a series of recorded lectures on different aspects of chemistry, given mainly by members of the Chemistry Department and Careers & Employability, to encourage students to look at the wider aspects of the subject,

Recorded Lectures will also be given to develop the investigative skills of the students within chemistry and to encourage career planning. Students will be given a series of tasks to complete. Where possible, these will be based on material from the recorded lectures and will develop their key skills, particularly in writing and presentation. These tasks will involve individual and team exercises with a variety of oral and written components. To provide support for the tasks, students will receive tutorials (to be given by their academic advisors) in which the skills required for the set tasks will be discussed and developed.

Extensive use of Canvas and email will be made by this module, with students being expected to consult Canvas to view announcements, obtain information on presentations and tutorial tasks and submit assessments.



Quantitative Key Skills:
• Concepts of proportion: calculation of molarity, concentration after dilution, using results of titrations
• Simple re-arrangement algebra, the order of operations in brackets, quadratic equations, exponents and logarithms, the exponential function, trigonometric functions
• Calculation of volume, identification of (molecular) shape, trigonometry and geometry
• Drawing graphs, linearizing data, what to do with gradients and intercepts in practical examples
• Data analysis with spreadsheet programs
• Derivative as gradient, rates of change
• Integration as the opposite of differentiation
• Chain and product rules in differentiation
• Particle Differentiation
• Stationary points of functions, maxima and minima

General Key Skills:
This section of the module will involve lectures given mainly by chemistry staff and tutorials given by academic advisers.
• Introduction: Study skills, the importance of transferable skills, module organisation (Dr Sedghi)
• Safety in the laboratory (Dr Gaynor)
• Reflecting on Feedback and feeding forward: (Dr Sedghi)
• Careers & employability (Dr Gaynor & Careers service)
• Chemical database skills (Dr Berry & Dr Cooper)
• UoL-XJTLU linked activities (Charlotte Ford)
• Using PowerPoint (Professor Greeves)
• Academic Integrity (Dr Sedghi)
• PDP and group discussion with academic adviser.
• Detailed feedback on a scientific report
• Short presentations on any topic of interest
• A PowerPoint presentation on the impact of chemistry in society
• Chemical databases

Content provision
In addition to the face-to-face lectures, workshops and tutorials, module content will be provided on Canvas with extensive use of Canvas for consolidation material, lecture recordings, information on tutorials, workshops and assessments.

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 22




Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 85


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
2 Maths Class Tests, one in each semester This is an anonymous assessment.  2 x 2 hours    20       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Maths workshops (problems to be completed during workshops) and online assessments Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Schedule: over both se  14 Quantitative Key     40       
General Key Skills tutorial & workshop exercises There is a resit opportunity, except for the oral presentation. This is not an anonymous assessment. exercises run throughout the year Work re  Work related to 4 GK    40