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 Practical Chemistry Project Year 3 - An introduction to research methods
Code CHEM366
Coordinator Dr H Zhang
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15

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



This module is a Year 3 mini research project with the aim of introducing MChem students to research methods in chemistry through research projects in research labs. In this module, students will be allocated to research groups to work on projects of synthetic (organic or inorganic), physical (catalysis, electrochemistry, surface science, modelling, nanoparticles), materials or interdisciplinary themes, according to their own interests and abilities, and therefore the specific aims will differ slightly according to topic.
The general aims of the module are:
• To give the student a taste of research in a research lab environment
• To develop of 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
• To gain initial experience of how to appr oach a research project
• 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.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) 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 weakness in data Show that they understand the wider social and/or technological relevance of their work

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module usually consists of mini research projects to be conducted in an appropriate research laboratory or in the designated teaching laboratory depending upon topics. It is expected that a student will spend approximately 120 hours in total on project work (10 weeks in the 2nd semester), in addition to approximately 30 hours for project preparation and completion of the written report and oral presentation.



Students are allocated into different research groups based on their project preference, ability, and the availability of the projects offered by academic staff. These projects are generally classified into organic, inorganic & materials, and physical projects. Modelling projects may be included in physical projects or organic projects.

These projects are mini research projects, designed by academic supervisor. The projects are completed within 10 weeks in the 2nd semester. Students are closely supervised by a supervisor or an experienced researcher in the research group. They are usually offered with project aims/outlines and make project progress by regular meetings with project supervisors. Students are usually required to do literature search, work out detailed experimental procedures, and propose ideas for next step. Independent and creative thinking is very important. These projects are usually part of the research group activities. Therefore, students may need to at tend group meeting and collaborate with other group members. After completing the project, they will prepare a written report and oral presentation where help will be offered from project supervisors.

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       120


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 24


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Oral presentation  15    15       
Performance in the laboratory, assessed by the project supervisor based on discussions with student, evaluation of notebook, quality of data and samples, ability to work independently.    50       
Final written report    35